Guide to the Russell D. Burge (1892-1980) Papers

Collection Title: Russell D. Burge (1892-1980) Papers
Dates: 1918-1982
Identification: 55/11
Creator: Burge, Russell David
Extent: 5 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Russell D. Burge Papers, including one folder of biographical material and one folder of correspondence, consist in their bulk of drafts of Burge's novels and short stories. The biographical material includes a genealogical sheet, information compiled for Burge's retirement dinner, and the 1982 “Burge Christmas Greeting”. The correspondence consists of letters to and from a correspondence course teacher and several literary agents. The drafts of five novels and thirty three short stories written by Burge are mainly typed although a few pages are in manuscript.
Acquisition Information: Donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Russell D. Burge on May 18, 1983, as Accession #83-64.
Processing Information: William K. Beatty, August-September, 1983.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Russell David Burge was born April 15, 1892, in Watertown, South Dakota. He served with the U. S. Army in France during World War I. After two years as an undergraduate at Northwestern he married Sylvia Swensen on June 10, 1926, and in 1927 began working for Northwestern. He retired from the University's accounting department in 1961 and lived in Evanston until his death on June 19, 1980.

Beginning at the end of World War I, and especially after his retirement, Burge wrote a variety of novels and short stories. One novel, Life in the Ark, was published by Harrison-Hilton in 1940.

Scope and Content

The Russell D. Burge Papers, including one folder of biographical material and one folder of correspondence, consist in their bulk of drafts of Burge's novels and short stories.

The biographical material includes a genealogical sheet, information compiled for Burge's retirement dinner, and the 1982 “Burge Christmas Greeting”.

The correspondence consists of letters to and from a correspondence course teacher and several literary agents.

The drafts of five novels and thirty three short stories written by Burge are mainly typed although a few pages are in manuscript. The drafts of novels include those for “Foster Son”, “The Abyss of Freedom”, (also known as “Two Strangers Breakfast”), Life in the Ark (one draft has the pen name David Peabody), “Greater Love” (also known as “The Toad Stabber” and “Clara Ransom”), and “The Disinherited”. The draft of a sixth novel, “The Fire Unquenchable”, probably written in 1948 and rewritten in 1967 is not present in the collection. The short stories range in length from two to thirty pages; most are fifteen to twenty pages in length. A sampling of titles of the short stories includes: “The Audience Was His”, “No Fair Ticklin”, “Dead Evidence”, “Who Said Wild Oates?”, “Fatty Flips a Freight”, and “When War Comes Home”. “The Silken Web” was written by Burge for a contest, using the pen name Daniel Swensen. There is at least one complete draft of each novel; some have as many as five. There is usually only one draft of each short story. One is only in outline form. Many of the novels and short stories are set in South Dakota or neighboring regions and the characters usually come from farm backgrounds.

Subjects

Personal Name

Burge, Russell David


Container List / Contents

  • Drafts of Novels and Short Stories
    • Foster Son, 1970, 1981Box 1, Folder 3
    • Foster Son, 1970Box 1, Folder 4
    • "The Abyss of Freedom" - Draft 1, 1967 - 1971Box 1, Folder 5
    • "The Abyss of Freedom" - Draft 1, 1967 - 1971Box 1, Folder 6
    • "The Abyss of Freedom" - Draft 2, 1967 - 1971Box 1, Folder 7
    • "The Abyss of Freedom" - Draft 2, 1967 - 1971Box 1, Folder 8
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 1, 1936, 1965 - 1966Box 2, Folder 1
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 1, 1936, 1965 - 1966Box 2, Folder 2
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 1, 1936, 1965 -1966Box 2, Folder 3
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 2, Folder 4
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 2, Folder 5
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 2, Folder 6
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 3Box 2, Folder 7
    • "Two Strangers Breakfast" - Draft 3, 1967Box 2, Folder 8
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 1, n.d.Box 3, Folder 1
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 1, n.d.Box 3, Folder 2
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 1, n.d.Box 3, Folder 3
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 3, Folder 4
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 3, Folder 5
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 3, Folder 6
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 3, n.d.Box 3, Folder 7
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 3, n.d.Box 3, Folder 8
    • "Life in the Ark" - Draft 3, n.d.Box 3, Folder 9
    • "Greater Love" (also called "The Toad Stabber" and "Clara Ransom"), n.d.Box 4, Folder 1
    • "Greater Love", n.d.Box 4, Folder 2
    • "The Toad Stabber" - Draft 1, 1965Box 4, Folder 3
    • "The Toad Stabber" - Draft 1, 1965Box 4, Folder 4
    • "The Toad Stabber" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 4, Folder 5
    • "The Toad Stabber" - Draft 2, n.d.Box 4, Folder 6
    • "The Toad Stabber" - Draft 3, 1966Box 4, Folder 7
    • "The Toad Stabber" - Draft 3, 1966Box 4, Folder 8
    • "Clara Ransom", 1974Box 4, Folder 9
    • "Clara Ransom", 1974Box 5, Folder 1
    • "The Disinherited", 1948, 1967Box 5, Folder 2
    • "The Disinherited", 1948, 1967Box 5, Folder 3
    • "The Disinherited", 1948, 1967Box 5, Folder 4
    • Short Stories, 1924, 1941, 1948Box 5, Folder 5
    • Short Stories, 1918 - 1923, 1946Box 5, Folder 6
    • Short Stories, 1923, 1944Box 5, Folder 7
  • Biographical Material, 1961, 1982Box 1, Folder 1
  • Correspondence, n.d.Box 1, Folder 2