Guide to the Ney MacMinn (1894-1967) Papers

Collection Title: Ney MacMinn (1894-1967) Papers
Dates: 1925-1994
Identification: 11/3/11/29
Creator: MacMinn, Ney
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Ney MacMinn Papers fill one box and span the period 1925-1994, with the bulk of the material from 1941-1967. The papers are organized into three categories: biographical materials, correspondence and diaries.
Acquisition Information: The Ney MacMinn Papers were donated to the University Archives by Robert A. DeNictolis in November 1994 as Accession No. 94-212.
Processing Information: Margaret Faverty and Kaia L. Even, March 1996.
Separated Materials: Small amounts of duplicated material were discarded. A reel-to-reel audio tape of a conversation between Ney MacMinn and Macklin DeNictolis, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, July 1960, was separated and filed in the University Archives Audio Tape Collection as AT# 1919.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Ney Lannes MacMinn was born on May 11, 1894 in Brockway, Pennsylvania, the eldest of eight children of a Methodist minister. He studied as an undergraduate at Westminster College in western Pennsylvania and at the University of Toulouse in southern France at the conclusion of World War I, in which he had served with the 15th US Engineers for two years. In 1924, he received his MA in English from the University of Illinois, where he studied under Stuart Sherman. In 1928, he received his Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University under Franklyn B. Snyder, whose assistant he became for nine years, until Snyder left the English Department to become University President in 1939.

MacMinn was Instructor in English at Northwestern from 1925-1929; Assistant Professor of English, 1929-1944; Associate Professor of English, 1944-1960, and Professor Emeritus, 1960-1967. In 1949 he was a Visiting Professor to the University of Peurto Rico.

His research interests included William Morris and John Stuart Mill and he wrote several books, including Creative Thinkers, a three volume series of critical and biographical studies of twenty eminent 19th century English writers. He taught freshman composition, creative writing and American, Victorian and contemporary literature at Northwestern.

MacMinn was married and divorced twice. His second marriage was to Cecilia Abbott in 1941.

In 1960, he retired to a houseboat on the Seine Rive in Paris, France, where he lived until his death on August 1, 1967.

Originally MacMinn spelled his name McMinn, but at some point before 1949, he changed the spelling to MacMinn.

Scope and Content

The Ney MacMinn Papers fill one box and span the period 1925-1994, with the bulk of the material from 1941-1967. The papers are organized into three categories: biographical materials, correspondence and diaries.

The biographical materials, spanning the years 1925-1994, include transcripts, applications, documents regarding MacMinn's Ph.D., vitae, clippings and obituaries.

The correspondence, spanning the years 1939-1967, is primarily between MacMinn and Macklin B. DeNictolis, a former student and close friend of MacMinn's. Correspondence is arranged chronologically by date.

The diaries, consisting of six volumes, cover MacMinn's years in Paris, 1961-1967. Volume 1 is dated June 1, 1961-September 18, 1961; volume 2, Semptember 21, 1961-December 18, 1961; volume 3, December 22, 1961-July 7, 1962; volume 4, July 8, 1972-September 26, 1962 and December 14, 1966-March 1, 1967; volume 5, March 1, 1967-June 22, 1967; volume 6, June 23, 1967-July 30, 1967.

Arrangement of Materials

The papers are organized into three categories: biographical materials (arranged by document type), correspondence, and diaries (each arranged chronologically).


Personal Name

MacMinn, Ney--Correspondence

MacMinn, Ney--Diaries


English teachers--Illinois--Evanston

Container List / Contents

  • Biographical
    • Personal Data, 1925-1961Box 1, Folder 1
    • Clippings, 1934-1963Box 1, Folder 2
    • Obituaries, 1967-1994Box 1, Folder 3
  • Correspondence
    • Correspondence, 1939-1949Box 1, Folder 4
    • Correspondence, 1950-1959Box 1, Folder 5
    • Correspondence, 1960-1967Box 1, Folder 6
    • Correspondence, n.d.Box 1, Folder 7
  • Diaries
    • Volume 1 - Volume 3, 1961-1962Box 1, Folder 8
    • Volume 4 - Volume 6, 1962-1967Box 1, Folder 9