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Harold Kaplan Papers

Identifier: 11/3/11/39

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Harold Kaplan Papers consist of 8 boxes, spanning the years 1956 to 2010. The bulk of the collection consists of Kaplan’s class notes. The records include seven subseries: Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Book Drafts, Essays, Reviews, Talks, and Teaching and General Notes.

The Biographical Materials subseries contains Kaplan’s curriculum vitae and any other biographical documents.

The Correspondence subseries is mostly comprised of Kaplan’s correspondence with various publishers.

The Book Drafts subseries includes Kaplan’s manuscript drafts for his books. Kaplan’s notes for the bibliographies of these books are also included in this subseries. The titles of the folders in this series are almost exclusively taken from Kaplan’s original folder titles.

The Essays subseries consists of Kaplan’s drafts and notes for his essays, as well as his completed essays. This section also includes essays written by other authors which Kaplan kept in his records. The essays written by other authors include the name of the author in the folder title. The majority of the folder headings match the titles of the essay contained in the folder.

The Reviews subseries consists of both reviews about Kaplan’s own books and reviews written by Kaplan about other authors’ works. The headings for folders containing reviews of Kaplan’s work correspond with the title of the work. The headings for folders containing reviews written by Kaplan correspond with the name of the author of the work being reviewed.

The Talks subseries contains notes and drafts for talks given by Kaplan.

The Teaching and General Notes subseries is mostly comprised of Kaplan’s class notes, but it also contains his general notes on various subjects. The folder captions are mostly taken from Kaplan’s headings for the original folders.


  • 1946 - 2013
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/03/2011


Conditions Governing Access

Permission for publication or use of large portions of the collection is needed from Kaplan's literary executor, Isabelle Kaplan.

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


26 Boxes

Language of Materials



Harold Kaplan was a professor of English and American Literature at Northwestern University from 1972 to 1986, when he became professor emeritus. Before coming to Northwestern, Kaplan taught at Rutgers University and Bennington College, after having served in the United States Air Force for four years. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago. This collection includes Kaplan’s class notes, drafts for books and essays, correspondence, talks, and the reviews of his work.


Correspondence is arranged chronologically. The Book Drafts, Essays, Reviews and Teaching and General Notes sections are ordered alphabetically by folder heading. Talks are arranged by the date that the talk was given.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

This material was donated by Isabelle Kaplan in two installments, the first on March 15, 2010, and the second on February 18, 2011, as part of accession #10-45 and #11-34, respectively.

Separated Materials

Duplicate and out-of-scope materials were removed from the collection. A duplicate review of Kaplan’s work taken from Dietsche Warande en Belfort was removed. A catalog of books sold by Transaction was removed from the collection because there was no clear link to Kaplan’s work.

Processing Information

Ben Francis and Benn Joseph, June 2012.

Guide to the Harold Kaplan Papers
Ben Francis and Benn Joseph, 2012.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US