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Russell D. Burge (1892-1980) Papers

Identifier: 55/11

Scope and Contents

Boxes 1-5

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 holographic. 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 features 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 short story is only in outline form. Many of the novels and short stories are set in South Dakota or neighboring states and the characters usually are drawn from farm backgrounds.

Addition, boxes 6-12

The addition consists chiefly of correspondence (1879-1936), newspaper clippings, a scrapbook, and miscellaneous other materials.


  • 1918-1982


Conditions Governing Access

Boxes 6-12 of this collection are stored off-site and require 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours 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.


12 Boxes

Language of Materials



The papers of Russell D. Burge (a member of Northwestern University's accounting department, and an writer of fiction) consist mainly of drafts of Burge's five novels and thirty-three short stories, plus biographical material and correspondence.


The correspondence and newspaper clippings in the addition are arranged in chronological order.

Method of Acquisition

Donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Russell D. Burge on May 18, 1983 (Accession #83-64).

Processing Information

William K. Beatty; August-September, 1983.
Guide to the Russell D. Burge (1892-1980) Papers
William K. Beatty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

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