Ernest Samuels (1903-1996) Papers
Scope and Contents
The Ernest Samuels Papers comprise 16 boxes of material spanning the years 1918-1977. The bulk of the collection, however, falls between 1942 and 1971, during Samuels' tenure as a faculty member in Northwestern University's English Department. Some material relating to his days as a student at the University of Chicago, his law practice in El Paso, Texas, and his tenure as a teacher at Bryant Stratton College in Chicago and Washington State University at Pullman is also included. The Samuels Papers have been arranged in five general categories: biographical materials, correspondence, academic files, published and unpublished writings and research files.
The biographical materials include vita, news releases, autobiographical sketches an miscellany; clippings; reviews of Samuels' books; and various memorabilia such as programs, book jackets, pamphlets, invitations and other miscellaneous personal materials.
The correspondence is divided into two categories: general correspondence, arranged chronologically, and subject correspondence, arranged alphabetically by folder title. The general correspondence includes routine letters between Samuels and various Northwestern administrators like Franklyn Bliss Snyder, J. Roscoe Miller, Robert H. Strotz, Simeon Leland and Payson S. Wild. Correspondence with prominent individuals is partially indexed (see pages 4-5). Some correspondence regarding Samuels' doctoral dissertation and other subsequent research is included with the general correspondence, rather than with the research correspondence. The subject correspondence includes correspondence with various colleagues, publishers and officials of professional organizations as well as correspondence concerning lectures, speeches, awards and committees that Samuels served on. Correspondence with prominent individuals included in the subject correspondence has also been partially indexed (see pages 5-6).
The academic files include grade books for courses Samuels taught at Northwestern, unbound grade book pages, a few course syllabi, examinations and student papers. Samuels' lecture notes, most of which are undated, are also included. The lecture notes are arranged alphabetically by title.
Samuels' published and unpublished writings include a copy of the edition of Business English Units, published by Bryant Stratton College. Later editions were titled Business English Projects and published by Prentice Hall. Samuels' doctoral dissertation, which served as the basis for his book The Young Henry Adams, is also included here.
The book introductions were prepared for new editions of Henry Adams' works that Samuels edited, abridged or contributed notes and appendices. Samuels' speeches files include note cards and texts of speeches or lectures he delivered. Included among Samuels' student materials are copies of The Pyramid, the literary magazine produced by his college fraternity, Tau Delta Phi, which he wrote for and edited for one year.
The research files include correspondence relating to Samuels research on Henry Adams career including correspondence with members of the Adams family, acquaintances of Henry Adams, and curators and librarians of various repositories that held Adams family materials. Members of the Adams family that Samuels corresponded with include Henry Adams' nephews Charles Francis and Henry Adams and his niece Louisa Thoron. Also included in this category are Samuels research notes for his doctoral dissertation, notes on writing biography and miscellaneous notes; and transcriptions, photocopies and published materials utilized in preparing the Adams biography.
- 1918 - 1995
- Other: Majority of material found within 1942 - 1971
- Samuels, Ernest, 1903-1996 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.
Language of Materials
Ernest Samuels entered the University of Chicago as a pre-law student in 1919. He received a Bachelor of Philosophy in Law and French in 1923 and immediately entered the University of Chicago Law School. In 1930 he then returned to Chicago to pursue a long standing interest in literature. From January to August 1931 he resumed his studies at the University of Chicago, this time in the English Department. After holding several academic positions, Samuels was appointed Instructor of English in the fall of 1942 at Northwestern University. He remained there until his retirement in 1971. The Ernest Samuels Papers comprise 16 boxes of material spanning the years 1918-1977. The bulk of the collection, covers Samuels' tenure as a faculty member in Northwestern University's English Department. The Samuels Papers have been arranged in five general categories: biographical materials, correspondence, academic files, published and unpublished writings and research files.
The correspondence is divided into two categories: general correspondence, arranged chronologically, and subject correspondence, arranged alphabetically by folder title. The lecture notes are arranged alphabetically by title.
Method of Acquisition
The Ernest Samuels Papers were donated to the University Archives by Ernest Samuels in June 1977.
Four photographs of Henry Adams' house (1962), five photographs of groups that Samuels was associated with (fraternity, theater, students, etc.), and three miscellaneous photographs of friends and relatives of Samuels have been transferred to the University Archives' photograph collection. One 600-foot open reel tape of an interview regarding Samuels' 1965 Pulitzer Prize on WJJD radio (May 3, 1965) and one pin awarded to Samuels by Tilden Technical High School at its annual Achievement Dinner (May 18, 1960) have been transferred to the University Archives' artifacts cabinet.
Vakare Valaitis and Elisabeth Wittman, August 1977.
Finding-aid scanned and reformatted by Jessica Mayle and Andrew Green, November-December 2002.
- Adams, Henry, 1838-1918
- Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959
- Bode, Carl, 1911-1993
- Boorstin, Daniel J. (Daniel Joseph), 1914-2004
- English literature--Study and teaching
- Nevins, Allan, 1890-1971
- Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--Faculty
- Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of English
- Samuels, Ernest, 1903-1996
- Thurber, James, 1894-1961
- Toynbee, Arnold, 1889-1975
- Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965
- Guide to the Ernest Samuels (1903-1996) Papers
- Vakare Valaitis and Elisabeth Wittman
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US