Moody E. Prior (1901-1996) Papers
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Scope and Contents
The Moody E. Prior Papers fill six boxes and span the years 1924 through 1996. The bulk of the material in the series dates between 1946 and 1975. Included are biographical materials and clippings; general and subject correspondence; a number of Prior's speech texts, his Master's thesis, unpublished writings, commentaries, eulogies, notes, awards, and publication reprints.
Biographical materials include personal data, passports, the Priors' marriage certificate, the PhD diploma granted by the University of Chicago, obituaries, documents relating to real estate transactions, press releases, and clippings.
Prior's correspondence dates between 1934 and 1996, the year of his death. There are extensive collections of letters written by Moody Prior and his friends and colleagues. One folder contains photocopies of correspondence with Prior's friends Frederick and Frances (Webb) Leishman; these copies were given to Carlene Prior in 1997. Frances Webb Leishman was a 1942 graduate of Northwestern's College of Liberal Arts.
The subject files provide a glimpse of the scope and substance of Prior's scholarly work. Most of the publications by Prior included in the collection relate to Shakespeare and other British literature, however there is an article on the character of Uncle Tom from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin that shows an interest in American literature. Other folders provide a look at Prior's more personal side, such as the drawings, music and miscellaneous folder, which contains skits, jokes and puzzles among other items. The transcripts of radio addresses that Prior delivered on WFMT are included here, as are speeches, commentaries and eulogies by Prior. Where possible, items are arranged chronologically within the folders.
Two index card file boxes hold notes that Prior may have taken as part of his scholarly research, or as preparation for lectures. Subjects include European history, political history, literature, Shakespeare, and Uncle Tom's Cabin.
An oversize folder contains awards given to Prior by the Northwestern University Alumni Association.
The additions to the Moody Prior Papers fill two boxes (one dropfront), and span the years 1909 to 2017. The documents, images, and ephemera shed additional light on Moody Prior’s life and especially on his family history. They include extensive correspondence with Prior’s niece, Constance Ecklund, as well as correspondence with other family members. Supplementary information about Prior and the Papadopoulos family is provided by presentations and commentaries. Ephemera, artifacts, and visual materials include a tiny paper kite constructed by Prior, photographs (including some photocopies), drawings, and a book owned by Prior as a child. Framed family photographs have been placed in a dropfront box for added protection.
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
Moody E. Prior came to Northwestern University in 1924 as an instructor in English. He became an assistant professor in 1930, and associate professor in 1937, and pprofessor, 1944. He held John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities and English from 1948 until his retirement in 1969. His research interests focused on English drama and he was considered an authority on Shakespeare. The Moody E. Prior Papers fill six boxes and span the years 1924 through 1996. The bulk of the material in the series dates between 1946 and 1975. Included are biographical materials and clippings; general and subject correspondence; a number of Prior's speech texts, his Master's thesis, unpublished writings, commentaries, eulogies, notes, awards, and publication reprints. Most of the publications by Prior included in the collection relate to Shakespeare and other British literature; however there is an article on the character of Uncle Tom from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin that shows an interest in American literature.
The Moody E. Prior papers are organized into: biographical materials; correspondence (general correspondence, arranged by date; correspondence with individuals, arranged by name); and subject files (arranged alphabetically). An addition contains additional correspondence, ephemera, photographs and other materials.
Method of Acquisition
The Moody Prior Papers is comprised of five accessions: #83-138, #89-148, #96-225, #97-37, and #03-98, donated to the University Archives by Moody and Carlene Prior. Materials from the University Archives' Faculty Biographical Files have been incorporated into the Papers.
The additions to the Moody Prior Papers were donated to the University Archives as accession #17-157 on June 21, 2017 by Constance Ecklund.
Prior's doctoral hood and the Alumni Medal awarded to Prior by the Northwestern University Alumni Association in 1968 were separated from the collection in 2003 and added to the Archives' Artifacts Collection.
Patricia Sione and Kevin B. Leonard; November, 1996 and February, 1997. Leishman letters processed by Kevin B. Leonard; April 1997. Additional material incorporated and finding-aid revised by Sarah Rose; August 2003.
- Guide to the Moody E. Prior (1901-1996) Papers
- Patricia Sione and Kevin B. Leonard; Sarah Rose
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Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US