The Robert D. Mayo Papers fill seven boxes and span the years 1920 to 1998. The bulk of the papers consist of Northwestern University-related correspondence, and lecture and research notes. The series is divided into six subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, research notes, papers, and publications.
The biographical files span the dates 1928-1998 and include newspaper clippings, a biographical data form on Mayo from the Northwestern University Department of Public Relations, and a draft for a listing in Who's Who in the Midwest
The correspondence files span the dates 1940-1998 and include both personal correspondence and Northwestern University-related correspondence. The personal correspondence files are arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically within each folder. They include letters regarding Mayo's recruitment to the U.S. Army, telegrams (some in French) from Mayo's military service, letters regarding his appointments to Northwestern University faculty positions, and letters regarding job offers from other Universities. Mayo exchanged personal correspondence with several Northwestern University faculty members—notably Richard Ellmann, Jean Hagstrum, and Moody Prior—and this is arranged in personal correspondence files by name of correspondent. Official university correspondence with these same faculty members is filed in the university correspondence files.
Northwestern University correspondence files include general files and subject files. The general files span the dates 1947-1989 and are arranged chronologically. They include correspondence to and from Mayo regarding many subjects including student work, departmental policies and faculty appointments, and Mayo's scholarly work and associations. The subject files span the dates 1948-1990 and are arranged alphabetically and then chronologically within each folder. They include correspondence to and from Mayo regarding various university programs and committees, and many copies of letters of recommendation for students. The bulk of the subject correspondence is letters to and from Mayo regarding the publication of The Analyst. This correspondence includes letters requesting copies or subscriptions, letters regarding submissions for publication, and mailing lists and cards. Included in The Analyst correspondence is a copy of a letter Mayo wrote to T.S. Eliot dated April 17, 1954, and a copy of a letter Mayo wrote to Ezra Pound dated February 17, 1955.
Mayo's teaching files are arranged alphabetically by subject. They primarily consist of undated lecture notes for various courses Mayo taught at Northwestern University. Also included are course exams, Ph.D. Exams, student papers and course records. Mayo's research notes are arranged alphabetically by subject and primarily consist of undated notes regarding some of the many authors that Mayo lectured on or wrote about including Jane Austen, Fanny Burney, Ann Radcliffe and Sir Walter Scott.
Drafts of papers that Mayo wrote while completing his education and drafts for scholarly publications are arranged chronologically and span the years 1935-1973. Mayo's publication files include a general file with correspondence arranged by date and subject files arranged alphabetically. These files include research notes for and drafts of Mayo's book The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740-1815, copies of book reviews written by Mayo and about Mayo's publications, and letters to and from Mayo regarding the publication of Samuel Richardson: A Critical Anthology (unpublished).
Addition 1952-1990, Boxes 7-8
The addition includes personal correspondence, and many drafts of published and unpublished works. Included are correspondence between Mayo and the publishing house Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, documenting the publication process of Mayo’s critical anthology on Samuel Richardson, and correspondence between Mayo and other publishing houses, graduate students, and friends. The scholarly papers include an early draft of chapter five of Mayo’s published book The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740-1815, an unpublished paper on Northanger Abbey, and different drafts of a book he abandoned in the fall of 1969, Jane Austen the Tory Artist. Also included are research notes for these books and papers.
In addition, two inches of material were interfiled with the existing series, adding to correspondence regarding The Analyst, course descriptions, Mayo’s notices of salary and promotion, and general University correspondence. Further, folder five of box seven’s label was corrected to read “Jane Austen the Tory Artist – Draft Chapters 1, 2, 6,” and some of the previously processed correspondence between Mayo and Routledge was interfiled with the new Routledge folder in this addition.
Addition 1960-1985, Box 8
Approximately one-third cubic foot of additional materials, dating between 1960 and 1985 and consisting mostly of correspondence, was added to the series. Much of the correspondence, including letters to and from colleagues with whom Mayo was collaborating or to whom he was offering advice, has been interfiled in existing folders (mostly in General Correspondence, Box 1, folder 5). When correspondence with an individual exceeded a few exchanges, a new file was made and added to Box 8 (folders 11-15). New folders also contain undated research notes and correspondence relating to Mayo’s contribution to Samuel Richardson: Tercentenary Essays (eds. Margaret Doody and Peter Sabor, Cambridge University Press, 1989).