Robert D. Mayo (1910-1998) Papers
Scope and Contents
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. There are two additions to the original collection.
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 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 Northwestern University faculty members Richard Ellmann, Jean Hagstrum, and Moody Prior, which is placed in separate folders. 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 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 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 consist primarily 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.
The research notes consist primarily 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 in a single chronologically-arranged folder and span the years 1935-1973.
Mayo's publication files include a general file with correspondence arranged by date and subject files. 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 first 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 from this addition were interfiled with the original series, adding to correspondence regarding The Analyst, course descriptions, Mayo’s notices of salary and promotion, and general University correspondence. The label for what is now box 7, folder 5 was corrected to read "Jane Austen the Tory Artist -- Draft Chapters 1, 2, 6." Some of the previously-processed correspondence between Mayo and Routledge & Kegan Paul was moved to the Routledge folder in this addition.
Addition, 1960-1985, Box 8
The second addition, containing approximately one-third cubic foot of additional materials, dates between 1960 and 1985 and consists mostly of correspondence. Much of the correspondence, including letters to and from colleagues with whom Mayo was collaborating or to whom he was offering advice, was interfiled in existing folders (mostly in General Correspondence, Box 1, folder 5). The remaining correspondence constitutes exchanges with individuals, 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).
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
Robert D. Mayo came to Northwestern University as an Instructor in the Department of English in 1941. He returned to the University after service in the U.S. Army as assistant professor in 1946, became an associate professor in 1953, and professor in 1961, retiring in 1978. Mayo's research interests included 17th and 18th century English periodicals, the novel in 18th and 19th century England and 20th century America, gothic fiction, 20th century criticism, and romantic and modern poetry. His papers span the years 1920 to 1998. The bulk of the papers consist of Northwestern University-related correspondence, and lecture and research notes. The collection is divided into six subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, research notes, papers, and publications.
The papers of Robert D. Mayo are organized into: biographical materials; correspondence (personal; and Northwetern University, divided into general, arranged by date, and subject, arranged by topic); teaching files (arranged by course number, plus miscellaneous topics); research notes (arranged alphabetically by surname); papers; and publications.
The first addition is organized into correspondence (alphabetically by surname); and publications (arranged by title).
Method of Acquisition
The Robert D. Mayo Papers were donated to the University Archives by Pauline Mayo on June 27, 2001, April 30, 2002 and June 24, 2002 as Accessions 01-91, 02-47, and 02-72, respectively. Material from the University Archives Biographical Files was incorporated into this series.
Addition: These additions were donated to the University Archives by Pauline Mayo on June 15, 2005 as accession 05-47.
Addition 2: These additions were donated to the University Archives by Pauline Mayo on June 5, 2007, as accession 07-63.
Three and one half inches of duplicate and extraneous material was discarded. Several copies of The Analyst were added to the University Archives Serials Collection. Five photographs were added to the University Archives Photographic Files.
Lori J. Osborne, March 2003
Addition: Jeremy Abbott; June 23, 2005.
Addition: Janet Olson, December, 2007.
- Guide to the Robert D. Mayo (1910-1998) Papers
- Lori J. Osborne
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
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