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Harvey Curtis Webster papers

Identifier: 1976_050-UA

The papers document the family history, academic career, political activities, and personality of Harvey Curtis Webster. The family papers include some transcripts and photocopies compiled by Webster. A collection in Rare Books includes correspondence with Dario and Madeline Covi from 1986 to 1988, approximately one hundred poems, typescript, with holograph emendations, and an unpublished manuscript of a critical work on C. P. Snow (1905- ). Also present is memorial essay written by Donald M. Fiene (1934- ).


  • circa 1645-1974


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville and there are no additional restrictions.


1.5 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

In 1936 Professor Harvey Curtis Webster (1906-1988) was called to the Department of English of the University of Louisville; he retired thirty-six years later. He was both a scholar and a community leader. During the mid-1940s, he published a regular column for a local black newspaper, the Louisville Defender; taught an innovative series of college-by-radio classes; and published his study of the art and thought of British novelist Thomas Hardy, On A Darkling Plain (1947). His papers also contain information on Webster's flirtation with communism during the 1930s; the anti-communist hysteria of the late 1940s and early 1950s and how this influenced Webster; the development of the Department of English at the University of Louisville, which began to offer a Ph.D. program in 1965; Webster's involvement in civil rights and community affairs; and information on his specialty of nineteenth and twentieth century American and British literature. The material on Webster's family history includes some original documents. Most of it, however, consists of information he gathered in studying his ancestry, which provides some insight into one source of Webster's intellectual interests and character traits. Professor Webster donated his personal papers to the University of Louisville Archives in 1976.

Harvey Curtis Webster Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752