Arthur Hobson Quinn papers, 1801-1961 (bulk: 1907-1960).
92 boxes (46 linear feet)
- Organized into 7 series: I. Correspondence; II. Works by Quinn; III. Material related to Quinn's role at the University of Pennsylvania; IV. Personal material; V. Playbills and libretti; VI. Works by others; and VII. James A. Herne material.
- Herne, James A., 1839-1901
O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953.
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849.
University of Pennsylvania. Department of English.
University of Pennsylvania.
American literature -- History and criticism.
Theater -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Theater -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 19th century.
Theater -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 20th century.
Theater -- United States -- 20th century.
Theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
- Manuscripts, American -- 20th century.
Manuscripts (document genre)
Writings (document genre)
- The bulk of the collection is in English, with occasional French, Latin, and German.
- Arthur Hobson Quinn was a professor and dean of English and History at the University of Pennsylvania and an internationally recognized authority on the history of American drama. Other than a brief period at the University of Munich during his PhD studies, the whole of Quinn's postsecondary education took place at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.S. in 1894 and his PhD in 1899. The same is true of Quinn's teaching career; hired by the University as an instructor of Mathematics in 1894, he became instructor of English in 1895 and was appointed Assistant Professor of English in 1904. Quinn would eventually hold the title of Welsh Professor of History and English, and serve as Dean of the College from 1912 to 1922. Born in Philadelphia, he had a special interest in that city's role in the development of the American theater. His books on American drama were for many decades the standard reference work for university courses on the subject, and his critical biography of Edgar Allan Poe was crucial in elevating Poe's position from that of an intriguing curiosity to a central figure in American literature. In addition to his scholarly work, Quinn was very active in the theatrical scene of his day, corresponding with important playwrights and theatre professionals, most notably Eugene O'Neill; he was also an avid supporter of amateur drama, both at the University of Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia at large. He died in 1960 in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
- This collection contains material related to Quinn's entire professional life: his correspondence with publishers, playwrights, and theatre professionals; manuscripts (some partial) and notes for four of his books, A history of the American drama from the beginning to the Civil War (1927), The soul of America (1932), Edgar Allan Poe, a critical biography (1941), and his collaborative textbook The literature of the American people (1951), as well as numerous scholarly articles; extensive lecture notes for his classes at the University of Pennsylvania; reviews of contemporary plays; his collection of playbills and libretti; and material related to his research on Edgar Allan Poe and the American realist playwright James A. Herne, including several of Herne's own manuscripts. Although the collection contains a small amount of personal material belong to Quinn and his daughter Kathleen, there is very little material concerning Quinn's family or his private life. For more details, see notes at the series level.
- Penn Provenance:
- Gifts of Kathleen Carberry Quinn and James H. McK. Quinn, August 1984, December 1985, and December 1986
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