Farrell, James T. Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson

James T. Farrell Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, 1952 Ms.2017.005


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Kira A. Dietz, Archivist

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.2017.005
Title
James T. Farrell Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson1952, 1954
Quantity
0.1 Cubic Feet 1 folder
Creator
Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
Language
English .
Abstract
This collection contains four letters written by American author James T. Farrell to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson between February 1952 and May of 1954.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from James T. Farrell Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Alternate Form Available

This collection has been digitized and is available online .

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: James T. Farrell Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, Ms2017-005, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The James T. Farrell Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson were purchased by Special Collections in April 2016.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the James T. Farrell Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson was completed in February 2017.


Biographical Note: Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson (1896-1985)

Eleanor Gladys Copenhaver (1896-1985) was born on June 15, 1896 in Marion, Virginia, to Bascom Eugene and Laura Lu Scherer Copenhaver. Laura Lu's father founded Marion Female College, which was located next door to the family home, "Rosemont." Laura Lu attended Marion College and later taught English there. Her husband, B.E. Copenhaver, first taught at Marion and then became Smyth County superintendent of schools. Eleanor Copenhaver attended Marion College, then Westhampton College in Richmond, completing a B. A. in English in 1917. After spending a year teaching and time as a camp director, she spent more than ten years working for the YWCA, specializing first in rural community organizing and later in industrial communities. During this time, she met and eventually married Sherwood Anderson in 1933.

From 1937 to 1947 Copenhaver Anderson was head of the National YWCA's Industrial Program, later accepting a 2 year assignment abroad. In 1950, she spent a brief time apart from the YWCA, after it ended programs for employed women, but she was re-hired in 1951 for another ten years for the YWCA and United Community Defense Services, until she retired in 1961.

She spent her later life in both New York City and at "Rosemont" and "Ripshin" in Virginia. As the collection suggests, she maintained an active role in scholarship surrounded Sherwood Anderson. She died on September 12, 1985, in Marion, Virginia.

A lengthier biographical note can be found in finding aid for the Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson Papers in the Sophia Smith Collection. The UNC Chapel Hill "Documenting the American South" Collection also includes an oral history interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson from November 5, 1974 .

Biographical Note: James T. Farrell (1904-1979)

James T. Farrell was but in Chicago, Illinois, in 1904. Raised in Chicago, he eventually attended the University of Chicago from 1925 to 1929. He left school without graduating, however, and took up a career as a writer. In the first half of the 1930s, he authored the Studs Lonigan trilogy. This trilogy led to a series of works written between 1936 and 1953. In 1958, he began another series, intended to be 25 books in length, of which Farrell completed ten. Over the course of his 47+ year career, he wrote 25 novels and 17 collections of short stories. A number of additional works were published posthumously. Farrell died in New York, New York, in August of 1979.

Scope and Content

This collection contains four letters written by author James Farrell to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson between February 1952 and May of 1954. The two had some on-going correspondence of which this represents only a small piece. As the letters suggest, one thing the two had in common was social activism--at various points in time, both worked for and supported various rights and activist causes. The April 8th letter is primarily concerned with Farrell's updates about contacts in the UAW and his efforts to help Anderson get a job with them, if she was interested. It appears she was not, as she was re-hired by her previous employer, the YWCA, in 1951, and she remained with the organization until 1961. The third and fourth letters are more about a piece Farrell wrote on Sherwood Anderson, his influence on Farrell, and Farrell's own writing at the time.

Related Material

Books by and about Sherwood Anderson stored in Special Collections and the general collection of Newman Library are cataloged and can be located using the library's catalog . Microfilmed and bound theses and dissertations about Sherwood Anderson and his work that were collected by researcher Ray White are cataloged and can be located using the library's catalog . Special Collections houses multiple manuscripts relating to Anderson, including: Ms1971-002, Dayton M. Kohler Papers, 1889-1972. Finding aid available online .

Ms1973-002, Sherwood Anderson Collection, 1912-1938. Finding aid available online . Some items in this collection have been digitized and are available online .

Ms2011-004, Sherwood Anderson Photograph and Postcard, 1929, 1939. Finding aid available online . This collection has been digitized and is available online .

Ms2015-020, Welford D. Taylor Collection on Sherwood Anderson, 1918-2006, n.d. Finding aid available online . Some items from this collection have been digitized and are available online .

Ms2015-044, Sherwood Anderson Correspondence with Llewellyn Jones, 1916-1924, n.d. Finding aid available online . Digital images with transcripts available online.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Anderson, Eleanor Copenhaver, 1896-1985
  • Anderson, Sherwood (Sherwood Berton), 1876-1941
  • Authors, American -- 20th century
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Anderson, Eleanor Copenhaver, 1896-1985
  • Anderson, Sherwood (Sherwood Berton), 1876-1941
  • Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979

Container List

folder 1
Letters
1952, 1954
Alternate Form Available

This collection has been digitized and is available online .