A Guide to the Erskine Caldwell Papers, n.d. Caldwell, Erskine Papers Ms1972-001

A Guide to the Erskine Caldwell Papers, n.d.

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1972-001


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2007 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Erskine Caldwell Papers n.d.
Physical Characteristics
1 container; 0.1 cu. ft.
Collection consists of five typescript short stories and a set of galley proofs written and signed by Erskine Caldwell.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Erskine Caldwell Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Erskine Caldwell Papers, Ms1972-001, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Erskine Caldwell Papers were purchased by Newman Library in 1972.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Erskine Caldwell Papers commenced and was completed in April 2007.

Biographical Information

Erskine Caldwell was born in the town of White Oak, Georgia, on December 17, 1903. Caldwell's schooling was fragmentary; he attended high school sporadically and took college courses at the University of Pennsylvania, at Erskine College, in South Carolina, and at the University of Virginia.

As a young man, he worked in Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Baltimore as a mill laborer, farmhand, cotton picker, cook, stagehand in a burlesque house, and book reviewer. His prolific career as an author was launched by "The Bastard" (1929), "Poor Fool" (1930), and "American Earth" (1931).

But it was the 1932 publication of "Tobacco Road" that assured Caldwell's success. In 1933, "Tobacco Road" was dramatized and ran for a record-breaking seven years on Broadway, despite an obscenity charge that was brought against it by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. The charge was dismissed, as was a similar charge against Caldwell's next novel, "God's Little Acre" (1933).

In 1984, Caldwell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1985, the Georgia Endowment for the Humanities invited him back to his native state for a series of teas and lectures in his honor.

A heavy smoker for all of his adult life, Caldwell twice underwent surgery for the removal of portions of his lungs. Lung cancer finally overtook him on April 11, 1987 in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Information quoted from: Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 3, 2nd ed., (Detroit: Gale Research, 1998), 223-224.

Scope and Content

Collection contains five, signed typescripts of short stories including "Honeymoon," "A Day's Wooing," "Midsummer Passion," "Where the Girls were Different," and "Nacogdoches, Texas;" as well as a set of galley proofs for "Georgia Boy."

Contents List

Signed Typescript of "Honeymoon"
Signed Typescript of "A Day's Wooing"
Signed Typescript of "Midsummer Passion"
Signed Typescript of "Where the Girls were Different"
Signed Typescript of "Nacogdoches, Texas"
Signed Galley Proof of "Georgia Boy"