Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers,
Date (inclusive): ca. 1930s-1969
Collection Number: Mss 13
Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-
4 linear feet
University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
Physical Location: Del Sur.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers. Mss 13. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa
Purchase from Vincent Godfrey Burns, 1969.
Vincent Godfrey Burns (1893-1979) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Pennsylvania State College (B.S., 1916),
Harvard University (A.M., 1917), Union Theological Seminary (B.D., 1922), and Columbia University (post-graduate study, 1922-1925).
He enlisted in the U.S. Army, 1918, and served on the staff of General Foote, 163rd F.A. Brigade, First Army Corps A.E.F.
in France. He was a poet, Congregationalist minister, journalist, literary editor, public speaker, and screenwriter. In 1962
he was appointed Poet Laureate of Maryland.
Further biographical information may be found in the guides to the Burns collections at the Maryland Historical Society and
the University of Maryland Libraries.
Scope and Content of Collection
In 1969 the UCSB Library purchased several autographed books and a small amount of manuscript material from the author, Vincent
Godfrey Burns. Burns had lived in Santa Barbara for a time and several of his poems were inspired by or have references to
The manuscript portion of the collection primarily contains material relating to Burns' poems, written in a populist style,
often on patriotic and homespun American subjects. It includes correspondence, printed and manuscript drafts of poems, brochures,
reviews, programs, notices, and clippings.
Burns books include
I am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! (with his brother, Robert Elliott Burns, made into a film, 1932),
I'm in Love with Life (1933),
Female Convict: As Told to Vincent G. Burns (1934),
America, I Love You, and Other Poems (1957),
Flame against the Night (1960),
The Four Tests of a Loyal American (1966),
The Man Who Broke a Thousand Chains: The Story of Social Reformation of the Prisons of the South (1968), and
Heart on Fire (1969). These and other books by Burns have been cataloged separately and may be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Libraries
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Burns, Vincent Godfrey, -- Archives.
The Maryland Historical Society Library: Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers Collection (MS 2493), 1918-1979.
The University of Maryland Libraries: Vincent Godfrey Burns [Papers?], .5 linear feet, 1935-1970.
Indiana University, Lilly Library: Orson Welles Mss (includes Burns correspondence).