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Guide to the Ralph Ellison Collection
MS 249  
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Table of contents What's This?

Collection Contents

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Biograhical material 1950-1973

Physical Description: 4 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains the few items signed by Ellison or directly related to his writing.
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[ACS] Card - "Greetings and best wishes" n.d.

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[TDS] "from Shadow and Act" - review for Saturday Review May 17, 1958

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Photocopy of Ellison's review of There is a Tree More Ancient than Eden by Leon Forrest with [TLS] note from Selma Shapiro, Random House to "Dear Barbara". Note concerns the photocopy. February 15, 1973

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[Ralph Ellison signing autographs] - B/W Photograph, 8" x 10" n.d.

box-folder 1:5-34 - 2:1-27

Writings by Ellison 1938-1977

Physical Description: 56 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains photocopies of short stories, essays, reviews, and speeches written by Ellison.
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Short Stories

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"Backwacking: a Plea to the Senator", Massachusetts Review, v.18:3 Autumn 1977

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"Night-Talk", Quarterly Review of Literature, v.16 1972

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"A Song of Innocence", The Iowa Review, v.1:2 Spring 1970

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"Juneteenth", Quarterly Review of Literature, v.13:3-4 1965

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"Harlem is Nowhere", Harpers magazine, v.229:1371 August 1964

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"It Always Breaks Out", Partisan Review, v.30:1 Spring 1963

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"The Roof, the Steeple and the People", Quarterly Review of Literature, v.10:3 1959-1960

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"Prologue to Invisible Man", Partisan Review, v.19 January - February 1952

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"Battle Royal", '48: The Magazine of the Year, v.2:1 January 1948

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"King of the Bingo Game", Tomorrow, v.4:3 November 1944

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"Mr. Toussaint", Negro Story, v.1:3 October - November 1944

Scope and Content Note

[reprinted from Common Ground]
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"Mister Toussan", Negro Story, v. 1:1 July - August 1944

Scope and Content Note

[reprinted from New Masses, November 4, 1941]
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"Flying Home", Cross Section: A Collection of New American Writing 1944

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"Mister Toussan", New Masses, v.23 November 4, 1941

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"They found Terror in Harlem", Negro Digest, v.1:1 July 1940

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"The Birthmark", New Masses, v.36:2 July 2, 1940

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"Slick Gonna Learn", Direction, v.2:5 September 1939

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Essays - Music & Art

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"The Golden Age Time Past", Esquire, v.50 January 1959

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"As the Spirit Moves Mahalia", The Saturday Review of Literature, v.41 September 27, 1958

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"Resourceful Human" & "Remembering Jimmy", The Saturday Review of Literature, v.41 July 12, 1958

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"The Charlie Christian Story", The Saturday Review of Literature v.41 May 17, 1958

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"The Swing to Stereo", The Saturday Review of Literature, v.41 April 26, 1958

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"Introduction to Flamenco", The Saturday Review of Literature, v.37 December 11, 1954

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Essays & Speeches on Politics & Culture

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"What America Would be Without Blacks", Time, v. 95 April 6, 1970

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"Harlem's America", New Leader, v.49 September 26, 1966

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"Tell it Like it is, Baby", Nation, v.20 September 20, 1965

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"The Way It Is", New Masses, v.44 October 20, 1942

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"A Congress Jim Crow Didn't Attend", New Masses, v.35 May 14, 1940

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"Camp Lost Colony", New Masses, v.34 February 6, 1940

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"Judge Lynch in New York", New Masses, v.33 August 15, 1939

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Essays & Reviews

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"The Little Man at Chehaw Station: The American Artist and His Audience", The American Scholar, v.47 Winter 1977-78

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"On Initiation Rites and Power: Ralph Ellison Speaks at West Point", Contemporary Literature, v.15:2 Spring 1974

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"The Novel as a Function of American Democracy", Wilson Library Bulletin, v.41:10 June 1967

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"Hidden Name and Complex Fate", Authors Guild Bulletin, February 1965

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"On Becoming a Writer", Commentary, v.38:4 October 1964

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"The Blues", New York Review of Books, v.1:12 February 6, 1964

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"A Rejoinder", The New Leader, v.47 February 3, 1964

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"The World and the Jug", The New Leader, v.46 December 9, 1963

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"Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke", Partisan Review, v.25 Spring 1958

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"Stepchild Fantasy", The Saturday Review of Literature, v.29:23 June 9, 1946

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"Richard Wright's Blues", Antioch Review, v.5:2 June 1945

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"Native Land", New Masses, v.42 June 2, 1942

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"Transition", Negro Quarterly, v.1:1 Spring 1942

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"The Great Migration", New Masses, v.51 December 2, 1941

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"Recent Negro Fiction", New Masses, v.40 August 5, 1941

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"Richard Wright and Recent Negro Fiction", Direction, v.4:5 1941

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"Negro Prize Fighter", New Masses, v.37 December 17, 1940

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"Argosy Across the USA", New Masses, v.37 November 26, 1940

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"Big White Fog", New Masses, v.37 November 12, 1940

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"Southern Folklore", New Masses, v.37 October 29, 1940

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"Romance in the Slave Era", New Masses, v.35 May 29, 1940

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"Hunters and Pioneers", New Masses, v.34 March 19, 1940

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"TAC Negro Show" , New Masses, v.34 February 27, 1940

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"The Good Life", New Masses, v.34 February 20, 1940

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"Javanese Folklore", New Masses, v.34 December 26, 1939

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"Ruling-class Southerner", New Masses, v.30 December 5, 1939

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"Practical Mystic", New Masses, v.28 August 16, 1938

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Interviews with Ellison 1955-1978

Physical Description: 11 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains interviews with Ellison.
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"The Essential Ellison" Interview by Ishmael Reed, Quincy Troupe, and Steve Cannon, Y'Bird , 1:1 1978

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"Profiles (Ralph Ellison): Going to the Territory" Interview by Jervis Anderson, The New Yorker, v.52:40 November 22, 1976

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"An Interview with Ralph Ellison: Visible Man" Interview by Howard Sage, Pulp, v.2:2 Summer 1976

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Interview with Ralph Ellison by John Graham, The Writer's Voice; Conversations with Contemporary Writers 1973

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"Indivisible Man" Interview by James A. McPherson, Atlantic Monthly, v.206:6 December 1970

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"A Very Stern Discipline: An Interview with Ralph Ellison" Interview by James Thompson, Lennox Raphael, and Steve Cannon, Harper's, v.234:1402 March 1967

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"An American Novelist Who Sometimes Teaches", New York Times Magazine November 20, 1966

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"An Interview with Ralph Ellison" Interview by Allen Geller, The Tamarack Review, v.32 1964

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"That Same Pain, That Same Pleasure: An Interview" Interview by Richard G. Stern, December, No.3 Winter 1961

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"The Art of Fiction" An Interview by Alfred Chester and Vilma Howard, Paris Review, No.8 1955

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"What's Wrong with the American Novel?", American Scholar, v.24:4 Autumn 1955

Scope and Content Note

[stenographic record of a discussion held at a private residence in Manhattan on Tuesday Evening, July 26, 1955. Present were Stephen Becker, Simon Michael Bessie, Ralph Ellison, Albert Erskine, Hiram Haydn, Jean Stafford, William Styron.
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Writings about Ellison 1963-1971

Physical Description: 2 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains three bibliographies and a reprint about Ellison and Baldwin.
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"A Bibliography of Ralph Ellison's Published Works" by Bernard Benoit & Michael Fabre, Studies in Black Literature, v.2:3 Autumn 1971

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Addenda to "A Ralph Waldo Ellison Bibliography 1914-1968" by Carol Polsgrove, American Book Collector, v.20:3 November - December 1969

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"A Ralph Waldo Ellison Bibliography 1914-1967" by R.S. Lillard, American Book Collector, v.19:3 November 1968

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Reprint of "Aspiring We Should Go" by Howard Levant, Journal of the Mid-Continent American Studies Association, v.4:2 Fall 1963