Guide to the Louis Mertins Papers, 1912-1984

Processed by Terry Boom; completed by Mary Morganti
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note

Arts and Humanities --Literature --American Literature

Guide to the Louis Mertins Papers, 1912-1984

Collection number: BANC MSS 84/151 c

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
Terry Boom
Completed by:
Mary Morganti
Date completed:
July 1985; August 1997
Encoded by:
Michael C. Conkin
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Louis Mertins Papers, 1912-1984
Collection Number: BANC MSS 84/151 c
Creator: Mertins, Louis, 1885-
Extent: Number of containers: 7 boxes, 1 carton, 1 volume, 1 oversize folder Linear feet: 4.25
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Papers are devoted to Mertins' study of Robert Frost and his life. The collection includes correspondence, chiefly letters from friends and associates concerning Robert Frost and the writing of Mertins' books on Frost, as well as his original manuscripts. Other than a scrapbook containing reviews of Mertins' book, Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking, and newspaper articles relating to its publication, the remainder of the collection consists of materials gathered in the course of Mertin's research, and his extensive clipping files on Frost. Of particular note is a copy of Frost's will and a genealogy of his family, along with newspaper articles recounting many important events in Frost's life. Also of interest are references to the work of Lawrance Thompson, Frost's "official" biographer, in the letters of Daniel Smythe.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research, with the following exceptions:
Manuscripts of Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking, in Boxes 6-7 and Carton 1 RESTRICTED until January 1, 2000.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Louis Mertins Papers, BANC MSS 84/151 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Related Collections

Robert Frost letters and telegrams ... to Louis Mertins, 1932-1960, BANC MSS 73/56 z
Louis Mertins drafts, printed copies of poems, etc., [ca. 1938-1943], BANC MSS C-H 1
Mertins Collection of Robert Frost [book collection, various call numbers]

Materials Cataloged Separately

Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Louis Mertins Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Esther Mertins in June 1984.

Biography

Louis Mertins was a man of great diversity. He attended the William Jewell College from 1905 to 1910, while simultaneously attending the Kansas City Seminary in 1906 and 1907. From 1911 to 1916, Mertins served as a Baptist minister in Missouri, and in the years following, was a poet, lecturer on Western literature, columnist, and radio commentator.
In 1939, Mertins and his wife, Esther Pedersen Erickson, began compiling a critical bibliography of the work of Robert Frost, a personal friend of the Mertins, a project which would occupy much of the rest of their lives. Published in 1947 as The Intervals of Robert Frost, the bibliography was highly praised for its personable, intimate approach to Frost and his work.
Following publication of the bibliography, Mertins began gathering material for a biography on Frost, Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking, which was published in 1965. The title refers to the numerous walks Frost and Mertins enjoyed during Frost's visits to the Mertins' home in Redlands, California. The book was much more than the usual biography with its reminiscences on a friendship that lasted many years.
The Mertins were also avid collectors of "Frostana," including letters, books, and other memorabilia of Robert Frost. Much of their collection has been donated to the University of California, Berkeley.

Scope and Content

The Louis Mertins Papers are almost exclusively devoted to Mertins' study of Robert Frost and his life. The collection includes correspondence, chiefly letters from friends and associates concerning Robert Frost and the writing of Mertins' books on Frost, as well as his original manuscripts, including several edited and revised copies and galleys. Other than a scrapbook containing reviews of Mertins' book, Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking, and newspaper articles relating to its publication, the remainder of the collection consists of materials gathered in the course of Mertin's research, and his extensive clipping files on Frost.
Of particular note in Mertins' files on Frost is a copy of Frost's will and a genealogy of his family, along with newspaper articles recounting many important events in Frost's life. Among these are his 1947 trip to the University of California, Berkeley where he was awarded an honorary degree, his 1958 visit to the campus which coincided with the arrival of much of Mertins' Frost material, and President John F. Kennedy's inauguration, at which Frost recited his poem, "The Gift Outright". Also of interest are the many references to the work of Lawrance Thompson, Frost's "official" biographer, in the letters of Daniel Smythe.

Container List

Boxes 1-2

Series 1: Correspondence, 1935-1984.

Scope and Content Note

Contains letters and telegrams of Louis and Esther Mertins concerning Robert Frost and the writing and publication of Mertins' books on Frost, including some correspondence with Frost and members of his family
box  Box 1, folder  1

Atherton, Gertrude Franklin Horn, 1857-1948 1947

Physical Description: 4
folder  2

Bernheimer, Earle J. 1942-47

Physical Description: 22

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L.M.
folder  3

Carter, Harvey Lewis, 1904- 1966-77

Physical Description: 10

Scope and Content Note

4 letters by L. M.; includes copy of R. F.'s will
folder  4

The Christian Science Monitor 1950

Physical Description: 3
folder  5

Christman, Henry 1966

Physical Description: 2

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by. L.M.
folder  6

Cranston, Earl 1895-1970

Physical Description: 16
folder  7

Culver City, [Calif.], Unified School District 1964

Physical Description: 1

Scope and Content Note

With enclosures relating to dedication of the Robert Lee Frost Auditorium
folder  8

The Current Company 1972

Physical Description: 2

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L. M.
folder  9

Fisher, Dorothy Canfield 1879-1958

Physical Description: 4
folder  10

Frost, Lillian 1949-76

Physical Description: 17

Scope and Content Note

Includes 13 Christmas cards
folder  11

Frost, Robert, 1874-1963 1935-60

Physical Description: 8

Scope and Content Note

3 letters by R. F., with photograph of a poem in Frost's writing
folder  12

Frost, William P. [and family] 1947-68

Physical Description: 10

Scope and Content Note

Cards, many with poems by R. F
folder  13

Gahagan, George Willian 1964-70

Physical Description: 15

Scope and Content Note

2 letters by E.M.; with enclosures from California Friends of Robert Frost
folder  14

Gebo, Dora R. 1963-76

Physical Description: 7
folder  15

Gethyn-Jones, Eric, 1909- 1965-66

Physical Description: 6

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L. M.
folder  16

Gould, Jean, 1909- 1966-84

Physical Description: 22

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L.M.
folder  17

Grade, Arnold E. 1966-68

Physical Description: 8

Scope and Content Note

3 letters by L. M.
folder  18

Green, Charles R. 1947-66

Physical Description: 37

Scope and Content Note

2 letters by L. M.; with enclosures relating to the dedication of the Robert Frost Room in the Jones Library
folder  19

Haines, John Meade, 1924- 1949-65

Physical Description: 8

Scope and Content Note

Includes questionnaire on Frost
folder  20

Henry Holt and Company 1951, 1957

Physical Description: 2

Scope and Content Note

Christmas cards, containing poems by R. F.
folder  21

Jeffers, Robinson 1947

Physical Description: 4
folder  22

Kerr, Clark, 1911- 1958

Physical Description: 2
folder  23

Llewellyn, Richard 1947

Physical Description: 1
folder  24

Lottinville, Savoie,1906- 1958-74

Physical Description: 63

Scope and Content Note

20 letters by L. and/or E. M.
folder  25

Parke-Bernet Galleries 1950-51

Physical Description: 3

Scope and Content Note

With catalog of rare R. F. writings
folder  26

Perry, A. E. 1964-67

Physical Description: 13

Scope and Content Note

6 letters by L. M.; for Univ. of Oklahoma Press
folder  27

Smith, Paul Jordan, 1885- 1942-57

Physical Description: 3
box  Box 2, folder  1-2

Smythe, Daniel 1963-75

Physical Description: 93

Scope and Content Note

10 letters by L. and/or E. M.; includes transcripts of letters by Lesley Frost
folder  3

Sproul, Robert Gordon, 1891-1975 1649-58

Physical Description: 9
folder  4

Stanhope, Barbara 1948-50

Physical Description: 7
folder  5

Stegner, Wallace Earle, 1909- 1947-58

Physical Description: 3
folder  6

Stewart, George Rippey, 1895- 1947

Physical Description: 1
folder  7

Sutton, William Alfred, 1915- 1970-77

Physical Description: 10

Scope and Content Note

2 letters by E. M.; with enclosures relating to R. F
folder  8

Thompson, Lawrance Roger, 1906-1973 1947-58

Physical Description: 14
folder  9

Vernon, Ivan 1964-65

Physical Description: 30

Scope and Content Note

13 letters by L. and/or E. M.; for Univ. of Oklahoma Press
folder  10

Warren, Earl 1947

Physical Description: 1

Scope and Content Note

To Robinson Jeffers, regarding a dinner party for R. F.
folder  11

Western College Association 1947

Physical Description: 1

Scope and Content Note

With enclosure relating to R. F.
folder  12

Letters concerning publication and reviews of The Intervals of Robert Frost 1947-52

Physical Description: 27

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L. M.
folder  13

Letters concerning Robert Frost's 1947 visit to California and birthday celebration for him at the University of California, Berkeley 1946-47

Physical Description: 19

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L. M.; enclosures include copies of speeches given at the presentation
folder  14

Letters concerning Frost's visit to California in 1958, and presentation of Frost collection to the University of California, Berkeley 1957-58

Physical Description: 13
folder  15

Letters concerning Robert Frost's trip to California 1959-60

Physical Description: 12
folder  16

Requests for permission for use of material in Frost biography 1953, 1964-65

Physical Description: 18

Scope and Content Note

11 letters by L. M.
folder  17

Letters from reviewers 1965

Physical Description: 6

Scope and Content Note

1 letter by L. M.
folder  18-20

Miscellaneous letters to Louis Mertins 1941-73

Physical Description: 58

Scope and Content Note

2 letters by L. M.
Box 3, Vol. 1; and,

Boxes 6-7, Carton 1 [RESTRICTED]

Series 2: Manuscripts, 1947-1965, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Contains original manuscripts, typescripts, carbons, galleys, and reviews of The Intervals of Robert Frost, and Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking, including Those Dark Trees; The Life and Conversations of Robert Frost (an early version). Also includes other miscellaneous writings by Mertins, including a talk, a poem, an article, an essay, and a review .
 

The Intervals of Robert Frost, A Critical Biography

box  Box 3, folder  1-9

Original manuscripts, carbons, revised and edited typescript, galleys and page proofs 1947

folder  10

Reviews 1947

 

Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking

 

Those Dark Trees; the Life and Conversations of Robert Frost (early version)

Access Information

[RESTRICTED]
box  Box 6, folder  1-9

Carbon with annotations, typescript n.d.

Access Information

[RESTRICTED]
 

Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking

Access Information

[PARTIALLY RESTRICTED]
box  Ctn. 1, folder  1-22

Original manuscript, edited copy, 1964 and edited, annotated, and revised carbons 1964

Access Information

[RESTRICTED]
box  Box 7, folder  1-3

Galley and page proofs 1964

Access Information

[RESTRICTED]
folder  v. 1

Scrapbook of reviews and articles relating to Robert Frost Life and Talks-Walking 1964-65

 

Miscellaneous

box  Box 3, folder  11

“Talks-Walking with Frost in California” n.d

Scope and Content Note

Typescript of talk given by Mertins
folder  12

"Share Cropper In Memory of Elinor Frost” n.d

Scope and Content Note

Carbon of poem by Mertins
folder  13

"Robert Frost and His Haystacks” n.d

Scope and Content Note

Typescript of article by Mertins
folder  14

"Interpreting a Poet to Himself” n.d

Scope and Content Note

Typescript of letter to Frost
folder  15

Review of Come In and Other Poems by Robert Frost n.d

Scope and Content Note

Carbon of review by Mertins
Box 4, folders 1-19; Oversize folder 1

Series 3: Research Files and Memorabilia, 1912-1968, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Contains miscellaneous materials relating to Robert Frost, including programs, invitations, brochures, advertisements, and other memorabilia, as well as autographs and a facsimile of a handwritten poem by Frost.
 

The Intervals of Robert Frost, A Critical Biography

box  Box 4, folder  1

Source material for Frost biography 1912-65

Scope and Content Note

Includes genealogy of Frost family
folder  2

Grocery list of Robert Frost 1932

folder  3

Will of Louis Mertins, witnessed by Robert Frost 1941

folder  4

Notes of Louis Mertins, Master of Ceremonies at Frost birthday dinner 1947

folder  5

Program of 79th Annual Charter Banquet at 1947 University of California, Berkeley, and invitation to Frost birthday celebration 1947

folder  6

"Mountain Interval Robert Frost” 1949

Scope and Content Note

Paper by college student, Sharon R. Bruns
oversize  Oversize, folder  1 A

Amherst Massachusetts Guide Map 1953

Scope and Content Note

Featuring the Frost home
box  Box 4, folder  7

Guest list of Frost Dinner in Amherst, Mass. March 26, 1954

folder  8

Transcript of "Meet the Press" with Frost as guest Dec. 25, 1955

folder  9

Programs, announcements, other items from the Amherst Bicentennial 1959

Scope and Content Note

Some signed by Frost
folder  10

Notes taken by Esther Mertins at Amherst Bicentennial 1959

folder  11

John F. Kennedy's Official Inaugural Program 1961

Scope and Content Note

Contains poem by Frost
folder  12

Robert Frost Memorial Service 1963

Scope and Content Note

Programs, addresses, invitations
folder  13

The Robert Frost Library brochure n.d.

folder  14

Programs of plays 1968, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Promises to Keep and An Evening's Frost
folder  15

Advertisements, announcements for books on Frost n.d.

folder  16

Programs, sermons, etc. featuring work of Robert Frost n.d.

folder  17

Programs, tickets, etc. to lectures on or by Robert Frost n.d.

folder  18

Catalog of first and rare editions of Frost n.d.

folder  19

Envelopes and mailing wrappers with Frost's signature n.d.

oversize  Oversize, folder  1 A

"My Butterfly" by Robert Frost n.d

Scope and Content Note

Facsimile of handwritten copy
Box 4, folders 20-27; Box 5; Oversize folder 1

Series 4: Clippings, 1932-1978, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Consists of newspaper clippings and periodical articles about Robert Frost.
box  Box 4, folder  20

Newspaper clippings on Robert Frost n.d

folder  21-27

Newspaper clippings on Robert Frost n.d

box  Box 5, folder  1-13

Newspaper clippings on Robert Frost 1955-78

folder  14

Periodical articles on Robert Frost 1954-74

othercontainertype  Oversize, folder  1 A

Clippings and periodical article on Frost 1950-63

Scope and Content Note

Some initialled or signed by Frost