Harvey Curtis Webster Papers, 1862-1974

Accession: 1976-050
Extent: 1.75 linear feet
Restrictions: None
Copyright: Copyright has not been transferred to the University of Louisville.

Biographical Note

In 1936 Professor Harvey Curtis Webster (1906- ) was called to the department of English of the University of Louisville. Thirty-six years later he retired with emeritus status and a seemingly endless string of accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, and community leader. During the mid-1940s, for example, he published a regular column for a local black newspaper, the Louisville Defender; taught an innovative series of college-by-radio classes; and published his study of the art and thought of British novelist Thomas Hardy, On A Darkling Plain (1947).

Brief Description of the Collection

Harvey Curtis Webster's collection includes family history, biographical information and journals. Also included is correspondence, both personal and professional, and teaching materials. Several manuscripts and information concerning Webster's community involvement make up a small portion of the collection. Most of it, however, consists of information he gathered in studying his ancestry and provides an illuminating insight into one source of Webster's intellectual interests and character traits. Materials include a transcribed version of a notebook kept by Elizabeth Curtis in the 19th century and Civil War era correspondence.

His papers also contain information on Webster's flirtation with Communism during the 1930s; the anti-communist hysteria of the late 1940s and early 1950s and how this influenced Webster; the development of the Department of English at the University of Louisville, which began to offer a PhD program in 1965; Webster's involvement in civil rights and community affairs; and information on his specialty of 19th and 20th century American and British literature. The material on Webster's family history includes some original documents.

List of Folders in this Collection

Box 1

  • Family History, circa 1921-1960 (includes transcriptions)
  • Elizabeth Curtis Notebook, 1835-1839 (transcription)
  • Abraham Lincoln/Harvey Curtis Correspondence, 1860 (includes photocopies)
  • Civil War Correspondence and Miscellaneous Biographical Material of W.B. Curtis, 1862-1903
  • Richard Harvey Curtis Correspondence, 1921-1942
  • Family Photographs, n.d. (three folders)
  • Harvey C. Webster Biographical, 1927-1971
  • Harvey C. Webster Biographical, 1961-1974
  • Harvey C. Webster Journal, 1927-1929
  • Harvey C. Webster Journal, 1931-1933
  • Harvey C. Webster Journal, 1946

Box 2

  • Notes on First Class Taught, 1929
  • Notes, Lectures, Clippings, 1935-1944
  • Published Articles and Reviews, 1943-1948
  • Louisville Defender, 1943-1946
  • Dated Reviews and Education- by- Radio, 1948-1957
  • Communist Party, 1953
  • Correspondence, Unpublished Materials, and Clippings, 1958-1962 (two folders)
  • West End Community Council, 1961-1968

Box 3

  • Correspondence, Reviews, Outstanding Educator, Gift of Books, 1963-1974
  • Correspondence and Clippings, 1963-1970 (two folders)
  • "Stranger in Town," n.d., Author Unknown
  • Unidentified Novel by Jack Hettinger, 1974 (eight folders)

Box 4

  • The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy - Intro by HCW
  • Teaching materials for Radio Assisted Correspondence Courses