Scope and arrangement
The G. Thomas Tanselle Papers contain correspondence, writings, and other materials related to Tanselle's work on bibliographical, bibliophilic, and textual subjects. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, the correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters with many of the prominent figures in the bibliographical world from 1960-2005. Writings include manuscripts, proofs, and related correspondence for each of Tanselle's publications. This series is arranged by date. All correspondence relating to each publication is contained within these files. For example, most of Tanselle's correspondence with Fredson Bowers is contained in the writings series. Tanselle's body of work is quite prolific, and many of the proofs and drafts for these works are represented in this series. His first book, on the early American playwright Royall Tyler (1967), resulted in his being named to the Kennedy Center Advisory Committee for Drama for the Bicentennial in 1974. It was followed by a two-volume Guide to the Study of United States Imprints (1971), which won the Jenkins Prize in Bibliography in 1973 and led to his receiving the Laureate Award of the American Printing History Association in 1987. Four volumes of his collected essays have appeared, entitled Selected Studies in Bibliography (1979), Textual Criticism since Greg (1987; expanded 2005), Textual Criticism and Scholarly Editing (1990), and Literature and Artifacts (1998; translated into Italian, 2004); and he has also written The Life and Work of Fredson Bowers (1993). He has been one of the three co-editors of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of The Writings of Herman Melville since its inception in 1965, and thus far thirteen volumes have appeared. In 1981 he delivered the Hanes Lecture at the University of North Carolina, published under the title The History of Books as a Field of Study (1981); in 1987, the Rosenbach Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, published as A Rationale of Textual Criticism (1989); in 1990, the Malkin Lecture at Columbia University, published as Libraries, Museums, and Reading (1991); in 1991, the Engelhard Lecture at the Library of Congress, published as A Description of Descriptive Bibliography (1992); in 1994, the Lieberman Lecture of the American Printing History Association, published as |Printing History and Other History| in the 1995 volume of Studies in Bibliography; in 1997, the Sandars Lectures at Cambridge University, to be published as Bibliographical Analysis: A Historical Introduction; and in 2005, the Nikirk Lecture at the Grolier Club, published as The Pleasures of Being a Scholar-Collector (2006). The final series is Boards and Committees. It is arranged alphabetically according to the names of the organizations and institutions. These files contain not only internal documents and minutes, but some related correspondence. Tanselle has been a member of many groups throughout his career. He has been president of the Bibliographical Society of America, the Grolier Club, the Society for Textual Scholarship, the Melville Society, The Johnsonians, and the American Friends of the Bibliographical Society (London); he is currently president of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia. He was on the Council of the Bibliographical Society of America for twenty-four years (1970-94), the Council of the Grolier Club for twenty-one (1980-2001), the Council of the American Antiquarian Society for eighteen (1974-92), and many other councils, boards, and advisory committees for shorter periods. He is presently chairman of the Board of Directors of the Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue / North America, Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing; and he has served on the Executive Committee of the Society for Textual Scholarship since its inception in 1979 and on the Board of Directors of the Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., since its inception the same year. In the early years of his work on the Melville edition he served on the Advisory Committee of the Modern Language Association of America's Center for Editions of American Authors (1970-73), revising its Statement of Editorial Principles and Procedures in 1972, and on the successor Committee on Scholarly Editions (1976-81), writing its Introductory Statement in 1977. And in 1993-95, again for the Modern Language Association, he chaired an Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of the Print Record, which published a statement he drafted on the importance of preserving primary records. He has served, or is presently serving, on the advisory boards of the Borges, Burton, Cooper, Swift, and Mark Twain editions and of a number of journals, including Abstracts of English Studies, American Literature, Analytical & Enumerative Bibliography, Book History, Common Knowledge, Contemporary Literature, Leviathan, Literary Research, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Resources for American Literary Study, and Review. In 2004 he was designated an Honorary Member of the Bibliographical Society of America.
The G. Thomas Tanselle papers are arranged in three series:
Arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Includes many of the promient figures in the bibliographical world from 1960- 2005.