Fonds SCA4-GA2 - Robert Alden Sanborn fonds

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Robert Alden Sanborn fonds

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  • Textual record

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Previously known as the Mary Farley Sanborn collection.

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Biographical history

Robert Alden Sanborn, a 20th century American writer of both poetry and prose, was born November 3, 1877 in Boston, Massachusetts to Frederick C. Sanborn, a clerk, and Mary Farley Sanborn (1853-1941), a writer. After studying at Harvard from 1896 to 1898 he began his writing career as a journalist before he took to writing as his principal occupation. He published two books of poetry, Horizons (Boston: Four Seas Co., 1916) and The Children and Judas (Boston: B. Humphries, 1954), as well as a fantasy novel, Mr. Mudge Cuts Across (Los Angeles: Suttonhouse, c1937). Olive Burchfiel (1888-1960) acted as Sanborn's editor for several years.

Sanborn and his wife Virginia (nee Berry Wright) (1887-1949) married in New York City on October 10, 1919. Together they had two children: Georgia-Mary (September 7, 1920-April 13, 2006) and Robert Berry (January 14, 1927-February 9, 1983). Sanborn died February 15, 1966 in Norfolk, Massachusetts.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of unpublished typescripts and manuscripts by Robert Alden Sanborn. Influenced by the work of Carl Jung, the unpublished works are predominantly related to Sanborn's interest in the social development of children and several of the drafts consist of narratives about young girls referred to as "Little Anna" and "Bunty". Also included is collected ephemera and correspondence between Sanborn and his family, colleagues and publishing contacts, including his editor Olive Burchfiel (1888-1960), as well as writing by Sanborn's mother, Mary Farley Sanborn, including a published version of "The Valor Ranch" (1914); a typescript version of the poem "My Eighth of May"; and a clipping of the poem "The Barrel-Stave."

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Purchased from Christian Verbeke, Antiquarian Bookseller, in 1969.


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Revised by PH in October 2018.
Redescribed July 2019 by DR

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