Department of Special Collections and University Archives
McFarlin Library. University of Tulsa.  2933 E. 6th St.  Tulsa, OK.  74104-3123 (OKT - OkTU)

Edward Dahlberg papers

Collection 1973-002

Dates:  1960-1971.

Extent:  (5 boxes)

Level of Description:  Item level.

Name of creator(s):  Edward Dahlberg.

Date of creation:  Undetermined.

Scope and Content:  Organized into 3 series:

Series 1: Writings consists of Dahlberg's typescripts and photocopy typescripts of published and unpublished novels, novellas, short stories, essays; galleys and proof pages as well as paste-ups of binding designs and other pre-production material; and works edited by Harold W. Billings in which Dahlberg's works appear (e.g. The Leafless American; Edward Dahlberg. American Ishmael of Letters . A Selection of Critical Essays; A Bibliography of Edward Dahlberg) The writings are arranged alphabetically by title.

Series 2:  Correspondence consists primarily of 121 autograph and typescript letters from Dahlberg to his publisher, William R. Holman and to his editor, Harold W. Billings and date from 1965-1967. In addition, there are 43 autograph and typescript letters from Billings to Holman, dating from this same time period. Included in the correspondence are 13 autograph letters from D. H. Lawrence to Dahlberg in reference to Dahlberg's novel, Bottom Dogs, and 24 typescript letters from Dahlberg to novelist/poet, Fanny Howe, as well as letters to Dahlberg's wife, R'lene. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Series 3:  Miscellaneous consists of a photograph of Dahlberg, a 8mm movie film shot at the Harold Billings home, press cutting of an article about Dahlberg, and an autograph note by Dahlberg in reference to the history of the celebration of stellar time.

Administrative/Biographical History: 

Access and Copyright:  This material is housed off-site and will require special arrangements for anticipated use. Contact the Department of Special Collections.

Language and Scripts:

Finding aid/Inventory:

Provenance/Source of Acquisition:  The preponderance of the collection was purchased from The Brick Row Book Shop in 1973; the D. H. Lawrence letters to Dahlberg were acquired from Maurice F. Neville Rare Books prior to 1984 and the Dahlberg letters to Fanny Howe from In Our Time Booksellers in 1988. Additional Dahlberg correspondence was acquired from Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books in 1991.

Date(s) of description:   Milissa Burkart, Jan 1992.

Access Points:

Subject Headings 

Personal names

Corporate names



Series 1:  Writings

  “Abel's Confession”  
Photocopy of a typed draft unpublished novella, 33p, 2 copies of page 1.
  Because I Was Flesh  
New Directions, New York, 1965.  Press cuttings of reviews.
  A Bibliography of Edward Dahlberg  
Harold W. Billings, ed. Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin. 1971.
Galley proof with editor's and printer's handwritten marks.
Photocopy of a typed Foreword to be inserted, with editor's and printer's marks, 5p.
Proof pages with handwritten revisions.
Paste-up design dummy with editor's and printer's handwritten marks; handwritten production notes, 2p.
Proofs of title page in varying stages of production, with handwritten and typed printer's marks, 6 pieces.
Velox proofs and 4 photo-negatives of proposed illustrations.
Binding design dummy constructed by William R. Holman. Not used because of the cloth being too bright in color.
  Can These Bones Live  
New Directions, New York, 1960.
Photocopy of title page and frontispiece, 2 copies.
  The Carnal Myth  
Weybright and Talley, New York, 1968.
Galley proofs.
Press cutting of review.
  “A Coruscation of Aphorisms”  
Press cutting of article listing some examples of aphorisms [collected from Dahlberg’s “Confessions”] from Chicago Tribune, Feb 16, 1969.
  [Confession of God's Own Fool]  
Photocopy of a typed [incomplete novella] with handwritten revisions found tucked into drafts of “The Tailor's Daughter,” 57p.
  “Don Pablo”  
Photocopy of a typed draft composed by Harold Billings from Dahlberg's notes and draft fragments, with handwritten revisions, 17p. (See also The Olive of Minerva)
  Edward Dahlberg American Ishmael of Letters. A Selection of Critical Essays  
Harold W. Billings, ed. Roger Beacham Publisher, Austin, 1968.
Galley proof with handwritten revisions and editor's marks.
Handwritten and typed list of queries, 3p.
Typed Preface by Harold W. Billings, with printer's marks, 2p.
Typed  Acknowledgment, with printer's marks, 2p.
Typed Introduction by Harold W. Billings, with handwritten revisions and printer's marks, 17p.
  Typed and photocopied versions of contributor's essays excised from various sources and assembled for set copy:  
“Edward Dahlberg's Book of Lazarus,” by Jonathan Williams, p22.
“An Introduction to Bottom Dogs.”  D.H. Lawrence, p36.
The Flea of Sodom. William Carlos Williams, p51.
The Sorrows of Priapus.  Sir Herbert Read, p63.
“Edward Dahlberg's Moral Book of Erotic Beasts.” Joseph Evans Slate, p68.
“A Great Stylist: The Prophet As Critic.”  Allen Tate, p89.
“Cudgels and Distaffs, for the Rebirth...” Victor Lipton, p93.
“Edward Dahlberg's Because I Was Flesh.” Josephine Herbst, p99.
“The Eloquence of Failure.”  by Alfred Kazin, p114.
Foreword to Alms for Oblivion. Sir Herbert Read, p117.
“Alms for Oblivion, and Others.” Frank MacShane, p121.
“A Man On His Own,” Frank MacShane, p129.
“The Benevolent Scourge: Edward Dahlberg and Modern American Letters.” Robert Kindrick, p138.
“An Introduction to Edward Dahlberg Omne Animale Post Coitu Triste.” Paul Carroll, p160.
“A Man in the Wilderness.” Kay Boyle, p172.
Typed draft selected bibliography with handwritten revisions, p179.
Typed notes on contributors, 3p.
Typed Index, 15p.
Typed list of queries, 1p.
Page proofs with handwritten revisions, editor's and printer's marks.
Corrected page proofs with handwritten production notes.
Trial type settings for contents, acknowledgments, dedication, and introduction pages, with editor's and printer's notes, 15p.
Title page and chapter heading page layouts.
Paste-up and blank dummy for binding design.
Photocopy of a typed proposed dust jacket copy, 3p; proposed dust jacket.
Handwritten and typed publicity announcements and announcement layouts, 6 pieces.
Press cuttings of reviews.
Miscellaneous handwritten and typed related production notes, 3p.
  The Edward Dahlberg Reader

Paul Carroll, ed. New Directions, New York, 1967.

Press cuttings of reviews.
  Epitaphs of Our Times. The Letters or Edward Dahlberg

G. Braziller, New York, 1967.

Press cutting of review. (See also The Edward Dahlberg Reader)
  The Gold of Ophir. Travels, Myths and Legends in the New World.  
Selected by Edward Dahlberg. Dutton, New York, 1972.
Advance uncorrected proof. (See on-line catalogue for record)
  The Leafless American  
Harold Billings, ed. Roger Beacham Publisher, Austin, 1967.
Proof of title page.
Carbon copy typed Acknowledgment, 1p.
Handwritten and typed list of contents with editor and printer's marks, 2p.
  “The Leafless American.”  
Typed and signed essay, 6p.
A broadside. 1 of 50 copies printed for friends of Bernice and Harold Billings. 1968.
Proof copy of pamphlet with handwritten notes for the printer. 2 copies.
Pamphlet with marbled paper wrapper. 1 of 2 copies printed for friends of Bernice and Harold Billings. (See on-line catalogue for record)
  “The Malice of Witlings”  
Typed essay with handwritten revisions, 8p.
  “Stephen Crane: American Genius”  
Photocopy of a typed essay with handwritten revisions, 4p.
Typed and signed revised draft, 4p.
Galley proof with handwritten revisions.
Corrected galley proofs.
Another set.
Typesetting galley proofs and specimen pages.
Page proofs with handwritten revisions, editor's and printer's marks, and insert page.
Typed and photocopied draft proposed dust jacket copy and possible publicity announcement, 1p.
Original preliminary ink sketches by Barbara Holman for proposed title page, 7 pieces.
Paste-up design dummy with handwritten notes to the printer.
Typed draft of a proposed publicity blurb, 1p.
Typescript of another version with handwritten revisions, 2p.
Typed corrected draft with printer's marks, 2p.
Final printed version, 2 copies, 1 copy with handwritten revisions.
Miscellaneous related handwritten and typed notes in reference to typesetter's notes, paper order, 7 pieces.
Press cutting of a publisher's announcement.
  Letters of Ford Madox Ford  
Richard M. Ludwig, ed.
Press cutting of book review by Dahlberg.
  The Life and Work of Ford Madox Ford  
Frank MacShane.
Press cutting of book review by Dahlberg.   (See Letters of Ford Madox Ford)
  “Make Him A Legend In His Own Time: Writing About Edward Dahlberg.”  
Fred S. Moramarco.
Article appearing in "The Anatomy of Melancholy or Virtue Rewarded; the Making of the Dissertation."  University of Utah Papers in Language and Literature, No. 1, 1969.
  “The March of the Newer Generations”  
Photocopy of a short story, Dahlberg's second published writing from The Occident, April 1923.
  The Olive of Minerva, or the Comedy of a Cuckold.  
Crowell, New York, 1976.
Photocopy of a typed incomplete draft with handwritten and photocopied revisions, 18p; photocopy of same.
Photocopy of a typed incomplete draft, [another version], 15p.
Typed incomplete draft, [a third version], 22p.
Photocopy of a typed draft marked “final final version 27 Oct 1969,” with handwritten revisions [by Harold Billings] and printer's marks, 25p.
Photocopy of a handwritten list of corrections from Dahlberg to Billings, dated 2 Sept 1969, 25p.
(See also “The Tailor's Daughter”)
  “Our Avant-Garde Illiterates”  
Photocopy of a typed [essay] with handwritten and photocopied revisions, pages numbered 31-39.
Carbon copy typed draft, another version, pages numbered 31-37.
  “The Russian Wrestler”  
(See “The Tailor's Daughter”)
  “The Sick, the Pessimist, and the Philosopher”  
Photocopy of a short story, Dahlberg's first published writing from The Occident, Nov 1922, 4p.
  Sing O Barren  
Routledge, London, 1947.
Photocopy of a Foreword by Sir Herbert Read, 2 copies.
  [The Tailor's Daughter]  
Proposed collection of 3 love tales: “The Olive of Minerva,” “The Russian Wrestler,” and “The Tailor's Daughter.”  Unpublished due to difficulties over typesetting and the typesetter's desire to censor Dahlberg's text. [1969].
“The Tale of the Russian Wrestler.” Typed short story originally entitled, “The Tale of the Russian Wrestler and the Mustached Wife,” with handwritten revisions and marked “editor's version,” 9p.
Photocopy of a typed draft, another version, marked “corrected version,” with handwritten revisions, editor’s and printer's marks, 11p.
“The Tailor's Daughter.”  Photocopy of a typed short story with handwritten and photocopied revisions, 13p.
Photocopy of a typed draft, another version, with photocopied revisions, 26p.
Another copy.
Another copy marked “final version Oct 27, 1969.”
Photocopy of a typed Introduction, 1p.
Proofs of title page in 2 versions with printer's marks.
Handwritten production notes, 3p.
Woodcut proof by Barbara Whitehead for proposed frontispiece.
  “Thanks Forevermore: The Exchequer of the Poet”  
Photocopy of a typed lecture delivered at University of Missouri at Kansas City, March 22, 1965, 9p.

Series 2:  Correspondence

1:1 Beacham, Publisher, Roger

Beacham to John Erwin, Jr. (University of Minnesota Press). 1 typed and signed letter, 1966.

Best Authors

Best Authors to Roger Beacham, Publisher. 1 typed and signed letter, 1968.

Billings, Harold W.

Billings to William R. Holman. 5 handwritten and signed letters, 38 typed and signed letters, 2 typed and signed postcards, 3 handwritten and signed postcards. 1965-1967. (See also  Dahlberg to Billings)
1:2 Bookcast
Bookcast to unknown recipient. 1 typed and signed letter, 1968.

Brooke Typographic Service

Brooke Typographic Service to William R. Holman. 1 typed and signed letter, 1966.

Braziller Inc., George

Braziller Inc. to Roger Beacham, Publisher. 1 typed and signed letter, 1969.

Cloutier, Arthur

Cloutier to Roger Beacham, Publisher. 1 photocopied typed and signed letter, 1967.
1:3 Dahlberg, Edward
Dahlbert to Harold W. Billings.   6 carbon copy typed and signed letter, 1 photocopy of a typed and signed letter, and 1 typed and signed letter with additional handwritten and signed letter Billings to Holman on verso. 1965-1967.
Dahlberg to R'lene Dahlberg (wife).  2 typed and signed letters, 1958-1961; 1 handwritten and signed letter found in a copy of Sing O Barren, Routledge, London, 1947.

Dahlberg too Steve Dahlberg (nephew). 1 typed and signed letter, 1963.

Dahlberg to Lew David Feldman. 1 typed and signed letter, 1963.
Dahlberg to Captain Hewitt. 1 typed and signed letter, 1963.
Dahlberg to William R. Holman. 21 typed and signed letters, 1965-1966.
Dahlberg to William R. Holman.  25 typed and signed letters, 1967-1968.
Dahlberg to William R. Holman. 1 handwritten and signed letter, 25 typed and signed letters, 1969.
Dahlberg to Fanny Howe née Delafield (novelist/poet). 24 typed and signed letters, 1964-1967.
Dahlberg to Elizabeth Sparhawk Jones. 1 typed and signed letter, 1962.
Dahlberg to Lawrence. 1 typed letter, Apr 26.
Dahlberg to Sir Herbert Read.  1 typed letter, 1961.
Dahlberg to Warren Roberts.  3 typed and signed letters, 1963-1964.
Dahlberg to Roosevelt.  1 typed and signed letter.  1 typed letter, 1963.
Dahlberg to Allen Tate.  1 typed and signed letter, 1963.
Dahlberg to Edmund Wilson.  1 carbon copy typed letter, 1958.
  Delafield, Fanny  (See Howe, Fanny)   
  Herbst, Josephine

Herbst to William R. Holman.  1 typed and signed letter, 1967.

  Holman, William R.

Holman to Harold W. Billings.  1 carbon copy typed letter, no date.

1:10 Lawrence, David Herbert

Lawrence to Dahlberg.  13 handwritten and signed letters, 1921, 1928-1929.

1:11 The Nation

The Nation to William R. Holman. 1 typed and signed letter, 1968; photocopy of layout for proposed publicity announcement, 1p.

  The New York Review of Books

New York Review of Books to Roger Beacham, Publisher.  1 typed and signed letter, 1968.

  Pond, E.

Handwritten and signed agreement between Dahlberg in reference to subletting of an apartment, 1p. 1951.

  Ransom, Harry (Chancellor, University of Texas at Austin)

Ransom to William R. Holman. 1 typed and signed letter, 1967.

  Schneider, Duane (Ohio University)

Schneider to Roger Beacham.  1 typed and signed letter, 1967; proof copy of review appearing in Library Journal, June 1967; photocopy of same.

1:12 Whittaker, Edward Keith

“Touching Pitch: A Reader's Garland for Edward Dahlberg.”  Unpublished thesis, University of British Columbia, 1968.


Series 3:  Miscellaneous

1:ALLl Photograph of Dahlberg taken by Jonathan Williams.  
  Miscellaneous papers including a photocopy of excised bibliography of Dahlberg's works.  
  Photocopy of a press cutting of a Book Week article about Dahlberg, 1968.  
  Dahlberg quote excised from unidentified source.  
  Handwritten notes in reference to celebration of stellar time, 1p.  
  Unidentified Dahlberg note, 1p.  
  Kodachrome 8mm movie film taken in Sept 1968.  Pictured are Dahlberg, William R. Holman and Harold W. Billings and his three children.  
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Revised: 05/10/11.