Norman Holmes Pearson

Norman Holmes Pearson
Portrait of Prof. Norman Holmes Pearson by Deane Keller.

Norman Holmes Pearson (April 13, 1909 – November 5, 1975) was an American academic, author, editor, critic, archivist and prominent figures in establishing American studies as an academic discipline after the end of the Second World War.



Pearson, worked for the Office of Strategic Services in London during World War II, with the mission of fighting Nazi Germany. Returning to Yale he headed the new American studies program, in which scholarship quickly became an instrument of promoting liberty. Popular among undergraduates, the program sought to instruct them in the fundamentals of American civilization and thereby instill a sense of nationalism and national purpose.[1] Also during the 1940s and 1950s, Wyoming millionaire William R. Coe made large contributions to the American studies programs at Yale and at the University of Wyoming. Coe was concerned to celebrate the 'values' of the Western United States in order to meet the 'threat of communism.'[2] The American studies program thus reflected the worldwide anti-Communist ideological struggle.

At Yale University, he was a Professor of English and American Studies.[3] He was twice a Guggenheim fellow, in 1948 and 1956.[4]


Pearson worked with Donald C. Gallup to redirect the focus of the Yale Collection of American Literature, emphasizing archival collections of twentieth-century writers. It is through the extended concept of “archives” that the collection has acquired its extra-literary materials such as photographs, works of art, and memorabilia.[5]


Selected works

Pearson's prolific output encompassed 164 works in 246 publications in 4 languages and 10,656 library holdings.[7]

The most widely held works by Pearson include:

  • The Complete Novels and Selected Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Nathaniel Hawthorne (ed. Pearson), 4 editions published between 1937 and 1965 in English and held by 1,954 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • The Oxford Anthology of American Literature (ed. Pearson), 11 editions published between 1938 and 1963 in English and held by 1,080 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • End to Torment: a Memoir of Ezra Pound by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)(ed. Pearson), 2 editions published between 1979 and 1980 in English and held by 1,068 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Between History & Poetry the Letters of H.D. & Norman Holmes Pearson by H. D. (ed. Pearson), 4 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 949 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • The Letters by Nathaniel Hawthorne (ed. Person), in English and held by 565 libraries worldwide
  • Decade; a Collection of Poems from the First Ten Years of the Wesleyan Poetry Program (ed. Pearson), 1 edition published in 1969 in English and held by 516 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • The Portable Romantic Poets (ed. Pearson), 3 editions published between 1977 and 2006 in English and held by 209 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Poets of the English Language (eds W. H. Auden & Pearson), 6 editions published between 1950 and 1977 in English and held by 1,576 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Restoration and Augustan Poets: Milton to Goldsmith (eds W. H. Auden & Pearson), 4 editions published between 1950 and 1977 in English and held by 201 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Victorian and Edwardian Poets: Tennyson to Yeats (eds. W. H. Auden & Pearson), 3 editions published between 1950 and 1977 in English and held by 196 libraries worldwide.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Michael Holzman, "The Ideological Origins of American Studies at Yale," American Studies 40:2 (Summer 1999): 71-99
  2. ^ Liza Nicholas, "Wyoming as America: Celebrations, a Museum, and Yale," American Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 437-465 in JSTOR
  3. ^ Kopley, Emily. "Art for the Wrong Reason: Paintings by Poets," The New Journal. December 2004.
  4. ^ Winks, Robin W. (1996). Cloak & Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-1961,. p. 321.
  5. ^ Willis, Patricia C. "Collection of American Literature," Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. February 11, 2005.
  6. ^ a b c d H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) et al. (1997). Between History and Poetry: the Letters of H.D. and Norman Holmes Pearson, p. 55; Winks, p. 321.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j WorldCat Identities: Norman Holmes Pearson


Archival resources

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Cecil Masterman — Sir John Cecil Masterman (January 12, 1891 ndash; June 6, 1977) was a noted academic, sportsman and author. However, he was best known as chairman of the Twenty Committee, which during World War II ran the Double Cross System, the ingenious… …   Wikipedia

  • Natural Bridge State Park (Massachusetts) — Natural Bridge State Park Massachusetts State Park …   Wikipedia

  • List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1948 — 1948 U.S. and Canadian Fellows= # John Lawrence Angel, Deceased. Anthropology: 1948. # Richard T. Arnold, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Southern Illinois University: 1948. # Joseph Barrell, Deceased. General Nonfiction: 1948. # Charles Calvert …   Wikipedia

  • Middleton, Thomas — (?1570 1627)    He was born in London, the son of prosperous bricklayer, but there is confusion about his date of birth. The DNB and the National Portrait Gallery give 1570, while several others give 1580. He became renowned as a playwright and… …   British and Irish poets

  • Yale University — Yale redirects here. For other uses, see Yale (disambiguation). Yale University Latin: Universitas Yalensis Motto אורים ותמים (Hebrew) ( …   Wikipedia

  • Bibliography of W. H. Auden — This is a bibliography of books, plays, films, and libretti written, edited, or translated by the Anglo American poet W. H. Auden (1907 1973). See the main entry for a list of biographical and critical studies and external links.Publications by W …   Wikipedia

  • Deane Keller — Captain Deane Keller, U.S. 5th Army, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer, circa 1945 Deane Keller (December 14, 1901–April 12, 1992) was an American artist, academic, soldier, art restorer and preservationist. He taught for 40 years …   Wikipedia

  • Chapman, George — (?1559 1634)    Born near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, it is thought he attended Oxford University, Cambridge or both, but whichever, he was an excellent Greek and Latin scholar. William Browne, in the second book of Britannia s Pastorals, styles… …   British and Irish poets

  • Doughty, Charles Montagu — (1843 1926)    Born at Suffolk, the son of a clergyman landowner, he was educated at both Caius College and Downing College, Cambridge, where he read geology. His paper on the Jostedal Brae glaciers in Norway, read at the 1864 meeting of the… …   British and Irish poets

  • Drayton, Michael — (1563 1631)    It is conjectured that Drayton was born at Hartshill, near Atherstone, Warwickshire, and that he was in the service of Sir Henry Goodere of Powlesworth, Warwickshire, who seems to have played a part in Drayton s education. Just as… …   British and Irish poets

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”