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David Morton Collection, 1914-1960

details | guide | text

Author

Archives Staff

Title

David Morton Collection

Date

1914-1960

Repository

Western Kentucky University Library special CollectionsBowling Green, Kentucky, 42101-3576 USA

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item] David Morton Collection, 1914-1960, MSS 50,Library Special Collections, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green.

Extent

2 boxes, 22 folders, 1,045 items.

Biography/History

David Morton was born in Elkton, Kentucky, on February 21, 1886, the son of Thomas Beckwith and Mattie (Petrie) Morton. Following graduation from Vanderbilt University in 1909, he entered newspaper work as a reporter for the Louisville Evening Post, later being employed by the Associated Press; and then, he became an editorial writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Louisville Herald. He contributed editorials to the New York Sun and the New York Evening Post, also.

From newspaper work, Morton turned to teaching in 1915, and he remained in this profession until his death. He taught English literature at the Louisville Boys' High School from 1915 to 1918, and from 1918 to 1924 he taught English and history on the secondary level in Morristown, New Jersey. In 1924 he became an English assistant professor at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, achieving full professorship in 1926 and filling that role until 1945. Morton married Elizabeth Kidder Merrick in 1943. This marriage lasted only a short period of time as separation soon occurred.

After leaving Amherst, he was poet-in-residence at Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Massachusetts, for a few years. Then in the early 1950s, Morton became Professor of English in the overseas branch of the American International College in the Azores. Ill health forced him to return to New Jersey in 1957, and death came to him on June 13, 1957.

His first published work was Ships in Harbor, 1921. Many other books of poems followed. Some of them were: Harvest, 1924; Nocturnes and Autumnals, 1928; A Man of Earth, 1930; Earth's Processional, 1932; Spell Against Time, 1936; All in One Breath, 1939; Angle of Earth and Sky, 1941; Poems: 1920-1945, 1945; Like a Man in Love, 1955; and Journey Into Time, 1958.

Morton compiled anthologies and wrote some books concerning poetry. He was a noted sonneteer, also. Throughout his career, Morton received many honors and won many prizes for his poetry. He lectured at various times at Western Kentucky University, and in 1949 he served as a vice president of The Poetry Society of America. The University of Kentucky conferred a honorary Doctorate of Letters upon Morton in 1952 as did the University of Massachusetts in 1953.

Scope and Content

The major portion of the collection is comprised of the writings (essays, books, poems, etc.) of David Morton. The correspondence includes that of the Morton family (sisters and brother of David) with Elizabeth Coombs, the librarian of the Kentucky Library, 1957-1960 (28 items); correspondence of Coombs with Margaret Carpenter, a friend of David Morton, who made arrangements for the publication of, and wrote the foreword to, the book Journey Into Time, 1958-1959 (25); letters to Morton from various friends and authors, 1919-1955 (8); and letters of Morton to his parents in Louisville, written from Ireland in 1929 (typescript, 9), to his sister, and to a friend, 1929-1956 (6).

Among the manuscripts of Morton's writings are the following: commencement addresses, 193?, 1942 (2); essays, 1952(?); 1956(?); (3); manuscript for book of sonnets to be called "Entries for a Diary," original typescript with holographic corrections, n.d., (56p.); original typescript with holographic corrections, typed copy, and carbon copy (unedited) of the first draft of "The Amateur Listener"--diary about music and musicians, June 1952-July 24, 1955 (3); poems--holographic and typescript, 1947-1957 (788); list of poems by Morton which are indexed in Reader's Guide, 1914-1937 (1); paper entitled "Works of DavidMorton, 1928-1940" by Katherine Morton, 1940 (1); pamphlets, 1918-1956 (4); photographs (8); and miscellaneous items.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence
Correspondence of Morton family and Elizabeth Coombs. re: Giving of Morton's works to Kentucky Library. 1957-1960. 27 items
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Correspondence regarding the Morton Collection. 1958,1959. 27 items
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Margaret Carpenter and Elizabeth Coombs. 1958,1959. 25 items
[box: 1, folder: 2a]
From Kelsey Flower to Miss Coombs. 1958. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 2b]
ToKelsey Flower from Miss Coombs. 1958. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 2b]
Correspondence of David Morton. 1919-1955. 23 items
[box: 1, folder: 3]
From Rittenhouse, Jessie B. 1919. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3a]
From Benet, Stephen Vincent. 1933. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3b]
From Gogarty, Oliver St. John. 1934. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3c]
From Braley, Berton. 1935. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3d]
From James, Alice Archer Sewall. 1945. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3e]
From niece, Martha. 1952. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3f]
From Moore, Robert Thomas. 1954, 1955. 2 items
[box: 1, folder: 3g]
To parents in Louisville written from Ireland. 1929. 9 items (typed copies)
[box: 1, folder: 3h]
To his sister Virginia and her husband, John Adams. 1932-1951. 5 items
[box: 1, folder: 3i]
To George Abbe. 1956. 1 item
[box: 1, folder: 3j]
Writings
Commencement addresses. [193?],1942. 2 items (1 holographic; 1 typescript with holographic corrections)
[box: 1, folder: 4]
Essays. [1952?],[1956?]. 3 items
[box: 1, folder: 5]
History of American International College, Azores. [1952?]. 1 item (holographic)
[box: 1, folder: 5]
A New England Devotional. [1952?]. 1 item (typed copy)
[box: 1, folder: 5]
"I Took My Thrombosis to the East". [1956?]. 1 item (typed copy)
[box: 1, folder: 5]
Manuscript for book of sonnets to be called "Entries for a Diary." n.d. 1 item. 56 pages (original typescript with holographic corrections)
[box: 1, folder: 6]
"The Amateur Listener" - Diary. June,1952- . 1 item. 95 pages (original typescript with holographic corrections)
[box: 1, folder: 7]
"The Amateur Listener" - Diary. June,1952- . 1 item. 93 pages (typed copy)
[box: 1, folder: 8]
"The Amateur Listener" - Diary. June,1952- . 1 item. 93 pages (carbon copy--[unedited] of first draft)
[box: 1, folder: 9]
Poems. 1947,1948. 157 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 1, folder: 10]
Poems. 1947. 43 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 1, folder: 10a]
Poems. 1949. 94 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 1, folder: 11]
Poems. 1950. 74 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 1]
Poems. 1951. 80 items (holographic)
[box: 2, folder: 2]
Poems. 1952. 95 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 3]
Poems. 1953, 1954. 158 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 4]
Poems. 1953. 69 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 4a]
Poems. 1955, 1956. 150 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 5]
Poems. 1956. 31 items (holographic)
[box: 2, folder: 5a]
Poems. 1956. 33 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 5b]
Poems. n.d. 70 items (holographic and typescript), alphabetized
[box: 2, folder: 6]
Poems - Rhyme sheets. 1947-1950. 30 sheets
[box: 2, folder: 7]
Poems and miscellaneous items. 1914-1957. 34 items
[box: 2, folder: 8]
Poems, unpublished. n.d. 8 items (typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 8a]
Poem "Old Farmer's Almanac (k)". 1957. 1 item (holographic)
[box: 2, folder: 8b]
Poems, misc. n.d. 8 items (holographic and typescript)
[box: 2, folder: 8c]
Poems read at funeral service of David Morton. 1957. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 8d]
Poems by David Morton which are indexed in Reader's Guide. 1914-1937. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 8e]
Poem and sketch by David Morton for inscription on garden stone for his sister's garden. n.d. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 8f]
"Works of David Morton, 1928-1940" by Katherine Morton. 1940. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 8g]
Review of Angles of Earth and Sky, 1941. [1941?]. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 8h]
Article about Robert Frost written by David Morton and published in Outlook, Vol. 135, No. 16. Dec. 19, 1923. 2 items (printed and photocopies)
[box: 2, folder: 8i]
Newspaper clippings and miscellaneous items. 1932-1947. 10 items
[box: 2, folder: 8j]
Photocopies of Morton's published poems from books in Jessie Wilmore Murton Collection. 1938-46. 4 items
[box: 2, folder: 8k]
Pamphlets. 1918-1919, 1933, 1954, 1956. 4 items
[box: 2, folder: 9]
The Poetry Society of America. 1918-1919. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 9a]
A Canticle of Praise by Witter Bynner. 1933. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 9b]
Borestone Mountain Poetry Awards. 1954. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 9c]
Homage to Lajes Hospital Personnel by David Morton. 1956. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 9d]
Items pertaining to dedication of chapel door at Lajes Field, Azores. 1955. 3 items
[box: 2, folder: 10]
Photographs
Photo of the chapel door. 1955. 1 item
[box: 2, folder: 10a]
Photographs. 8 items
[box: 2, folder: 11]
Phonograph Records
Scope and Content Note:

David Morton reading his own poems. New England Seasons in verse. Recorded for the Poetry Room, Harvard College Library, 1944. The Harvard Vocarium Records, Cambridge, Mass.

2s. 12in. 78 rpm. 1 item
[volume: Record 1. ]
Part 1: Spring
1. "Spring Announcement"
[volume: Record 1, Side 1]
2. "February Bird" (from Spell Against Time
[volume: Record 1, Side 1]
3. "Afternoon" (from Angles of Earth and Sky)
[volume: Record 1, Side 1]
Part 2: Summer
1. "Adoration" (from Earth's Processional)
[volume: Record 1, Side 2]
2. "Matin" (from Angles of Earth and Sky)
[volume: Record 1, Side 2]
3. "Petition" (from Spell Against Time)
[volume: Record 1, Side 2]
2s. 12in. 78 rpm
[volume: Record 2. ]
Part 3: Autumn and Winter
1. "Once When the Autumn Turned"
[volume: Record 2, Side 1]
2. "To the Last Leaf Fallen" (from Earth's Processional)
[volume: Record 2, Side 1]
3. "Example and Precept" (from Spell Against Time)
[volume: Record 2, Side 1]
Four Love Poems - From a privately published group entitled "This Is For You."
1. "Invitation"
[volume: Record 2, Side 2]
2. "Flight From Autumn"
[volume: Record 2, Side 2]
3. "Journey Into Danger"
[volume: Record 2, Side 2]
4. "This At Midnight"
[volume: Record 2, Side 2]

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