American Literature

Our American Literature holdings are comprised of publications from the 19th to 21st centuries. Highlights include the Paul and Maryrose Carroll Beat Collection and the John and Marjorie Idol Hawthorne Collection.  

The Paul and Maryrose Carroll Beat Collection offers an invaluable source for researchers of the Beat movement.  Originating from writer and editor Paul Carroll's personal library and regularly augmented with new selections,the collection consists of over 140 volumes of literary criticisms, histories, Beat poetry, and biographies. Collection strengths include the works of Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Jonathan Williams. Biographies of Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and Kerouac provide additional insight to the Beat poetry movement.   Click here to see associated titles.

The John and Marjorie Idol Hawthorne Collection contains over 650 rare and annotated publications by and about Nathaniel Hawthorne, collected by former Clemson University English professor John L. Idol, Jr., who also served as the editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society newsletter (1983-1985) and editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review (1986-1992).

The collection's main strength is the great number of editions of Hawthorne's published works, most of which span from first or early editions through the late 20th century. Of particular note are the following:

  • First editions
  • Illustrated editions
  • Non-traditional publications of Hawthorne's works, i.e., comic books, graphic novels, plays
  • Translations of Hawthorne's works into other languages, including French, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Hungarian

As editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Idol established contacts with European and Asian scholars who studied Hawthorne's appeal in their respective countries, and the collection includes several international perspectives, including many Japanese writings. Click here to see associated titles.

Secondary sources, annotated by Idol, are also part of the collection, as well as older secondary or ephemeral Hawthorne sources. Modern, un-annotated secondary sources were added to the circulating Main Stacks collection. Idol's personal papers are also housed in Special Collections, in addition to his collection of books by or about Thomas Wolfe.

The multiple editions of Hawthorne's works provide an outstanding resource for an examination of the packaging, illustration, and dissemination of his work over time. For example, the collection contains over 140 editions of The Scarlet Letter, initially published in 1850. Early publications differ greatly from those published 50 years later, which then differ from those published 100 years later, and so on.