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Odell Shepard Papers

Identifier: Odell Shepard papers

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Odell Shepard consist of correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, proofs, audio recordings of poetry and speeches, periodicals, newspaper clippings, musical scores based on poems, photographs, ephemera, notebooks, sketchbooks, published guidebooks, receipts, and informational pamphlets related to the life and work of Odell Shepard (1884-1967), the Trinity College Goodwin Professor of English (1917-1946) and Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (1940-1941).

A notable portion consists of correspondence between Odell Shepard and prominent writers such as Irving Babbitt, Bliss Carman, Walter de la Mare, Sinclair Lewis, Bliss Perry, and Wallace Stevens. The collection also contains audio recordings of Shepard reading his poetry and making speeches. Primarily, the materials span the 1910s to 1940s and cover politics, poetry, and writing, among other subjects.


  • Creation: 1890-2006

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital surrogates may be provided to researchers, in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

Odell Shepard (1884-1967) served as the Trinity College Goodwin Professor of English from 1917 until his resignation in 1946. Shepard also served as Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1940-1941. In 1937, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of A. Bronson Alcott entitled Pedlar’s Progress. Among his other notable contributions to scholarship of American Literature, Shepard edited the works of Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He wrote several renowned works of poetry such as The Lore of the Unicorn and Thy Rod and Thy Creel: a reflection on angling, both published in 1930. Shepard married Mary Falwell Record, and they had one son, William Odell Shepard.


38 Cubic Feet (113 flat archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged by material type. There are eleven series:

Series 1: Correspondence

Series 2: Manuscripts

Series 3: Proofs

Series 4: Radio Broadcasts, Recordings, and Speeches

Series 5: Miscellaneous Files

Series 6: Periodicals

Series 7: Newspaper Clippings

Series 8: Musical Scores set to Poems

Series 9: Photographs

Series 10: Various Ephemera

Series 11: Miscellaneous Sketchbooks, Notebooks and Other Objects

Custodial History

Before his death, Odell Shepard had apparently begun to put his personal papers in order, but did not complete the task.

During processing, student assistant Susan Spitler marked all items from the second installment with the accession number "A74" and then integrated the original Shepard files into the arrangement as far as possible. The 1992 box-level inventory (in Word document) indicates the original Shepard files with an asterisk.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Odell Shepard papers was donated to the Watkinson Library in two parts. The first section was presented in the 1960's by Odell Shepard through the good offices of Kenneth Walter Cameron. The second part was given to the Library in July 1992 by Mrs. Marion Shepard, widow of Odell Shepard's son Willard.

Processing Information

In July-August 1992, student assistant Susan Spitler helped process the Odell Shepard collection by uniting the two separate accessions and prepared an inventory for the collection.

Guide to the Odell Shepard papers
Michelle C. Sigiel, based on inventory by Susan Spitler
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-25: "Immediate Source of Acquisition" and "Processing Information" added. "Abstract" eliminated, after combining it with the "Scope and Contents." "Arrangement" updated to reflect all 11 series. Changed from "Odell Shepard Collection" to Odell Shepard papers" in accordance with DACS. Revisions by Eric C. Stoykovich.

Repository Details

Part of the Trinity College Archives Repository

Watkinson Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford CT 06106 USA