Guide to the Donald Campbell Babcock Papers, 1899-1986

Collection number: MC 102
Size: 11 boxes (3.33 cu.ft.)

About Donald Babcock

Donald Babcock, long-time University of New Hampshire philosophy professor, was born in Minneapolis in 1886. He received two degrees from the University of Minnesota and spent one year as a circuit-preacher in Washington state. He received an S.T.B. degree from the Boston University Theological School in 1912, held various pastorates around New Hampshire, and in 1918 joined the history department of New Hampshire College (as it was then known). In 1944 Professor Babcock created the UNH Philosophy Department, for which he served as chairman and sole professor for most of his remaining tenure. The 1955 edition of The Granite, the UNH yearbook, was dedicated to Babcock. Babcock retired in 1956, on which occasion he was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University. In 1962 he was recognized by alumni when they created their first endowed professorship, the Donald C. Babcock Chair in Philosophy. In 1968 the University’s graduate residence hall was named after him in recognition of his service to the University. He was also a long and active member of the Durham Community Church. Donald Babcock died in 1986 at the age of 100.

In addition to his teaching and scholarly work, which includes Man and Social Achievement: An Introduction to Social Evolution (1929) and the 1941 History of the University of New Hampshire, 1866-1941, Babcock wrote a substantial amount of poetry. A number of his poems were published in The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines. His book For Those I Taught received the Durham Poetry Award at the 1947 UNH Writer’s Conference. So in the Heart, published in 1972, is a collected edition of his poems as published in his various books and chapbooks, as well as some previously uncollected work.

About the Donald Campbell Babcock Papers

The Donald Campbell Babcock papers include correspondence – mostly relating to Babcock’s poetry and his 100th. birthday, prose manuscripts of essays and theses, manuscripts and drafts of poetry, the manuscript of his autobiography, I Had Two Grandfathers, various notebooks, scrapbooks from childhood and youth, and other memorabilia, copies of his published works, and works by others, some heavily and carefully annotated by Babcock.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder number], [Box number], Donald Campbell Babcock Papers, 1899-1986, MC 102, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donation: Nancy Babcock, Manchester, N.H., 1989 (Accession: 886)

Source unknown: Discovered in Special Collections, 1993 (Accession: 93.033)

UA 18/2/3 Donald Campbell Babcock Notes and Drafts (UNH Archives)

UA 17/6 Towle Writer's Conference Files (UNH Archives)

Collection Contents

Series 1: Correspondence, 1903-1986

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1General correspondence, 1903-1973
Box 1, Folder 2Related to Poetry, 1934-1948
Box 1, Folder 3Related to Poetry, 1949-1950
Box 1, Folder 4Related to Poetry, 1951-1953
Box 1, Folder 5Related to Poetry, 1954-1973
Box 1, Folder 6To Rolfe Humphries, 1947
Box 1, Folder 7To Rolfe Humphries, 1948
Box 1, Folder 8To Rolfe Humphries, file of Babcock poems, undated
Box 1, Folder 9To Rolfe Humphries, undated
Box 1, Folder 10100th. Birthday Wishes, A-L, 1982-1986
Box 1, Folder 11100th. Birthday Wishes, M-Y, 1982-1986

Series 2: Manuscripts, 1899-1986

Subseries A: Prose, 1899-1912

Box 1, Folder 12Essays, about 1899-1905
Box 1, Folder 13Essays, U. of Minnesota, about 1907
Box 1, Folder 14Thesis, U. of Minnesota, “The Origin and Development of Religious Experience,” typescript, 1908
Box 1, Folder 15Thesis, U. of Minnesota, manuscript copy, 1908
Box 1, Folder 16Thesis, Boston University School of Theology, “The Function of Environment in Religious Education,” typescript and manuscript, 1912

Subseries B: Poetry, 1907-1978

Box 1, Folder 17-21“Academic Asterisks” (poems, 1907-1971 – most from 1949-1952; most with intellectual or academic-life themes)
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1-4“Academic Asterisks,” continued, 1907-1971
Box 2, Folder 5-36The Friendly Commonplace: Being a Book of Graces Before Meat, and Other Homely Devotions, and Gratuitous Observations (poems, themes as in title), 1917-1973
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1-8The Friendly Commonplace, continued, 1917-1973
Box 3, Folder 9-34Notebook MS (poems from four three-ring binder notebooks. Themes philosophical, with epigrams), 1911-1978
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 1-2“Persons and Places” (themes of persons and places)
Box 4, Folder 3-6 “Persons and Places” (second version)
Box 4, Folder 7-10“To a Lady’s Portrait” (love poems to DCB’s first wife, Mabel Sterner Babcock, married 1909, died 1960), about 1930s
Box 4, Folder 11-14 “Atomic Age” (modern historical themes), about 1950s
Box 4, Folder 15-18 “Durham Calendar” (nature poems, in sequence by month, Jan.-Dec.), about 1950s
Box 4, Folder 19-21“Pippin Hill” (religious and moral themes), about 1920s
Box 4, Folder 22“The Poo-Bah World” (satire on social world, two drafts)
Box 4, Folder 23-27“Far Away and Long Ago” (nostalgic), about 1950s
Box 4, Folder 28-30“The Finite God” (philosophical, first draft), about 1950s
Box 4, Folder 31“The Finite God – Philosophical Speculations” (more finished version)
Box 4, Folder 32-33“The Finite God – Scripture Commentaries” (more finished version)
Box 4, Folder 34-35“The Philosophic Mood” (subtitled: “Written in part to refute the notion that poetry and philosophy cannot mingle”), about 1950s
Box 4, Folder 36“The Philosophic Mood” - extended version
Box 5
Box 5, Folder 1-4“The Philosophic Mood” – extended versions
Box 5, Folder 5-6 “History Lessons” (of an historical nature, in two drafts), about 1950s
Box 5, Folder 7-12“Spenglerian Thoughts” [sic] early draft relating to The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler, about 1950s
Box 5, Folder 13-14 “The Open Road” (themes of transience), about 1950s
Box 5, Folder 15 “Responsa Non Precaria” (philosophical, in two drafts)
Box 5, Folder 16-17 “With Tongue in Cheek” (satirical, a number of subtitles and themes)
Box 5, Folder 18-21 “Late Gleanings” (reflective, alphabetical by title), about 1950s-1970s
Box 5, Folder 22“The Poet’s Mind” (poems about poetry)
Box 5, Folder 23“Poet at the Play” (poems on the theater)
Box 5, Folder 24“Midnight of the Soul” (of sorrow)
Box 5, Folder 25“The Mysterious World”
Box 5, Folder 26“On Ending Middle Age”
Box 5, Folder 27“In Retirement”
Box 5, Folder 28“Philosophic Alphabet”
Box 5, Folder 29-30“Religion Revisited
Box 5, Folder 31“For Children”
Box 5, Folder 32-33“Limerick History of Philosophy”
Box 5, Folder 34“The Liberal Mind” (political)
Box 5, Folder 35“The Long Late Evening” (evening themes)
Box 5, Folder 36-37Worksheet drafts of poems
Box 6
Box 6, Folder 1-17Worksheet drafts of poems
Box 6, Folder 18-25Loose notes, poems and jottings
Box 6, Folder 26Drafts of poems from notebook, February 18, 1972-January 2, 1978
Box 6, Folder 27 Unidentified notebook, about 1949-51

Series 3: Published Works, 1904-1951

Box 6
Box 6, Folder 28Prose published by DCB in periodicals, 1947-1953:
  • “When a Boy Becomes a Man,” The Minnesota Magazine, v. 10 no. 9, June 1904, pp.318-20
  • “Willis Gordon: a Chapter From His Diary,” The Minnesota Magazine, v.11, no.6, March 1905, pp.215-17
  • “The Valley,” The Minnesota Magazine, v.12 no.9, June 1906, pp.316-20
Box 6, Folder 29Poetry published in periodicals:
  • “The Mountain By the Sea,” The Granite Monthly, v.51 no.10, October 1919, p. 431
  • "Sonnet,” American Poetry Magazine, v.15 no.9, January 1934, p.14
  • “To a Class Writing an Examination in Historical Geography,” Library Lantern, v.16 no.7, April 1941, p.1
  • “To Any Student,” School and Society, v.62 no.1596, July 28, 1945, p.60
  • “To a Philosophy Class,” Zion’s Herald, v.124 no.7, February 13, 1946, p.146
Box 6, Folder 30Poems published in The New Yorker and Atlantic:
  • “The Little Duck,” The New Yorker, v.23 no.33, October 4, 1947 , pp.38-9
  • “November: Postwar Campus,” The New Yorker, v.23 no.38, November 8, 1947 , p.88
  • “Of These Infinite,” Atlantic, v.182 no.2, August 1948 , pp.56-7
  • “Night in Buck Hollow,” Atlantic, v.182 no.2, August 1948, p.57
  • “Sonnets of the Season,” Atlantic, v.183 no.2, February 1949, p.79
  • “Sonnets For April,” Atlantic, v.183 no.4, April 1949 , p.44
  • Editorial mention, Atlantic, v.184 no.5, November 1949, p.54
  • “Song,” Atlantic, v.184 no.6, December 1949 , p.44
  • “To Sundry Poets,” Atlantic, v.185 no.3, March 1950 , p.41
  • “Chimneys,” Atlantic, v.186 no.3, September 1950 , p.25
  • “The Play,” Atlantic, v.186 no.5, November 1950 , p.51
  • “Pre-Valedictory,” Atlantic, v.187 no.1, January 1951, pp.42-3
  • “Senex Ruminatur Historicas,” Atlantic, v.187 no.5, May 1951, p.72
  • “We Loved Our Kitty,” Atlantic, v.187 no.6, June 1951, pp.92-3
  • “Song For Lovers,” Atlantic, v.188 no.1, July 1951 , p.77
  • “Winter Etchings,” Atlantic, v.191 no.2, February 1953, p.52
Box 6, Folder 31Church Bulletins, most from Durham Community Church, mention of poems or poems by DCB
Box 6, Folder 32For Those I Taught, booklet of DCB poems published in honor of his students, Press of American Weave, Cleveland, 1947. 2 copies
Box 6, Folder 33Typeset of For Those I Taught, undated
Box 6, Folder 34For Those I Taught and The Friendly Commonplace, American Weave Press, Cleveland, 1951
Box 7
Box 7, Folder 1"Prayers and Meditations,” privately printed for the Community Church of Durham, 1970
Box 7, Folder 2“Late Harvest,” privately printed, 1967
Box 7, Folder 3“So In the Heart,” Garden Lane Press, Durham, 1972

Series 4: Biographical Material, about 1890-1982

Box 7, Folder 4-25I Had Two Grandfathers, manuscript, undated
Box 7, Folder 26Clippings about Babcock, about 1951-1982
Box 7, Folder 27Photographs, about 1890-1960
Box 7, Folder 28 Miscellaneous, most undated

Series 5: Notebooks, Clippings and Miscellaneous, about 1908-1949

Box 7, Folder 29“Plucked Brands,” a scrapbook, undated
Box 8
Box 8, Folder 1-3Black scrapbooks; predominantly writings, poems, sermons, 1908-1929
Box 8, Folder 4Green notebook, titled on inside cover: “The Lyfe So Short. Collected Poems of Donald C. Babcock (In Part)”; handwritten, about 1949
Box 9
Box 9, Folder 1“The Sourcebook”; clippings, photos, writings, memorabilia, about 1886-1909
Box 9, Folder 2“Memories”; scrapbook, about 1910

Series 6: Works By Others (heavily annotated by DCB), 1897-1960

Box 10
Box 10, Folder 1Man and Social Achievement: An Introduction to Social Evolution. Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1929
Box 10, Folder 2Bowne, Borden P., Theory of Thought and Knowledge. New York: American Book Co., 1897
Box 10, Folder 3Brightman, Edgar Sheffield, An Introduction to Philosophy. New York: Henry Holt, 1951
Box 10, Folder 4Burton, Richard, Ballad of the Unsuccessful. Boston: Small, Maynard and Co., (inscribed by author), 1900
Box 10, Folder 5Articles by Others:
  • Heath, Douglas H., “What Religious Vision for Youth Today”; publication data unknown
  • Jordan, Dr. Robert W., “Atonement, Sign, and Sacrament”; unpublished lecture, about March 31, 1960
  • Michalson, Carl, “The Boundary Between Faith and Reason; A Study of Hegel’s Glauben und Wissen” Drew University Bulletin, v.39 no.4, December 1951
  • Kipling, Rudyard, “God of our fathers…” (a poem), The Voice, v.36 no.7, July 1948
Box 10, Folder 6Spengler, Oswald, The Decline of the West. New York Alfred A. Knopf, 1939
Box 10, Folder 7Whitehead, Alfred North. Religion in the Making; Lowell Lectures, 1926. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1927
Box 11
Box 11, Folder 1Inge, William Ralph, The Philosophy of Plotinus: The Gifford Lectures at St. Andrews. 1917-1918, 3rd edition in 2 vols. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1948
Box 11, Folder 2 Malory, Sir Thomas, Le Morte D’Arthur; The History of King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table. Boston: the Medici Society, nd., 2 vols, undated