Guide to the John M. Duncan Papers, 1956-1966

Collection number: MC 26
Size: 6 boxes (2.0 cu.ft.)

About John M. Duncan

John M. Duncan was born in Gardner, Massachusetts in 1902. After spending his youth in Corning, New York and Philadelphia, he attended the University of Oklahoma and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Education. He was a Staff Sergeant in World War II and following his discharge he married a librarian, Lillian Perkins (“Perks”), who worked at the University of New Hampshire, and they lived in Madbury, N.H. He was employed by the Office of the Division of Employment Security in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and began writing in 1948. He published his first novel in 1956. He died in 1976.

About the John M. Duncan Papers

The collection consists of various manuscripts and proofs of Duncan’s two novels for young readers, Down the Mast Road (1956) and Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton (1958), as well as some unpublished manuscripts. Also included are book reviews and memorabilia.

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], [Box], John M. Duncan Papers, 1956-1966, MC 26, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donated:

  • John M. Duncan, June 29, 1976 (Accession #: 108)
  • Lillian Duncan, August 1, 1977 (Accession #: 774)
  • Richard Merritt, June 11, 1984 (Accession #: 8379)

Collection Contents

Series 1: Down the Mast Road

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Partial manuscript, then untitled
Box 1, Folder 2Typescript of various segments of manuscript, The Mast Pine: December 1775
Box 1, Folder 3Typescript of various segments of manuscript, The Mast Pine: December 1775, different draft from above. Pages 22-102, chapters IV-XVI
Box 1, Folder 4Typescript of various segments of manuscript, The Mast Pine: December 1775. Pages 103-151, chapters XVII-XXIV
Box 1, Folder 5Typescript of various segments of manuscript, The Mast Pine: December 1775. Pages 152-197 and 6 additional pages, chapters XXV-XXVI
Box 1, Folder 6Author’s typescript of Down The Mast Road, chapters 1-8
Box 1, Folder 7Author’s typescript of Down The Mast Road, chapters 9-18
Box 1, Folder 8Author’s typescript of Down The Mast Road, chapters 19-28
Box 1, Folder 9Author’s typescript of Down The Mast Road, chapters 29-end
Box 1, Folder 10Carbon copy of author’s typescript, chapters 1-7
Box 1, Folder 11Carbon copy of author’s typescript, chapters 8-16
Box 1, Folder 12Carbon copy of author’s typescript, chapters 17-25
Box 1, Folder 13Carbon copy of author’s typescript, chapters 26-end
Box 1, Folder 14Publisher’s proof of Down The Mast Road, chapters 1-6
Box 1, Folder 15Publisher’s proof, chapters 7-15
Box 1, Folder 16Publisher’s proof, chapters 16-25
Box 1, Folder 17Publisher’s proof, chapters 26-end
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Galley proof of Down The Mast Road, February 15, 1956
Box 2, Folder 2Galley proof, March 7, 1956
Box 2, Folder 3Galley proof, undated
Box 2, Folder 4Page proofs
Box 2, Folder 5Dummy, pp.1-80
Box 2, Folder 6Dummy, pp.81-191
Box 2, Folder 7Unbound copy of finished book, pp. 9-96
Box 2, Folder 8Unbound copy of finished book, pp. 97-191

Series 2: Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton

Box 2
Box 2, Folder 9Holograph draft of manuscript of Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton
Box 2, Folder 10Typescript, first draft
Box 2, Folder 11Typescript, second draft, chapters 1-16
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1Typescript of Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton, second draft, chapters 17-end
Box 3, Folder 2Typescript, third draft, chapters 1-16
Box 3, Folder 3Typescript, third draft, chapters 17-end
Box 3, Folder 4Typescript, fourth draft, chapters 1-8
Box 3, Folder 5Typescript, fourth draft, chapters 9-16
Box 3, Folder 6Typescript, fourth draft, chapters 17-end
Box 3, Folder 7Typescript, copy of fourth draft, chapters 1-8
Box 3, Folder 8Typescript, copy of fourth draft, chapters 9-16
Box 3, Folder 9Typescript, copy of fourth draft, chapters 17-end
Box 3, Folder 10Typescript, blueline proof, chapters 1-14
Box 3, Folder 11Typescript, blueline proof, chapters 15-end
Box 3, Folder 12Galley proof, October 10, 1957
Box 3, Folder 13Galley proof, November 11, 1957
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 1Galley proof of Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton, undated
Box 4, Folder 2Page proof
Box 4, Folder 3Dummy

Series 3: Short Stories and Other Works

Box 4, Folder 4Holograph manuscript of untitled story
Box 4, Folder 5Holograph manuscript of one-act play in draft form, “In Answer to Your Question.”
Box 4, Folder 6Typescript of unpublished story, “Lars, the Uphill Skier” and letter from Eleanor Nichols, McGraw-Hill, July 29, 1960
Box 4, Folder 7Typescript draft of “Lars, the Uphill Skier.”

Series 4: Miscellaneous

Box 4
Box 4, Folder 8Index cards of works consulted by John M. Duncan for both books
Box 4, Folder 9Whittlesey House Books For Young People catalog, 1956
Box 4, Folder 10Book reviews: Saturday Review, Horn Book Magazine, Chicago Schools Journal, Books For the Teen Age, NYPL, Scoop, Durham Resident Advertiser and a letter from a young reader
Box 4, Folder 11Autograph note from Elizabeth Yates, signed (Found in Gifts of True Love)
Box 5
Box 5, Folder 1-2Two scrapbooks, one for Down The Mast Road and the other for Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton containing letters and postcards from readers, book reviews, jacket covers, etc.

Series 5: Oversize Materials

Oversize Box 1
Oversize Box 1, Item 1“A Norrible Espeerience” – hand drawn cartoon of child fishing
Oversize Box 1, Item 25 x7″ b and w photograph of John M. Duncan sitting at table in Dover NH Library
Oversize Box 1, Item 35 x7″ b and w photograph of book cover for Down The Mast Road”
Oversize Box 1, Item 45 x7″ b and w photograph of book cover for Twelve Days ‘Til Trenton
Oversize Box 1, Item 5Pen and ink drawing by Paul Goldoni for the cover of Down the Mast Road
Oversize Box 1, Item 6Pen and ink drawing (by Don Duncan?). A cartoon of cats playing on stairs and a woman being stopped with “Excuse me! But those stairs don’t go anywhere. They were put there just for the cats to play on.”
Oversize Box 1, Item 7Promotional poster for Down the Mast Road with photograph of John M. Duncan
Oversize Box 1, Item 820 x 16 photograph of Duncan mounted on board
Oversize Box 1, Item 9Map of Lee, New Hampshire with inscription: “To John M. Duncan in Appreciation from the citizens of Lee – Bicentennial 1966.”
Oversize Box 2
Oversize Box 2, Item 1Oversized materials

The following materials are stored in Map Drawer A6

  • N.H. writers map drawn by Don Duncan
  • Mock-up for above drawn by Don Duncan
  • Baseball chart (52 x 102 cm.) drawn by Don Duncan, 1941
  • Another, different baseball chart (52 x 102 cm.) drawn by Don Duncan, 1941