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Irvin Stock papers

Identifier: MSS 0545

Scope and Content Note

The Irvin Stock Papers, spanning the dates 1882 to 2004, comprise 4.3 linear feet of manuscripts, books, letters, newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and teaching materials documenting the life and work of the American literary scholar Irvin Stock.

The collection is divided into three series, corresponding to the major areas and periods of Stock’s work and life. Series one and two contain material related to Stock’s education and teaching, respectively. Series three is entitled "letters" and contains copies of letters that Stock used for research as well as original correspondence with notable literary figures. Series four contains material relating to Stock’s research and writing, including published works and unpublished manuscripts.

Series one contains materials related to Stock’s education. Newspaper articles on Stock’s achievements as a student, journals from his time conducting research in England and France, correspondence with Columbia Teachers College and the Fulbright program are included in series one.

Series two contains syllabi for fiction and drama courses, student evaluations of Stock’s teaching, and newspaper articles highlighting Stock’s teaching and research at Rollins College and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Series three contains an extensive collection of Stock’s correspondence. Part of this series is organized by individual correspondent and includes letters to Stock from the novelist James T. Farrell between 1946 and 1951. The content of Farrell’s letters is wide-ranging and topics include the process of writing fiction, the presence of Marxist ideology in literature, snobbery and individualism in American culture, and Farrell’s own work. Stock’s correspondence also includes letters from Lionel Trilling, Joseph Heller, Thornton Wilder, Robert Pinsky, and the actor Anthony Perkins. Also included in the series are several decades of correspondence with various academics.

Series four contains materials related to Stock’s research and writing. The first four sub-headings are dedicated to specific writers on whom Stock conducted significant research. The files include writings by Stock, writings by the author, newspaper and scholarly articles on the writer and his/her work. The largest collection of research and materials is on William Hale White, who was also known by his pseudonym of Mark Rutherford. The other writers on whom Stock focused are Saul Bellow, Mary McCarthy, and Thomas Mann. The series also contains other smaller compilations of research and writings related to other authors, including Joseph Heller, Phillip Roth, and Lionel Trilling. Also in this series are miscellaneous writings on various literary topics, published articles and books, and unpublished manuscripts of novels and plays.


  • Creation: 1882-2004


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English and French.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

Writer and scholar Irvin Stock was born in New York City on April 16, 1920. While a student at South Side High School in Newark, New Jersey, Stock won awards in short story contests sponsored by New York University and Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Stock received a BA degree in English from New York University in 1941 and a Masters from Columbia University Teachers College. From 1943-1946, Stock served in the Army Air Force and his teaching experience in the Air Force Officer Candidates School was what inspired him to pursue a career in higher education. After teaching at Bergen Junior College in Teaneck, New Jersey, from 1947-1948, Stock returned to Columbia University to earn a PhD, which he completed in 1952. After conducting research in London and studying in France on a Fulbright Fellowship, Stock completed his dissertation on William Hale White, better known by his pseudonym Mark Rutherford, which was published in 1956 as William Hale White (Mark Rutherford): A Critical Study with a forward by Lionel Trilling, Stock’s professor and mentor at Columbia.

After a one year Ford Foundation Fellowship from 1951-1952, Stock began teaching at Rollins College in Florida. In 1965, Stock was awarded a Fulbright to teach at the University of Montpellier in France, which was extended to include a summer session at France’s University of Nice. In 1966, he was hired by the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he became a full professor and served as chair of the English Department.

In addition to his book on William Hale White, Stock also published Fiction as Wisdom: From Goethe to Bellow (1980), Ironic Out of Love: The Novels of Thomas Mann (1994), and a booklet on Mary McCarthy (1968). Stock is also the author of many plays, short stories, and academic articles.

He and his wife, Phyllis, whom he met at New York University, live in Brookline, Massachusetts.

"Irvin Stock." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). (accessed December 2009).Additional biographical information derived from the collection.


4.3 linear foot (5 boxes)


The Irvin Stock papers, spanning the dates 1882 to 2004, comprise 4.3 linear feet of manuscripts, books, letters, newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and teaching materials documenting the life and work of the American literary scholar Irvin Stock.


Purchase, January 2005.

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 0214 James T. Farrell papers

Shelving Summary

  1. Boxes 1-4: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
  2. Box 5: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes


Processed by Karalee Kopreski, February 2006. Encoded by Lora J. Davis, January 2010.

Finding aid for Irvin Stock papers
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2010 January 7
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA