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Thorstein B. Veblen Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

THORSTEIN B. VEBLEN PAPERS

BRADLEY-VEBLEN-MEYERS FAMILY PAPERS

GRACE C. CAMP (STORM) PAPERS

CARLETON COLLEGE RECORDS

SADIE HARDY GREGORY PAPERS

MEMOIRS, REMINISCENCES, INTERVIEWS

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

COLLECTED REFERENCE MATERIAL


Thorstein B. Veblen Collection | Carleton College Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Thorstein B. Veblen CollectionView associated digital content.

ID: 03/077

Extent: 0.0

Arrangement:

The Thorstein B. Veblen Collection has been divided into eight sections.  The Thorstein B. Veblen Papers (77A) comprise that portion of the collection once possessed by Veblen himself.  He made no provision for preserving his papers, and this body of material is largely what passed to his step-daughters at the time of Veblen's death in 1929.  It includes approximately 207 items of correspondence--a few copies retained by Veblen of his letters to others, but otherwise almost entirely letters to Veblen from the 1920s, with nothing at all prior to 1913--financial records of various sorts from the same period, photographs known to have been owned by Veblen, corrected copy of some of Veblen's published writings, and an assortment of personal documents of various sorts.  It also includes the surviving remnant (318 volumes) of Veblen's personal library left in a cabin on his Washington Island, Wisconsin property.

The Bradley-Veblen-Meyers Family Papers (77B) consist of family or Veblen-related correspondence, photographs, and other items produced by or belonging to Veblen's second wife Ann Fessenden Bradley (known as "Babe"), or her daughters Becky F. Bradley (Veblen) (Meyers) or Ann T. Bradley (Bevans) (Sims), plus a small amount of material concerning a Veblen-related venture by Harry Meyers, Becky's husband.  Letters from Thorstein Veblen to Becky or Ann are filed here, rather than in the Thorstein B. Veblen Papers.  Of particular value and interest are Becky's written reminiscences about Veblen and her family, contained in the series Autobiography/Memoirs of Becky Veblen Meyers, and in her correspondence re Veblen.  (Oral reminiscences of Becky and Ann both are available in 77E, described below.)

The Carleton Archives has created a database to store information on all of the individual pieces of correspondence in both the Thorstein B. Veblen and Bradley-Veblen-Meyers Family Papers, and can, upon request, use it to sort or identify subcategories of correspondence in whatever manner might be most useful for a given researcher.

The Grace C. Camp (Storm) Papers (77C) consist of a small group of original letters, and one enclosed photograph, addressed to Grace Cleone Camp (Storm), who managed affairs relating to Veblen's California property after Veblen moved to the University of Missouri.  Grace was the sister of William R. Camp, one of Veblen's students at Stanford.  At some point these letters must have been returned to Veblen or to his stepdaughters, for they were included in material donated to Carleton by Becky Veblen Meyers and by Charles R. Sims.

Carleton College Records pertaining to Thorstein Veblen (77D) have been gathered together into this collection for the convenience of researchers.  They consist of Alumni Office correspondence following the deaths of Ellen Rolfe Veblen in 1926 and Thorstein Veblen in 1929, various reference files created by the Carleton Archives, a 1917 letter from Thorstein Veblen to the Vice President of Carleton's Board of Trustees declining to make a contribution to the school's fundraising efforts, and some photographic material created by the college.  A 1985 letter to the Carleton Librarian from Mrs. Henry Cowell provides testimony regarding Ellen Rolfe Veblen's "physical anomaly" that, in the words of the writer, "explains so much about both Veblens."  A copy of this letter is located in the Alumni File for Ellen M. Rolfe.

The Sadie Hardy Gregory Papers (77E) were donated to Carleton by Mrs. Gregory's grandson, Daniel P. Gregory.  This is a small group of letters addressed to Sadie Hardy Gregory, typescripts of three Veblen articles, and detailed notes taken by Sadie Hardy while a student in Veblen's University of Chicago course on Socialism in 1894.

A sixth section of the collection, Memoirs, Reminiscences, Interviews (77F), is comprised of first-person written reminiscences or oral history interviews regarding Thorstein Veblen.  Included are interviews with members of the Veblen family:  Thorstein's step-daughters, Becky and Ann, a niece, Olga Hanson Glorvick, and a granddaughter of his brother Andrew, Colette Sims Van Fleet.  Interviews are also available with a former student of Veblen's, Sidney A. Russell, with Ted and Fritz Bjarnarson, who knew Veblen as boys on Washington Island, and with Esther Gunnerson, who acquired Veblen's Washington Island library and eventually donated the surviving volumes to Carleton.  Also included are copies of Gunnerson's notes regarding interviews she conducted on Washington Island in 1963 with persons who had known Thorstein there.

Miscellaneous Items (77G) not falling within any of the previous groupings include a small body of photocopied correspondence, photographs of varied or unknown provenance, a collection of pressed wildflowers which Thorstein and Emily Veblen gathered and identified in 1878, a few items of promotional literature for some of Veblen's books, draft screenplays for a film on Veblen dating from 1981-82, and artistic representations of Veblen in the form of a bas relief, bust, and portrait painted after a photograph.

Collected Reference Material (77H) consists of copies of publications by Thorstein Veblen, a collection of scholarly or popular writings about Veblen or his work (other than first-person memoirs or reminiscences), and other items also available elsewhere, but here assembled in one place for reference purposes or the convenience of researchers.  Also included is information about, or in some cases reproductions of, original Veblen material in the collections of other repositories.  Persons writing on Veblen-related topics are encouraged to contribute copies of their work to this collection, so that as full a record of Veblen scholarship as possible may be permanently and readily available in one location.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Material centered around the figure of Thorstein Bunde Veblen, economist, social scientist, writer of international reputation, and a member of Carleton's graduating class of 1880.  Material regarding Thorstein Veblen's adult families:  his first wife, Ellen Rolfe Veblen, his second wife, Ann Fessenden Bradley (Bevans) Veblen, and his two step-daughters by his second marriage, all of which will be of interest to any biographer of Thorstein B. Veblen, is also to be found in this collection.

Administrative Information

Repository: Carleton College Archives

Appraisal Information: Value Code: 1

Related Materials:

The Veblen Collections at Carleton College are comprised of four distinct groupings of material:  the Thorstein B. Veblen Collection (77), the Veblen Family Collection (78), the Veblen Farmstead Collection (79), and the Records of the International Thorstein Veblen Association (80).  Together, these collections provide a great deal of information about an interesting Norwegian-American family, about the best-known member of that family, a figure of major importance in American intellectual history, about the preservation and eventual restoration of the family's farm home near Nerstrand, Minnesota, and about recent Veblenian scholarship.

The first three of these collections each contain some items which have long been a part of the archival record of Carleton College:  records pertaining to the attendance of Veblens at Carleton, their status as alumni, involvement of the school in discussions regarding the Veblen farmstead, and so forth.  Part of the collections consists of secondary source materials which have been gathered together here for reference purposes and the convenience of researchers.  The rest of the papers, photographs, and other material comprising the Veblen collections has been generously donated to Carleton by a variety of persons.  Nearly all of these donations have been made since 1990, when Thorstein Veblen's step-daughter, Mrs. Becky Veblen Meyers, made the first of several conveyances of Veblen-related material to Carleton.  Other persons instrumental in identifying, preserving, gathering, or donating unique items now located in the Veblen collections at Carleton include:  Esther Baran, Russell H. and Sylvia E. Bartley, Ruth Veblen Dunbar, Daniel P. Gregory, Esther V. Gunnerson, William C. Melton, Jeffrey P. Moriarty, Ruthmary Penick, Wilbert J. and Ellen Radtke, Bernadette Rainsford, Jessica Shaver, Charles R. Sims,  Colette and William Van Fleet, Bonnie Veblen, Paul F. Veblen, and the Washington Island Archives Committee.

Information on the provenance of particular items in these collections, if not immediately evident from this finding aid or inspection of the item itself, may be determined by inquiring of the Archivist.

Processing Information:

LOCATION CHECKED

Materials in A66-68; A46 to be processed material for all of Veblen Collections


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series A: THORSTEIN B. VEBLEN PAPERS],
[Series B: BRADLEY-VEBLEN-MEYERS FAMILY PAPERS],
[Series C: GRACE C. CAMP (STORM) PAPERS],
[Series D: CARLETON COLLEGE RECORDS],
[Series E: SADIE HARDY GREGORY PAPERS],
[Series F: MEMOIRS, REMINISCENCES, INTERVIEWS],
[Series G: MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS],
[Series H: COLLECTED REFERENCE MATERIAL],
[All]

Series G: MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Container ID: Box number: 5
Folder 5/7: Correspondence
Set 1: Ellen Rolfe Veblen to Mary Veblen Hougen, 1906
(2 items)
Set 2: Thorstein B. Veblen to Orson A. Veblen, 1907
(1 item; photocopy)
Set 3: Thorstein B. Veblen to Evelyn Wells, 1924
(1 item; photocopy)
Set 4: Thorstein B. Veblen to Emily Veblen Olsen, 1926-1929
(6 items; photocopies)
Set 5: Emily Veblen Olsen to Joseph Dorfman, 1934
(1 item; photocopy)
Set 6: Mason Gaffney to Bill Sloniker, with copy of 1988 letter from Becky Veblen Meyers to Gaffney, 1989
(1 item; photocopy)
Folder 5/8: Photographs of varied or unknown provenanceView associated digital content.
Includes group photo of Thorstein Veblen and his three brothers - Orson, Andrew and Edward Veblen, c. 1900.
Set 1: California sites
(12 images)
Set 2: Ellen Rolfe Veblen
(5 prints of 4 different images of E.R.V.; 1 of her Oregon cabin)
Set 3: Furniture made by Thorstein B. Veblen
(3 images)
Set 4: Thorstein B. Veblen Images
(9 distinct images)
Note: One oversized print of Myron Ehrenberg-FPC's photograph of the portrait painted by Edwin Burrage Child, has been filed in Collection 78, Box 3
Folder 5/9: Photographs of varied or unknown provenance - Washington Island
Set 1: from Colette Sims Van Fleet
(27 prints of 26 distinct images)
Set 2: from Charles R. Sims
(7 images; 4 negative strips)
Set 3: Copy prints
(11 prints, of 7 distinct images, all but 1 showing T.B.V.)
Folder 5/10: Pressed wildflowers gathered in 1878 by Thorstein and Emily Veblen
Folder 5/11: Publishers' promotional literature for books by Thorstein B. Veblen
(4 items)
Folder 5/12: Screenplay: "The Peaceable Savage: Thorstein Veblen; Work and Life," by Arthur Hoyle and Harry Robin. (Third and fourth drafts)
Item 1: Two Veblen bas reliefs sculpted by Ralph W. Sims
(Currently boxed with Books from 77H)
Item 2: Veblen bust sculpted by Blanca Will, 1920
(Currently displayed in the College Archives)
Additional Date Information: 1920-07
Item 3: Veblen bust sculpted by Bonnie Veblen
(Currently displayed in Economics Department, Willis Hall)
Item 4: Veblen portrait painted by Paul Puzinas
(Currently hanging in Willis Hall)

Browse by Series:

[Series A: THORSTEIN B. VEBLEN PAPERS],
[Series B: BRADLEY-VEBLEN-MEYERS FAMILY PAPERS],
[Series C: GRACE C. CAMP (STORM) PAPERS],
[Series D: CARLETON COLLEGE RECORDS],
[Series E: SADIE HARDY GREGORY PAPERS],
[Series F: MEMOIRS, REMINISCENCES, INTERVIEWS],
[Series G: MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS],
[Series H: COLLECTED REFERENCE MATERIAL],
[All]


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