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Kemp Malone papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0129
Kemp Malone was a medievalist, philologist, etymologist, world authority on Chaucer, and Professor of English Literature at Johns Hopkins University for over 30 years. The papers span the period 1913-1975 and contain drafts, typescripts, proofs, research notes, notebooks, lectures, reprints and news clippings.

Dates

  • 1913-1975

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

11.94 Cubic Feet (23 letter size document boxes, 2 letter half-size document boxes, 6 legal size document boxes)

Biographical Note

Kemp Malone, medievalist, philologist, etymologist, world authority on Chaucer, and Professor of English Literature at Johns Hopkins University for over 30 years, was born in Minter, Miss. on March 14, 1889. His father, a professor and classicist, was president of a succession of women's colleges and seminaries in the South. Kemp Malone graduated from Emory College in 1907. One of his early aims was to learn all the languages of the peoples encircling the British Isles. To this end he made extensive stays abroad. He taught for two years in Germany, spent a year in Denmark studying old and middle Irish, and then settled for a year in Iceland to master that language. During World War I he served two years in the United States Army and was discharged with the rank of Captain.

In 1921 Dr. Malone joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota, and in 1924 he came to Johns Hopkins University as lecturer in English. He served as President of the Modern Language Association, the Linguistic Society of America, the American Dialect Society, the American Name Society, and the Modern Humanities Research Association. He was also etymology editor of the American College Dictionary of 1947. He was visiting professor and lecturer at many American and foreign universities, and received a number of honorary degrees. He held successive appointments at Georgetown University, Souther Illinois University, and Catholic University in Washington. He retired from Johns Hopkins University in 1956.

The author of more than 500 works, Kemp Malone was unceasingly thorough in his scholarly pursuits. His enthusiasm for language ranged from the study of 10th century manuscripts to the etymology of contemporary comic strip names. At the time of his death Dr. Malone was working on "The History of the English Language" for Random House. He died at his summer home in Eastport, Maine on October 13, 1971.

Scope and Contents

The papers span the period 1913-1975 and contain drafts, typescripts, proofs, research notes, notebooks, lectures, reprints and news clippings. The only correspondence consists of approximately 35 letters of little importance, dated 1925-1975. There are 25 pages of inscriptions to Kemp Malone from fellow scholars and philologists, and several literary figures such as Angela Thirkell, George William Russell (A.E.), and Lascelles Abercrombie.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was acquired by the University in 1983 following the death of Mrs. Kemp Malone. Additional materials were received in 1985 from Professor Richard A. Macksey.

Related Materials

In 1974 Mrs. Kemp Malone presented some 20,000 volumes from her husband's library to his Alma Mater, Emory University. Most likely some of Kemp Malone's papers were also donated to Emory. There are several notations in MS.0129 (in an unidentified handwriting) which refer to manuscript material at Emory.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by M. C. Beecheno in 1987.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA