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Don Cameron Allen author letter collection

Identifier: MS-0008

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection spans the years 1948-1972 and consists of approximately 85 letters, mostly from well known writers. There is also a list of Don Cameron Allen's books in the Eisenhower Library and in the Garrett Library with an appraisal dated June 1, 1966.


  • Creation: 1949-1972


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.

Biographical Note

Don Cameron Allen was born on December 5, 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned both his Bachelor's degree and his Doctorate at the University of Illinois, and received his Master's degree from Washington University. He held teaching positions at Purdue University, Washington State College, Duke University and Illinois Wesleyan University before coming to Johns Hopkins University in 1942.

Allen was the author of more than 20 books and 100 articles, most dealing with 16th and 17th century literature. He knew not only Latin, Greek, Hebrew and French, but was familiar with a broad range of Renaissance learning from astrology to scriptural exegesis. His books fell into two major groups, the first dealing with the history of ideas as they bear on literature itself and this group is represented by Harmonious Vision, a study of Milton.

At Johns Hopkins University Allen helped to edit English Literary History, the well known scholarly journal, and was an active teacher, researcher and writer. His study of American Ph.D programs in English Literature, the Allen Report, commissioned in 1968 by the Modern Language Association of America, received wide attention from graduate schools. He held the Sir William Osler Chair of English Literature at Johns Hopkins University until his retirement in June 1972.

Allen received many scholarly awards and honors, among which was his election in 1970 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1961 he was one of 12 professors of literature to be elected to the American Philosophical Society. He also served as Vice President of the Modern Language Association of America. He received honorary degrees from the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago, and Johns Hopkins University. Don Cameron Allen died at his home in Baltimore on August 4, 1972.


0.24 Cubic Feet (1 legal half-size document box)

Language of Materials



Don Cameron Allen was a writer and professor at Johns Hopkins University. The collection spans the years 1948-1972 and consists of approximately 85 letters, mostly from well known writers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to the University by Mrs. Don Cameron Allen in 1973.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by M. C. Beechno in 1974. Rachel Gattermeyer revised the biographical note in this finding aid in August 2023 to bring them into compliance with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). The previous version of the finding aid is available upon request.

Don Cameron Allen author letter collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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