James Rorty papers , 1915-1972

Overview of the Collection

Rorty, James, 1890-1973; Beard, Eva; Bullard, Marion, 1878-1950
James Rorty papers
1915-1972 (inclusive)
10 linear feet, (9 containers)
Collection Number
Ax 769
James Rorty (1890-1973) was an American writer and poet who tackled subjects such as American industries, Joseph McCarthy, labor, medicine, nutrition, advertising, and Jim Crow. The collection (1915-1972) contains James Rorty's literary manuscripts, journals, correspondence, memoirs, and photographs as well as manuscripts and correspondence by Rorty's sisters, the writers Eva Beard and Marion Bullard.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

James Rorty (1890-1973) was born March 30, 1890, in Middletown, New York, the son of Octavia (Churchill) and Richard McKay Rorty. He was educated in Middletown schools and at Tufts College, where he received his Bachelor's in 1913. He did graduate work at New York University and The New School for Social Research.

During WWI he served as a stretcher bearer on the Argonne front, earning the Distinguished Service Cross, and shortly after returning from Europe he married Maria Ward Lambin. They were divorced in 1928, and he married Winifred Raushenbush, and together they had one son, Richard.

James Rorty's career as a journalist and poet spanned over sixty years. In the introductory chapter of his unpublished memoirs, he called himself "the last of the muckrakers," but enlarged on that image in a newspaper interview where he stated that his books against individual industries were only part of his overall work of combating social injustice in America. "My work has been all one book - prose, plays, and poetry - on American economy and culture," he is quoted as saying.

Rorty also worked as an editor, journalist, advertising copy writer, and consultant for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Series I: Correspondence is separated into outgoing and incoming sections. Outgoing correspondence is organized by date (1915-1972). Incoming correspondence is organized alphabetically by name or title. Incoming letters include fan letters and congratulatory letters regarding Rorty's poetry.

There is another section of incoming correspondence from family members.

Series II: Journals and notebooks contain literary notebooks with prose and poetry drafts and ideas, and day journals (1919-1920s; 1960s).

Series III: Manuscript material is organized by type: Book Length; Plays; Article Length; Book Reviews; Voice of America Files; Poetry; Poetry Collections; and miscellaneous chapters, fragments, and pages. Material within each section is organized alphabetically by title.

Voice of America material was written during Rorty's employment with the Ideological Advisory Unit, from 1951-1953.

Series IV: Tearsheets and Clippings contains articles about Rorty, articles written by Rorty; and possibly tearsheets and articles gathered by Rorty. Material is arranged by title of work.

Series V: Miscellaneous Items includes manuscripts by others, press clippings, reviews of Rorty's books, photographs, biographical outlines, contracts, and other financial records.

Series VI: The Papers of Eva Beard includes correspondence, manuscripts, tearsheets and clippings, household notes, copyright records, and biographical information.

Series VII: The papers of Marion Bullard includes manuscripts, original sketches, clippings, press, address books, and photographs.

The collection also includes publications by Rorty, and by others.

Photographs have been removed from their original placement in the collection, and are stored separately for preservation reasons, under the call number PH123.

The collection also includes an accession of 2005: 05.034.M which includes correspondence and literary manuscripts.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Journalists--United States
  • Poetry--Authorship
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Women authors, American--20th century

Personal Names

  • Beard, Eva
  • Beard, Eva
  • Bullard, Marion, 1878-1950
  • Rorty, James, 1890-1973
  • Rorty, James, 1890-1973

Corporate Names

  • Voice of America (Organization)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Memoirs
  • Notebooks
  • Plays
  • Poetry
  • Sketches
  • Tear sheets