SCUA

Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Russell K. Alspach Papers
1950-1978
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 025

Russel K. Alspach earned his PhD in 1932 from the University of Pennsylvania where he taught English from 1924-1942. After four years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent eighteen years as head of the Department of English at West Point Military Academy before retiring in 1965 with the rank of Brigadier General. A specialist in Irish literature with wide ranging interests running from William Butler Yeats to Percy Blythe Shelley and William Faulkner, Alspach published prolifically throughout his career. He took a post-retirement appointment at UMass in 1966, but hardly retired, eventually becoming Head of the Department of English, and teaching until his final retirement and death in 1980.

The Alspach Papers consist of professional correspondence, drafts of writing, and reviews written by Russell K. Alspach. The small collection includes grant applications and notes for Alspach’s Yeats Study Series, as well as a 3.75 inch monographic recording of readings and music by unidentified artists. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is also home to the Alspach Yeats Collection of rare books.

Background on Russell K. Alspach

After earning his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1932 for his study of poets from the Irish literary revival, Russell K. Alspach was engaged for nearly a decade teaching English at his alma mater. In 1942, however, his academic path took a sharp turn when he joined the U.S. Navy for the duration of the Second World War, and he remained in the service afterward, spending eighteen years as head of the Department of English at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point before retiring with the rank of Brigadier General in 1965.

From his days as a graduate student, Alspach maintained a strong focus on Irish poetry, especially the work of William Butler Yeats, but his interests ranged widely to include Percy Blythe Shelley and William Faulkner. A productive scholar, Alspach was widely known for his studies of Yeats and for his variorum edition of Yeats’ poetry and plays, as well as for his book Irish Poetry: From the English Invasion to 1798 (1959).

Taking a post-retirement appointment at UMass in 1966, Alspach hardly retired, eventually becoming Chair of the Department of English and teaching until his final retirement and death in 1980.

R

Contents of Collection

Russell Alspach’s Papers contain professional correspondence, drafts of writing, and reviews written by Alspach, and includes correspondence with Liam Miller, founder of the Dolmen Press. This small collection includes grant applications and notes for Alspach’s Yeats Study Series, as well as a 3.75 inch monographic recording of readings and music by unidentified artists, and a cassette tape copy. SCUA is also home to the Alspach Yeats Collection of rare books.

Collection inventory
Russel K. Alspach Papers
1939-1986
17 folders
Correspondence
1949-1954
Box 1: 1
Correspondence
1955-1959
Box 1: 2
Correspondence
1960-1967
Box 1: 3
Correspondence
1968-1972
Box 1: 4
Correspondence
1973-1975
Box 1: 5
Correspondence
1976
Box 1: 6
Correspondence 1977
1977
Box 1: 7
Faulkner, William
1962-1986
Box 1: 17
Grants: National Endowment of the Humanities
ca.1978
Box 1: 8
Grants: Research Application
ca.1973-1977
Box 1: 9
Joyce, James
1939-1965
Box 1: 10
Notes
ca.1963
Box 1: 11
Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves
1973 Apr.
Box 1: 12
Transcript of Articles
ca.1970
Box 1: 13
Yeats, W. B.: copies of letters by Yeats
1876-1909
Box 1: 14
Yeats, W. B.: Newspaper articles on W. B. Yeats
1956-1966
Box 1: 15
Yeats, W. B.: Research on Yeats
1965-1966
Box 1: 16
Script of Miller tape: Cassette Tape
1963 Oct. 9
Box 1
Script of Miller tape: Monographic Recording
1963 Oct. 9
Box 1

Residue

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Acquired from Russell K. Alspach, August 1999 (1999-063).

Processing Information

Processed by Daniel Cronin, April 2017.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Russell K. Alspach Papers (FS 025 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Gift of Russell K. Alspach, 1999
Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
  • Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939
Contributors
  • Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

© 2017 * SCUA * UMass Amherst Libraries

Log in | Site policies