Ida Langdon Papers,1902-1964

Collection Number: 2490

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Ida Langdon papers, 1902-1964.
Collection Number:
2490
Creator:
Ida Langdon, 1880-1964
Quantity:
.2 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, articles, a program, speeches, a script, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other material.
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Papers, which pertain to Samuel Clemens, particularly to his life in Elmira, New York, include letters to Ida Langdon from Henry Nash Smith, Orville Prescott, and others regarding her talks on Twain, gifts of Twain memorabilia to the University of California, certain of Twain's writings, and related subjects.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Ida Langdon taught English and was Chairman of the English Department at Elmira College. She was also a niece of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Papers, which pertain to Samuel Clemens, particularly to his life in Elmira, New York, include letters to Ida Langdon from Henry Nash Smith, Orville Prescott, and others regarding her talks on Twain, gifts of Twain memorabilia to the University of California, certain of Twain's writings, and related subjects; printed items including articles on Twain by his nephew, Jervis Langdon, Miss Langdon, and Smith; program (1960) for the Elmira College Mark Twain Festival and typescripts or photocopies of speeches given by Smith and Miss Langdon respectively at the Festival; her speech (1961) at the Elmira College Phi Beta Kappa Convocation; a Voice of America radio script (1960) on the life and times of Twain; photographs of the presentation (1952) of Twain's study to Elmira College; and newspaper clippings, including reports of Miss Langdon's addresses and reviews of Twain's posthumously published Letters from the Earth.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Langdon, Ida, 1880-1964.
Langdon, Jervis.
Prescott, Orville.
Smith, Henry Nash.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910.
Elmira College.
Elmira College. Mark Twain Festival.

Subjects:
Authors.
Women college teachers.

Form and Genre Terms:
Photographs.
Reviews.
Speeches.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
Ida Langdon papers, #2490. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
COLLECTION ARRANGEMENT

Organized according to record type.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Series I. Correspondence
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Thomas E. Byrnes, Managing Editor of Elmira Star-Gazette.
June 10, 1952
Byrnes thanks I.L. for her ms. of speech given at presentation of Twain study, praises speech, and returns it. 1 pc.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Lewis Eldred, President of Elmira College.
July 14, 1952
Mr. Eldred encloses photos taken at dedication of Twain study. 1 pc.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Henry Nash Smith.
Nov. 10, 1960
Smith thanks I.L. for some Twain items given to Univ. of California and itemizes them; gives his opinion on a prospective biography of Olivia Clemens; and comments on Twain's "irreverence" for American society. 2 pcs.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Donald Coney, University Librarian, Univ. of California at Berkeley.
Dec. 8, 1960
Coney thanks I.L. for items presented to the University Twain collection. 1 pc.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Henry Nash Smith.
Jan. 20, 1961
Smith names various articles relating to criticism of Twain, written in Twain's time and later. 1 pc.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Arlene Brown, Sec'y to Mrs. Stocker of Elmira College.
Feb. 1, 1961
Miss Brown thanks I.L. for her talk at Elmira College Twain Festival. 1 pc.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Oville Prescott of The New York Times.
Sept. 28, 1962
Prescott thanks I.L. for complimenting his review of Twain's Letters from the Earth and says that minor works will not affect Twain's great reputation. 1 pc.
Box 1
To I.L., Elmira, from Joseph S. Van Why, Hartford.
Aug. 14, 1963
Van Why thanks I.L. for her letter giving some reminiscences of the Thomas Beecher family. 2 pcs.
Series II. Manuscripts and miscellaneous
Box 1
"Socialism - What Is It?". Ms. cites present inequalities and injustices of society; distinguishes socialism and anarchism; gives brief history of Utopian socialism and scientific socialism; defines socialism and explains theories and precepts; and gives a brief description of socialism in the United States. 37 pp. handwritten.
Apr. 18, 1906
Box 1
The Elmira Advertiser reprinted its famous "S'cat" piece of 41 years earlier, and identified Mark Twain as the author. The satiric piece was written (date?) when Thomas K. Beecher was turned out of the Ministerial Union of Elmira. 6 pp. typescript copy.
Apr. 23, 1910
Box 1
Ida Langdon's speech, presenting Twain study to Elmira College. Miss Langdon recalls a day when Mark Twain invited children in to hear and criticize The Prince and the Pauper, which he was then writing. I.L. mentions the many well-behaved people who visited the study, but the difficulty of preserving it from "nature" and "human nature." The Elmira College site was the only one that pleased the whole family. I.L. speaks of the appropriateness of the site and her pleasure at giving the study. 7 pp. handwritten.
May 1952
Box 1
"The Many Faces of Mark Twain." A Voice of America 60 minute documentary on the life and times of Twain. This program was broadcast on Nov. 27, 1960, the 125th anniversary of Twain's birth. The program includes narration and taped "portraits" of Twain by several who knew him. 47 pp. ditto copy.
Oct. 12, 1960
Box 1
"Mark Twain: The Forming of a Writer," a lecture delivered by Henry Nash Smith during the Twain Festival at Elmira. Nash examined Innocents Abroad to determine the influences affecting Mark Twain during his formative period. 24 pp. typescript copy.
Oct. 12, 1960
Box 1
"Mark Twain and Elmira," read by I.L. at Mark Twain Festival, Elmira College. This speech includes a letter to the William Dean Howells family. The speech appears in Chemung Historical Journal 6:2 (1960); the letter in the Chemung Historical Journal 6:3 (Mar. 1961). 25 pp. xerox copy of speech; 5 pp. typescript copy of letter.
Oct. 13, 1960
Box 1
Ida Langdon's Phi Beta Kappa address, "The Making of the Oxford Dictionary." I.L. describes the history, aims and supplement of the dictionary. 23 pp. xerox copy.
May 16, 1961
Box 1
One copy of Howell's description of Twain from the introduction to the Twain-Howells Letters, ed. Henry Nash Smith, Vol. 1, p. xviii. 1 p. typewritten.
Series III. Printed material
Box 1
Mark Twain and Elmira by Jervis Langdon (Twain's nephew). Langdon describes MT's connections with Elmira: his marriage, vacationing, work in his study, playing billiards in town, and burial. Many of Twain's books were written in Elmira. 9 pp.
1935
Box 1
University of Texas Studies in English, Vol. 37 (reprint). "Mark Twain's Images of Hannibal from St. Petersburg to Eseldorf" by Henry Nash Smith, with an inscription to Ida Langdon, Nov. 9, 1960. The article describes Twain's memories of Hannibal, Mo. in Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and the development and final abandonment of the Hannibal image in later writing. Twain "...register[ed] in fictionthe death of 19th century culture." He could not find new literary capital in the Waste Land and alienation, but "bet too much" on a belief in an "orderly benign universe." 23 pp.
1958
Box 1
Theater program of Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight." (No location given.) 2 pp.
1959
Box 1
Program of Mark Twain Festival, Elmira College. Photos included. 5 pp.
Oct. 12-14, 1960
Box 1
"My Uncle, Mark Twain," by Ida Langdon. Chemung Historical Journal, Vol. VI, No. 2, pp. 769-780. Publication of an address by Ida Langdon to Elmira College students and the M.T. Festival Convocation, Oct. 13, 1960. Description of Twain's love and courtship of Olivia Langdon; their marriage; Quarry Farm (Elmira) vacations; the building of the Twain study; writing in the study; family fun; efforts to build an "Adam" statue in Elmira; anecdotes; burial in Elmira. Photos incl. 11 pp.
Dec. 1960
Box 1
Theater program of Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight," Peabody Concert Hall, Baltimore. 3 pp.
Dec. 1960
Box 1
"Lewis and the Runaway," Chemung Historical Journal, Vol. VI, No. 3. The text of a Mark Twain letter, read in Ida Langdon's Oct. 13, 1960 address at Elmira College, but not printed in copy of that address in Dec. 1961 Chemung Historical Journal. 4 pp.
Mar. 1961
Series IV. Photographs
Box 1
Five photographs from the Twain study presentation ceremony.
Included is an enlarged photo of I.L. handing the key to President Perry of the Board of Trustees. Included also is a covering letter from Lewis Eldred, President of Elmira College, dated July 14, 1952.
Series V. Newspaper clippings
Box 1
Paper (?): The Marriage of Julia Olivia, I.L.'s sister, to Edward Eugene Loomis, the Vice-President of the Lackawanna Railroad, on Nov. 29, 1902. A great social affair in Elmira.
Nov. 30, 1902
Box 1
Date (?) Elmira Daily Advertiser: Description of the above wedding, and mention that Samuel Clemens attended.
Box 1
"Juvenile Courts." Ida Langdon's address to the Western District Federated Relief Committee, Elmira Daily Advertiser.
Nov. 15, 1906
Box 1
Review of lecture "Dante as a Poet" by Ida Langdon at Elmira College. Paper?
Dec. 16, 1921
Box 1
Review of same. Paper?
Dec. 16, 1921
Box 1
Photos and description of the transference of the Twain Study from East Hill to the Elmira College Campus. Newspaper unknown.
May 8, 1952
Box 1
Reminiscence of Ida Langdon at Mark Twain Festival, Elmira College. Elmira Star-Gazette.
Oct. 13, 1960
Box 1
Article on Franchot Tone, who came to Elmira to give "An Actor's Approach to Mark Twain," as part of the Twain Festival. Star-Gazette.
Oct. 14, 1960
Box 1
Review of Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight," Balimore Sun.
Dec. 10, 1960
Box 1
Article on children's best sellers in the Soviet Union, then on display in New York City. Twain's books were popular in the USSR. New York Times.
June 9, 1961
Box 1
Review of Twain's Letters from the Earth written by Orville Prescott, New York Times.
Sept. 21, 1962
Box 1
Review of above book, written by Miles A. Smith.
[1962?]
Box 1
Description of ceremony in which a wreath was placed on MT's grave on the 53rd anniversary of his death. Elmira Star-Gazette.
Apr. 23, 1963
Box 1
Death notice - Ida Langdon - New York Times.
Oct. 10, 1964