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Robert Carlton Brown collection of Bob Brown papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Bob Brown

Robert Carlton Brown III

Robert Carlton Brown collection of Bob Brown papers, 1895-1973 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Robert Carlton Brown collection of Bob Brown papers, 1895-1973Add to your cart.

ID: 1/5/MSS 088

Primary Creator: Brown, Bob (1886-1959)

Other Creators: Brown, Robert Carlton III

Extent: 2.0 Boxes

Arrangement: This collection is divided into two series: (1) Bob Brown Papers, and (2) Papers of Robert Carlton Brown III (RCB III).

Date Acquired: 00/00/1980

Subjects: Brown, Bob, 1886-1959, Brown, Carlton

Forms of Material: Brown, Bob, 1886-1959 - Correspondence, Brown, Bob, 1886-1959 - Photographs, Correspondence., Ephemera., Manuscripts for publication., Photographs, Records (documents), Scrapbooks

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection includes biographical information, correspondence from 1918-1961, writings from 1895-1945, and miscellaneous newsclippings, receipts, memos, notes and programs from 1942-1945, and correspondence which is arranged in three folders: Bob Brown's Letters to his Son (RCB III), Bob Brown's Letters to Others, and Letters to Bob Brown. Also in this collection are the writings of Bob Brown, including autobiographical manuscripts, drafts of picture poems for his book, and fictional pieces and short stories. In addition there are writings by Bob Brown's son Carlton, articles about Bob Brown, and material regarding Brown's reading machine.

Biographical Note

American author, journalist, publisher, and collector Robert Carlton Brown (1886-1959) was born in Chicago. Brown wrote pulp fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, avant-garde publications, and experimented with a book of visual poetry; he also contributed pieces to various magazines and newspapers in New York City and established journals in Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and London. Popular works of Brown's include the novel What Happened to Mary? (1913), an adaptation of which became one of the first successful motion pictures. He was involved with an informal poetry group with avant-garde and modernist writers and artists like William Carlos Williams, Alfred Kreymbourg, and Man Ray in 1913 and 1914. The group put forth a publication entitled Glebe in 1913 and later the influential poetry journal Others. In 1929, he and his wife temporarily settled in France where they became involved in the expatriate literary community in Paris. While there, he also established Roving Eye Press to promote a reading machine that he invented. Brown published a book of verse to be used with the machine, Readies for Bob Brown's Machine (1931), which included contributions from Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James T. Farrell, Kay Boyle, Paul Bowles, Kreymborg, Eugene Jolas, and Robert McAlmon.

The Browns eventually reestablished residence in Rio de Janeiro, where they lived until Rose Brown's death in 1952. Following his wife's death, Bob Brown returned to New York, remarried, and continued to write. He ran a shop called Bob Brown's Books in Greenwich Village until his death in 1959.

Subject/Index Terms

Brown, Bob, 1886-1959
Brown, Carlton

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Robert Carlton Brown III

Acquisition Method: This collection of papers of American expatriate writer Bob Brown was purchased by Anacapa Books in Berkeley, California from Brown's son, Robert Carlton Brown III, and sold to Special Collections in 1980.

Related Materials:

The following have been transferred to the Rare Books Collection of Special Collection, Morris Library:

Contempo Vol. II No. 6.  Chapel Hill, S.C.: August 31, 1932  The Bob Brown issue. Inscribed by Brown, "Please return to BB."

Berkeley: A Journal of Modern Culture  No. 10 (no date, probably 1950's) Contains "Notes for the Life of an American Writer" by Bob Brown. 

Inscribed: "For Helen Scriggs  good book – HUNTING NY Bob 1958"

Preferred Citation: [Item], Robert Carlton Brown collection of Bob Brown papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Bob Brown],
[Series 2: Robert Carlton Brown III],

Series 2: Robert Carlton Brown IIIAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Writings and letters, 1930-1933, 1938, 1967, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Description of Brown papers, circa 1973Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Bob Brown],
[Series 2: Robert Carlton Brown III],

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