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Woodbridge, Hensley Charles (1923-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Woodbridge, Hensley Charles (1923-)

Historical Note:

Hensley C. Woodbridge was born in 1923 in Champaign, Illinois and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia, where his father was dean of the Law School at the College of William and Mary.  His father hoped to interest him in international law and sent him to live with a French family for a year in 1936-1937.  He hired a private tutor to instruct his son in German and later sent Hensley, age 18, to study Spanish in Mexico. Woodbridge earned a B.A. at William and Mary in 1943.  During World War II, he worked as a cryptographer for the U.S. Government in Washington.  In 1945 he studied at the National University in Mexico.  A year later, he earned an M.A. from Harvard in Romance Languages.  He taught French and Spanish at the University of Richmond in 1946-1947.  Attending the University of Illinois from 1947-1951, Woodbridge earned a Ph.D. in Spanish and a M.S. in Library.  He served as Reference Librarian at Auburn, Alabama for two years.  For the next twelve years, he was the head librarian at Murray State College (later, University) in Kentucky.  His colleague there, Clell Peterson, urged him to write a bibliography on Jack London.  In 1965, he moved to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to teach in the Foreign Language Department and act as Latin American biographer for Morris Library.  He became a Professor Emeritus of Spanish until he retired in 1985.  Woodbridge served as associate editor of Hispania and the American Book Collector. He was a member of the editorial board of the Modern Language Journal and editor of the Kentucky Folklore Record and the bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association.  He passed away in 2001.

Jack London: A Bibliography (Talisman Press) was compiled by Woodbridge, George Tweney, and John London.  It was the first major bibliography of London’s work.  Woodbridge also edited the Jack London Newsletter, JLN, from 1967-1988.  The JLN published reviews of books, brief articles by scholars, students, and fans, and translations of articles published elsewhere.  For two decades it was the leading journal publishing information about Jack London.  As a result, a revised and expanded edition of the bibliography was published in 1973 by Kraus-Thompson.

Woodbridge was also interested in the Kentucky author and poet laureate, Jesse Stuart.  He corresponded with him and compiled his bibliography which was published circa 1960.  He published a revision in 1969, adding a bibliography of Jesse’s daughter Jane, entitled Jesse and Jane Stuart: a Bibliography.

Sources: Annie Woodbridge, "Hensley Charles Woodbridge," (accessed September 10, 2013).

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