- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
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- Collection History
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- Brown, Clarence, 1929-2015
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Clarence Brown Papers
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 5 boxes and 2.0 linear feet
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Boxes B-001076; B-001077; B-001078; B-001079; B-001080
- English Russian
Consists primarily of correspondence, travel diaries, and photographs of former Princeton University comparative literature professor Clarence Brown (1929-2015) relating primarily to his scholarship on Russian writers Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (1891-1938) and Nadezhda Mandelstam (1899-1980). Correspondence with writer and illustrator Guy Davenport as well as with poet W. S. Merwin, Princeton Class of 1948, is also included.
Collection Description & Creator Information
This collection consists primarily of correspondence along with some travel diaries, photographs, and teaching materials of comparative literature professor Clarence Brown (1929-2015). Much of the content, with the exception of correspondence with Guy Davenport, relates to the principal subject of Brown's scholarship, Russian poet Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (1891-1938), as well as Mandelstam's wife, Nadezhda Mandelstam (1899-1980). This includes documentation about Brown's collaborative publication, Osip Mandelstam: Selected Poems (1974); Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir Hope Against Hope (1970); and Osip Mandelstam's personal papers, which Nadezhda donated to Princeton University Library in 1976; among other topics. Correspondents who are well represented include writer and illustrator, Guy Davenport (1927-2005); poet W. S. Merwin (1927-), Princeton Class of 1948, with whom Brown collaborated on Osip Mandelstam: Selected Poems; and Nadezhda Mandelstam.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Brown, Clarence, 1929-2015
A scholar of modern Russian literature and translation, Clarence Brown (1929-2015) was a professor of comparative literature at Princeton University. He started at Princeton as an instructor in 1959 and became a professor in 1969, retiring in 1999. Brown first taught courses on Russian language and literature in the Department of Romance Languages and then in the Program in Slavic Languages and Literatures, which became a formal department in 1967. In 1971, he joined the Department of Comparative Literature.
Brown was most known for his scholarship on the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam (Mandelʹshtam) (1891-1938), which was facilitated by the relationship he formed with Mandelstam's widow and fellow writer, Nadezhda Mandelstam (Mandelʹshtam) (1899-1980), who was invested in preserving her husband's work. The Prose of Osip Mandelstam (1965) was nominated for a National Book Award. Brown's 1973 book Mandelstam earned him the Christian Gauss Award in Literary Criticism. Mandelstam's papers, entrusted by Nadezhda to Brown in 1976, were donated to the Princeton University Library.
Brown earned his bachelor's degree in classics at Duke University in 1950. After graduation, he was drafted and served four years in the Army Security Agency, including a year of intensive training in Russian at the Army Language School in Monterey, California, after which he was sent to Berlin as a German translator. He earned a master's degree in linguistics in 1955 from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and his Ph.D. in Russian Literature from Harvard University in 1962.
A lifelong cartoonist, Brown's work appeared in several publications, including Saturday Review, where he was cartoon editor from 1977 to 1984.
Gift of Jacqueline Brown, 2017 . (AM 2018-3)
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No materials were separated during 2017 processing.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in September 2017 with assistance from Julia English '19. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in September 2017.
Some photographic negatives were treated during 2017 processing.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Open for research. Student coursework is restricted until 2044 or 75 years from the date of creation (1969) (housed in box B-001080).
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Clarence Brown Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Subject Terms:
- Literature and state -- Soviet Union -- 20th century -- Sources.
Poets, Russian -- 20th century.
Princeton University -- Faculty -- 20th century -- Sources.
Russian literature -- Translations into English -- Sources.
Russian poetry -- 20th century -- Sources.
Russian prose literature -- 20th century -- Sources.
Translators in literature -- Sources.
- Genre Terms:
- Correspondence -- 20th century.
- Princeton University. Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Akhmatova, Anna Andreevna, 1889-1966
Mandelʹshtam, Nadezhda, 1899-1980.
Mandelʹshtam, Osip, 1891-1938
Merwin, W.S. (William Stanley), 1927-2019
- Soviet Union -- Intellectual life -- 1917-1970 -- Sources.
Soviet Union--Description and travel.