Inventory of the Rundus Collection of Joseph Mitchell

Descriptive Summary

Repository:
University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Mary Livermore Library, Special Collections
Creator:
Dr. Raymond J. Rundus
Title:
Rundus Collection of Joseph Mitchell
Language of Materials:
English
Extent:
9 Boxes (Seven 10 ¼ x 15 ¼ x 5 in. boxes and Two 10 ¾ x 6 ½ x 22 in. boxes) Items: 105 Folders, 41 Books
Abstract:
The Rundus Collection of Joseph Mitchell includes personal books, correspondence, and background information collected by Dr. Raymond J. Rundus. Dr. Rundus’ longtime interest in Mr. Mitchell prompted him to write two books: Joseph Mitchell: Pilgrim in Manhattan and Joseph Mitchell: A Reader’s and Writer’s Guide. Mr. Mitchell was born in Fairmont in 1908 where he lived until his relocation to New York in 1928. He spent fifty-eight years as a writer for The New Yorker while maintaining family ties in the Robeson County area.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

The materials available on this web site are for research use only. Publication and/or broadcast in any form, whether print or electronic, requires written permission from the Mary Livermore Library.

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Preferred Citation:
[Identification of item], Rundus Collection of Joseph Mitchell, [Mary Livermore Library], [University of North Carolina at Pembroke], [Pembroke], NC, USA.
Provenance:
The Joseph Mitchell collection was received by the Mary Livermore Library Special Collections as a donation from Dr. Raymond J. Rundus in December, 2005.
Processing Information:
Processed by K. Blake Tyner, August, 2007

This Finding Aid is NCEAD Compliant.

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Historical Sketch of UNCP

On March 7, 1887, the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted legislation that created the Croatan Normal School, founded to train Native American public school teachers. Local people constructed a building at a site approximately one mile west of the present location. The school opened with 15 students and one teacher in the fall of 1887. The school moved to its present location in Pembroke, the center of the Indian community, in 1909. The General Assembly changed the name of the institution in 1911 to the Indian Normal School of Robeson County, and again in 1913 to the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Robeson County.

For many years, the instruction was at the elementary and secondary school level, but in 1926, the Board of Trustees added a two-year normal program beyond high school and phased out the elementary school instruction. The first diplomas from the "normal" school were awarded in 1928, when the state accredited the school as a "standard normal school." Additional college classes were offered in 1931, and, in 1939, a fourth year was added, with the first four-year degrees conferred in 1940. In recognition of the school's new status, the General Assembly changed the name of the school in 1941 to Pembroke State College for Indians. Until 1953, it was the only state-supported, four-year college for Indians in the nation.

The scope of the institution was widened in 1942 when non-teaching degrees were added, and, in 1945, when enrollment, previously limited to the Indians of Robeson County, was opened to all federally-recognized Indian groups. A few years later, in 1949, the General Assembly shortened the name to Pembroke State College.

In 1953, the Board of Trustees approved the admission of white students up to 40 percent of the total enrollment, and, following the Supreme Court's school desegregation decision in 1954, opened the college to all qualified applicants regardless of race.

In 1969, the General Assembly made the institution a regional university and changed the name again to Pembroke State University. Three years later, in 1972, the General Assembly established the 16-campus University of North Carolina with Pembroke State University as one of the constitutient institutions. In 1978, the Board of Governors approved the implementation of master's programs and several new undergraduate programs at Pembroke State University. Over time, additional baccalaureate and master's level programs were added.

The institution celebrated its centennial in 1987, and, on July 1, 1996, Pembroke State University officially became The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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Biographical Note:

Raymond Joe Rundus was born in Blue Rapids, Kansas on September 25, 1934 to Paul and Esther Frances Rundus. He married Brigitte Obermeyer on June 4, 1959. They have three children: Richard Hans, Ronald Paul, and Victoria Rae. In 1955, he received a BA degree in English from the College of Emporia in Kansas; an MA in English from Wayne State University in 1957; and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska in 1969. He joined the faculty of what is now The University of North Carolina at Pembroke as chair of the English Department in 1970, a position he held until 1979. He was granted professor emeritus status when he retired in 1996.

Dr. Rundus had a longtime interest in Joseph Mitchell which led him to write two books about him, Joseph Mitchell: Pilgrim in Manhattan and Joseph Mitchell: A Reader’s and Writer’s Guide. In addition to these two books, he published poetry and literary articles and presented papers at local, state, and regional meetings. He also served on several committees among them the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction accreditation team. He served as editorial assistant of the Asian Forum from 1974-1976, judged many public speaking contests in Robeson County, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Library of UNC Pembroke, serving as president from 1991-1993. Dr. Rundus continues to be a very supportive member of the UNCP Friends of the Library.


Joseph Mitchell, an American writer, was best known for his writings that were published in The New Yorker. He was widely recognized for his portrayals of eccentrics and people on the fringes of society, especially in and around New York City. Mr. Mitchell was born on July 27, 1908 on his grandparents’ farm near Fairmont, North Carolina. He was the son of Averette Nance and Elizabeth A. Parker Mitchell. The Mitchells grew tobacco and cotton on the farm and money earned on the farm helped to support Mitchell throughout his life. He always remained close to his North Carolina roots and credited his Robeson County upbringing as the nurturing ground of his passion for storytelling.

Mitchell attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for four years but left before graduation to begin working as a reporter for a Durham, NC newspaper. In 1929, he wrote a feature story about a tobacco auction that caught the attention of a New York editor. He moved to New York and remained there until his death in 1996.

For his first nine years in New York, he worked as a reporter and feature writer for the Morning World, the Harold Tribune, and the World-Telegram. During this time, he developed his own elegant style of beautifully crafted stories about the city’s streets and the characters that travelled them. He began working at The New Yorker in 1938 as a feature writer and remained there for the next fifty-eight years. Most of his stories were centered on New York, but some were straight out of his Robeson County upbringing.

In 1931, Joseph Mitchell married photographer Therese Dagny Engelstead Jacobsen. She died in 1980. They had two daughters, Nora and Elizabeth. In 1965, he received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, in 1984, the North Carolina Award for Literature.

He was called the “paragon of reporters” by some. Calvin Trillin, a fellow journalist, called him “the New Yorker reporter who set the standard.” Mitchell was such a perfectionist about his work that he would not let anyone, not even his closest friends, see his work until it was in print. In 1983, critic Noel Perrin called Joseph Mitchell one of “the dozen North Carolinians who belong to American literature, along with O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, etc.” Perrin went on to say that in some ways Mitchell was the least known … and in some ways the most remarkable.”

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Collection Overview

Collection Arrangement
Series 01: Joseph Mitchell Research
Series 02: Joseph Mitchell Collection
Series 03: Joseph Mitchell: A Reader’s and Writer’s Guide
Series 04: Joseph Mitchell: Pilgrim in Manhattan
Series 05: Correspondence
Series 06: Joe Gould’s Secret
Series 07: Lectures
Series 08: Photographs
Series 09: Publications
Series 10: Research Notes Individuals
Series 11: Research Notes Other
Series 12: Miscellaneous
Series 13: Books

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Online Catalog Headings

Mitchell, Joseph, 1908-1996
Rundus, Raymond J.
Authors, American -- 20th century
Authors – North Carolina
Journalists -- 20th century
Journalists – North Carolina
Journalists – New York
Mitchell, Joseph, 1908-1996 -- Biography
New Yorker (New York, N.Y.)
Robeson County (N.C.) – Authors
Robeson County (N.C.) – Journalists
Mary Livermore Library – Special Collections
University of North Carolina at Pembroke – Special Collections

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Detailed Description of the Collection:

Box 1

Series 1: Joseph Mitchell Research

Folder 1
Bibliography

Folder 2
Obituaries

Folder 3
Miscellaneous

Series 2: Joseph Mitchell Collection
An itemized list of 51 items given to Dr. Rundus by Joseph Mitchell in 1973 is available in the front of the folder. Dr. Rundus added 3 additional items in 1993.

Box 2

Series 3: Joseph Mitchell: A Reader’s and Writer’s Guide

Folder 1
Manuscript with proof corrections

Folder 2
Queries and replies

Folder 3
Reviews and Correspondence

Folder 4
Media Contacts

Folder 5
iUniverse Correspondence

Folder 6
Book Signing Guide

Folder 7
Marketing Guide

Folder 8
Photographs – 1993 Municipal Art Society
Brendan Gill Award
Correspondence

Folder 9
Cumberland County Library Event

Folder 10
Friends of Robeson County Public Library Event

Folder 11
Quail Ridge Event

Folder 12
Friends of Sampson Livermore Library Event

Folder 13
McIntyre’s Book Event

Folder 14
UNC Press (Missing)

Box 3

Series 4: Joseph Mitchell: Pilgrim in Manhattan

Folder 1-7
Research Notes for Chapters 1-7 arranged numerically

Folder 8
XLibris Correspondence

Folder 9
Correspondence and Book Orders

Folder 10
Personal

Box 4

Series 5: Correspondence

Folder 1
Atlantic Monthly

Folder 2
Carolina Press

Folder 3
Core, George

Folder 4
Kaul, Arthur J.

Folder 5
Kunkel, Thomas

Folder 6
Lauffer, James

Folder 7
Maliszewski, Paul

Folder 8
Mitchell, Joseph Parker

Folder 9
Mitchell, Joseph Quincy

Folder 10
Parker, Roy

Folder 11
Singer, Mark

Folder 12
Smoller, Sanford

Folder 13
Streitfeld, David

Folder 14
Washington, Jim

Folder 15
Wilkinson, Alec

Folder 16
Miscellaneous

Box 5

Series 6: Joe Gould’s Secret

Folder 1
Cameo Showing, November 3, 2002

Folder 2
Reviews of Book and Film

Folder 3
Other Media

Series 7: Lectures

Folder 1
Philological Association of the Carolinas - 1993

Folder 2
Sigma Tau Delta – 1995

Folder 3
Autobiography of a Biography

Series 8: Photographs

Folder 1
Fairmont

Folder 2
New York

Folder 3
Shirley Eaton Photographs

Folder 4
UNC Pembroke

Box 6

Series 9: Publications

Folder 1
Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook (1996)

Folder 2
Pembroke Magazine No. 26

Folder 3
Twayne Publisher

Folder 4
Artwork and Images

Folder 5
Permissions

Folder 6
Permissions (cont.)

Series 10: Research Notes -- Individuals

Folder 1
Adler, Renata

Folder 2
Arbus, Diane

Folder 3
Botsford, Gardner

Folder 4
Brown, Tina

Folder 5
Corvey, Mary F.

Folder 6
DeVries, Peter

Folder 7
Gill, Brendan

Folder 8
Gould, Joseph Ferdinand

Folder 9
Hahn, Emily

Folder 10
Hamburger, Philip

Folder 11
Hersey, John

Folder 12
Hirschfeld, Al

Folder 13
Hyman, Stanley Edgar

Box 7

Series 10: Research Notes -- Individuals (cont.)

Folder 14
Joyce, James

Folder 15
Liebling, Abbott Joseph

Folder 16
McKelway, St. Clair

Folder 17
Maiton, Gig

Folder 18
Malcolm, Janet

Folder 19
Maxwell, William

Folder 20
Mehta, Ved

Folder 21
Neel, Alice

Folder 22
O’Hara, John

Folder 23
Orlean, Susan

Folder 24
Perelman, S.J.

Folder 25
Ross, Harold

Folder 26
Ross, William

Folder 27
Schuyler, Philippa Duke

Folder 28
Shaw, William

Folder 29
Stafford, Jean

Folder 30
Steinberg, Saul

Folder 31
Trillin, Calvin

Folder 32
Yagoda, Ben

Folder 33
Zinsser, William

Series 11: Research Notes -- Other

Folder 1
Bajour

Folder 2
Non Fiction Novels and Anthologies

Series 12: Miscellaneous

Folder 1
Book entitled – Posada’s Popular Mexican Prints

Folder 2
Drawing for Atlantic Monthly – August 1992

Folder 3
Manhattan Block by Block – a street atlas

Folder 4
History and Heritage – a walking tour Manhattan

Folder 5
Taped interview with Joseph Mitchell – August 21, 1992

Folder 6
Newspaper Articles

Folder 7
The New Yorker
June 5, 1993

Folder 8
The New Yorker
June 27 & July 4, 1994

Folder 9
The New Yorker
June 10, 1996

Folder 10
The New Yorker
Feb. 22 & March 1, 1999

Box 8

Series 13: Books

1. About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made
by Ben Yagoda

2. American Caravan IV
by Alfred Kreymborg, Lewis Mumford, Paul Rosenfeld, Editors

3. The American Commonwealth, vol. 1
by James Bryce

4. The American Commonwealth, vol. 2
by James Bryce

5. Apologies to the Iroquois (1960, Paperback)
by Edmund Wilson, Joseph Mitchell

6. Apologies to the Iroquois (1960, Hardback)
by Edmund Wilson, Joseph Mitchell

7. The Bottom of the Harbor (1st Edition - 1959)
by Joseph Mitchell

8. The Bottom of the Harbor (1961, Chatto and Windus)
by Joseph Mitchell

9. The Bottom of the Harbor (2000, Jonathan Cape, Publisher)
by Joseph Mitchell

10. Bright Lights, Big City
by Jay McInerney

11. Draggerman’s Haul
by Ellery Thompson

12. Here at the New Yorker
by Brendan Gill

Box 9

Series 13: Books (cont.)

13. James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Study
by Stuart Gilbert

14. Jean Stafford: A Biography
by David Roberts

15, Joe Gould’s Geheimnis (2000)
by Joseph Mitchell

16. Joe Gould’s Secret (1965)
by Joseph Mitchell

17. Joe Gould’s Secret (1966)
by Joseph Mitchell

18. Joe Gould’s Secret (1997)
by Joseph Mitchell

19. Joe Gould’s Secret (1999)
by Joseph Mitchell

20. Kingdom of Dreams
by Josephine and Philippa Duke Schuyler

21. Literary Journalism
by Norman Sims and Mark Kramer, Editors

22. Literary Journalism in the Twentieth Century
by Norman Sims, Editor

23. McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1943, 1st Edition)
by Joseph Mitchell

24. McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1943, UL-60)
by Joseph Mitchell

25. McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1944, Collins White Circle Pocket Novel)
by Joseph Mitchell

26. McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1944, Blue Ribbon Books)
by Joseph Mitchell

27. McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1945, Penguin Paperback)
by Joseph Mitchell

28. McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001, Pantheon)
by Joseph Mitchell

29. My Ears Are Bent
by Joseph Mitchell

30. My Mentor: A Young Man's Friendship with William Maxwell
by Alec Wilkinson

31. The New American Caravan: A Yearbook of American literature, Volume 3
by Alfred Kreymborg, Lewis Mumford, Paul Rosenfeld

32. Old Mr. Flood (1948)
by Joseph Mitchell

33. Old Mr. Flood (2005)
by Joseph Mitchell

34. On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction (1994)
by William Zinsser

35. Playbill: The Magazine for Theatregoers, Nov. 1964, v.1, no.11

36. Reflections and Shadows
by Saul Steinberg, Aldo Buzzi

37. Remembering Mr. Shawn’s New Yorker
by Ved Mehta

38. Short Stories from the New Yorker (1940)
compiled by Editors

39. A Violent Act
by Alec Wilkinson

40. Wayward Reporter: The Life of A.J. Liebling
by Raymond A. Sokolov

41. Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Literature of Reality (1995)
by Gay Talese, Barbara Lounsberry