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Alfred S. Shivers Research Collection on Jessamyn West

Identifier: A-0074

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence to, from, and about Jessamyn West; galley proofs of two major works; a photocopy of West's writing note book and her mother's notebook and letter ; photocopy and printed copies of poems, short stories, and articles by West; biographical and genealogical materials on West; biographical materials on Shivers; and a letter from Richard M. Nixon to Dr. Shivers.


  • Creation: 1919-1978

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

Mary Jessamyn West was born July 18, 1902 near North Vernon, Indiana. Her family moved to California when she was six years old and she grew up there, attending Fullerton Junior College and Whittier College. In 1923 she married Harry Maxwell McPherson and while attending graduate school at the University of California in 1931 she became ill with tuberculosis. After long years of illness, she recovered, and published the first of many short stories in 1939. She is author of several novels ('A Matter of Time', 'Leafy Rivers', 'South of the Angels', 'The Witch Diggers'), and several collections of short stories ('Cress Delahanty'; 'Crimson Ramblers of the World, Farewell'; 'The Friendly Persuasion'; Love Death and the Ladies' Drill Team'; 'Except for Me and Thee'). She has also published poetry, novelettes, and saw the production of her operetta, 'A Mirror for the Sky', at the University of Oregon. She is a Quaker and cousin of former President Richard M. Nixon.

Dr. Alfred S. Shivers (1929- ) has degrees from University of Florida and Florida State University and has been a member of the SFA faculty since 1966. He has also published a critical study, MAXWELL ANDERSON.

("Shivers, Alfred." Vertical File: Biography. East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University; "Alfred S. Shivers Research on Jessamyn West." East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).


3.00 Cubic Feet


Correspondence, notes, and clippings pertaining to the life and works of Jessamyn West: poet, novelist and short story writer. Copies of many of her works are included. Materials collected by Dr. Shivers, SFASU English Professor, in preparation for writing his critical biography, Jessamyn West (1972).


This collection is described in 81 folders and was originally housed in eight clamshell boxes. Boxes 1-5 were consolidated into a single banker's box. The original folder numbering for boxes 1-8 remains in place.

Related Materials

Shivers, Alfred S. Jessamyn West. New York: Twayne, 1972. ETRC PS3545.E8315 Z88

Guide to the Alfred S. Shivers Research Collection on Jessamyn West
Pam Palmer
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository