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Kimball Flaccus - Edgar Lee Masters Collection

Identifier: GTM-770311

Scope and Contents

Research files of Kimball Flaccus, comprised of correspondence, published and photocopied source materials relating to his biography on the poet Edgar Lee Masters. File arrangement is alphabetical by person or place name.


  • 1908 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical Note

William Kimball Flaccus was born August 8, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis William and Laura Flaccus. He earned degrees at Dartmouth College (A.B. in 1933); Columbia University (M.A., 1934); and New York University (Ph.D., 1952). Development as a poet began in high school where he won first prize in Scholastic Magazine's national interscholastic poetry competition in 1929 and first prize in the Glascock Memorial Poetry Contest at Mt. Holyoke College in 1931. Flaccus published his first book of poems, “Avalanche of April”, in 1934, the same year he earned his M.A. from Columbia.

Also a teacher of English and creative writing, Flaccus was on the faculty at City College of New York, where he established the Phonographic Library of Contemporary Poets, recording the voices of such famous poets as Edgar Lee Masters, Genevieve Taggard, Arthur Davison Ficke, and John Hall Wheelock reading their own poems (1936-1942); Drexel Institute of Technology (1946); New York University and Hunter College (1953 and 1954); Pratt Institute (1954); and Greensboro College, North Carolina (1956-1957). In 1957, he became a free-lance writer.

During World War II, Flaccus served in the United States Navy, remaining in the Navy as a reservist following the War until 1950. From 1946 to 1949, Flaccus worked as an assistant professor at the United States Naval Intelligence School.

Other published works by Flaccus include “ The White Stranger” (1940); “Fulton Fish Market”, a verse play performed on CBS radio (1940); “The Music of Mountains”, a verse play performed on CBS radio (1942); “ Knock on Wood” (1944); “ Edgar Lee Masters: A Biographical and Critical Study” (1954); and “Seventy New Poems” (1968).

Flaccus married Josephine Thurston in 1952 and Alice Pennock in 1968. He died on June 16, 1972, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Source: Kevin Baldridge, University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Edgar Lee Masters (August 23, 1868 – March 5, 1950) was an American attorney, poet, biographer, and dramatist. He is the author of “Spoon River Anthology”, “The New Star Chamber and Other Essays”, “Songs and Satires”, “The Great Valley”, “The Serpent in the Wilderness An Obscure Tale”, “The Spleen”, “Mark Twain: A Portrait”, “Lincoln: The Man”, and “Illinois Poems". In all, Masters published twelve plays, twenty-one books of poetry, six novels and six biographies.

Source: Wikipedia.


6.59 Linear Feet (10 Document Cases, 2 Slim Document Cases, 2 Record Storage boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from George S. MacManus Company, Philadelphia, Pa., 1977.

Related Materials

Materials relating to Kimball Flaccus and Edgar Lee Masters in other repositories include --

- William Kimball Flaccus galley proofs (University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books.

- Dartmouth College: William Kimball Flaccus papers, 1921-1978, ML-64.

- - University of California Santa Barbara: William Kimball Flaccus collection, circa 1930-1972.

- Columbia University: Edgar Lee Masters papers 1910-1942.

Kimball Flaccus - Edgar Lee Masters Collection
Lisette Matano
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Revision Statements

  • 2023-10: Edited for DACS-compliance by John Zarrillo

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057