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Paul Engle Papers

Identifier: MsC0514

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Paul Engle consist of 70.5 linear feet of records dating from approximately 1929 to 1988 and were transferred to the Special Collections Department at the time of his death in 1991. They document Engle's literary accomplishments, as well as his personal, professional and community interests. The papers are divided into six series: Personal Material, Professional Papers, Correspondence, Writings, Workshops, and Student Works.

The series of Personal Material dates from [1920 to 1980] and is arranged alphabetically. Here can be found Engle family correspondence, financial records, Paul Engle's transcripts and diplomas, newspaper and magazine clippings concerning Paul Engle, items once belonging to his first wife (Mary) and his two daughters (Mary and Sara) and family photographs.

The Professional Papers series, also arranged alphabetically, is made up of two subseries: A. General Information and B. University of Iowa Information. Within the General subseries are documents pertaining to Paul Engle's professional work that was not associated with the University of Iowa. Subseries B includes information about the University of Iowa's department of English, photographs of Paul, and newspaper clippings regarding Engle and his work at the University of Iowa. The inclusive dates for this series are 1934-1987.

The third series is composed of Correspondence, and is arranged chronologically. Here can be found letters written by Paul Engle and dating from 1929-1986. The bulk of series three, however, is a collection of letters written to Engle. These papers date from 1928 to 1987 and include letters from numerous notable individuals (especially American writers), students of the workshops, politicians, publishers and editors, and close family friends. An index to the Correspondence series can be found at the end of this manuscript register.

Series four, Writings, is arranged alphabetically and is divided into four subseries: A. Appearances and Lectures, B. Poetry, C. Prose, and D. Works Edited by Engle. The papers and audio-visual materials within this series date from approximately 1930 to 1978, documenting Engle's literary career with holograph and typescript drafts, research, and correspondence.

Subseries A, Appearances and Lectures, includes interview transcripts and lecture notes, as well as posters, brochures and pamphlets publicizing Paul Engle's appearances.

Subseries B, Poetry, is composed of two groupings of documents: General Poetry and Published Poetry. The papers include holograph and typescript drafts of poetry written by Engle as well as holograph and typescript manuscripts, galleys, reprint copies and related correspondence for much of Paul Engle's published poetry.

Subseries C, Prose, is arranged the same way as the Poetry subseries. It too is composed of various drafts, reprints, galleys, research and correspondence related to Paul Engle's works of prose, both published and unpublished.

Subseries D, Works Editied by Engle, contains information documenting serveral projects Engle edited alone or with a team.

Series five, Workshops, is arranged alphabetically and is also divided into four subseries: A. The International Writing Program (IWP), B. The Poetry Workshop, C. The Translation Workshop and D. The Iowa Writers' Workshop. This series documents much of the activity surrounding these four workshops and includes the perspectives of not only Paul Engle but of the students, professors, and administrators involved with the programs. Documents and audiovisual material in this series date from 1941 to 1988.

Subseries A, The International Writing Program (IWP) is composed of administrative information, a number of foreign language anthologies, student manuscripts, correspondence, publicity and newspaper clippings regarding the activities of the IWP.

Subseries B, The Poetry Workshop, contains papers documenting activities within this workshop, including administrative papers, correspondence and student manuscripts.

Subseries C, The Translation Workshop, is composed of papers relating to the creation of this program, as well as its transition into the IWP. Here can be found administrative information and student translations.

Subseries D, The Iowa Writers' Workshop, presents information regarding the students, professors, and administrators of this program. Documents include fundraising and financial statements, news and publicity, and student applications to the workshop.

The last series, Student Works, contains manuscripts (including holograph, typescript and carbon drafts, as well as galleys and theses) written by members of the University of Iowa's four writers' workshops. Documents within this series date from 1944 to 1983 and are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name.

Series 6: Miscellaneous


  • Creation: 1929-1988


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Hua-Ling Engle retains copyright.

Conditions Governing Use

Hua-Ling Engle retains copyright. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives as the source of the material. For further information, visit


72.00 Linear Feet (Photographs in Boxes 1-4, 21, 30; Microfilm in Box 27; Audio Material in Boxes 11, 24, 26, 29, 30, and 41.)

Language of Materials



Poet (numerous books from Worn Earth, 1932), editor of the O. Henry Prize Stories, 1954-1959, director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1941-1967, and co-founder and director of the International Writers' Program, 1967-1976 at the University of Iowa. Literary manuscripts, correspondence, subject files, and student works documenting his career as a writer and teacher.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Hua Ling Engle at the time of Mr. Engle's death in 1991.

Related Materials

Paul Engle poetry reading, December 15, 1969 [sound recording]. Main Media Services Audio record 234 CAS Paul Engle reading his own poems sound recording. Main Media Services Record 30 Iowa poets [audiorecordings]. Curriculum Lab Non-Print 811 /I64 Paul Engle, and later Hualing Engle, settled portions of his papers at his alma mater, Coe College (Cedar Rapids). Please refer to External Documents for a finding aid to this collection, which overlaps the present one.

Other Descriptive Information

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)