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Calvin Kentfield Papers

Identifier: MsC0639

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the original drafts and manuscripts of Kentfield's novel The Alchemist's Voyage.


  • Creation:


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Calvin Kentfield was born in 1924 in Keokuk, Iowa. Brought up near the Mississippi River, he developed a feeling for "going somewhere else" early in life. He attended the University of Iowa, but interrupted his studies to ship out as ordinary seaman and able seaman on freighters and tugs. He wrote stories and earned enough money to travel for a year in Europe. In 1948 he returned to the University of Iowa and earned a B.A. His first novel, The Alchemist's Voyage, appeared in 1955, The Angel and the Sailor in 1957, All Men Are Mariners in 1962, and The Great Wandering Goony Bird in 1963, among others. As well as writing novels and short stories, he frequently wrote essays for Holiday, the New Yorker, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Kentfield died September 4, 1975.


1.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Iowa writer. Manuscript for The Alchemist's Voyage and various clippings and tear sheets. Iowa Author Mss.

Method of Acquisition

These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Calvin Kentfield. Guide posted to Internet: August 2004.

Claudia Pummer and Jacque Roethler, August 2004
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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)