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General Files Edit

Summary

Component Unique Identifier
Series 2
Level of Description
Series

Dates

  • 1912-2001 (Creation)

Notes

  • Physical Description

    24,134 items

  • Scope and Contents

    The "General Files" series is essentially a group of subject files. In Father Ong's original organizational scheme, there were no sub-series in the "General Files" series. The archivists processing the collection decided to divide this series into three sub-series:

    1. General Files sub-series

    2. Correspondence

    3. References

    This decision was made primarily because two of these categories or sub-series, the "Correspondence" and "References," were so large and contained so many items. In Father Ong's scheme, these two sub-series were simply filed in order as part of the larger "General Files" series. The "General Files" and "Correspondence" sub-series have been sub-divided into two sub-sub-series, those documents already filed by Ong (the "Filed" sub-sub-series) and those found loose in Father Ong's room and arranged wholly by archivists (the "Unfiled" sub-sub-series). As Father Ong's health declined over the last few years of his life, he was unable to file away newly received material into his already established categories and organization. By far, the largest and most important sub-sub-series in both the "General Files" and "Correspondence"

    categories is the "Filed" sub-sub-series. Arrangement in all of the sub-series is generally alphabetical and reverse chronological thereunder, but where there are anomalies, such as in the succession of folders on English courses in the "General Files" sub-series, the order is Ong's original order. Folder descriptions list items from the back of the folders to the front in order to establish historical continuity over the range of items kept by Ong in reverse chronologcal order.

    The "General Files" sub-series may best be described as Father Ong's true subject files. Among other categories, Father Ong filed numerous items under the following headings: colleges or universities, professional organizations, scholarly journals, professional awards, and personal names. Of particular interest to scholars will be the items filed beginning with the "English" heading which include notes and other materials related to college/university courses which Father Ong both took and taught.

    Although one will find many pieces of correspondence within the "General Files" sub-series, the "Correspondence" sub-series actually contains the bulk of the important correspondence in the Father Ong Collection. In addition to more personal correspondence with family members and friends, this sub-series contains correspondence between Father Ong and numerous scholars. Among the notable scholars with whom Father Ong corresponded are: Noam Chomsky, John Hope Franklin, Northrop Frye, Eric Havelock, Marshall McLuhan, Perry Miller, and William

    Wimsatt. Please be aware that there may be correspondence with these scholars, and others, within other series in the collection, particularly the "Scholarship" series.

    The "References" sub-series contains letters of reference or recommendation which Father Ong wrote for individuals. The purpose for which the letters were written included applications for jobs, graduate school, fellowships, awards, etc. This sub-series is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the person for whom the letter of reference was written.

    The "General Files" and "Correspondence" sub-series are both sub-divided into two sub-sub-series, those documents already filed by Ong (the "Filed" sub-sub-series) and those found loose in Father Ong's room and arranged wholly by archivists (the "Unfiled" sub-sub-series). As Father Ong's health declined over the last few years of his life, he was unable to file away any newly received material into his already established categories and organization. By far, the largest and most important sub-sub-series in both the "General Files" and "Correspondence" categories is the "Filed" sub-sub-series. Arrangement in these two sub-sub-series is generally alphabetical.

  • CALL NUMBER

    DOC MSS 64.2

Components