Teller, Walter (1910-1993)
Scope:
The Walter Teller collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, professional material, research material, photographs, notebooks and journals, and miscellaneous material.

Manuscripts within the Walter Teller collection include drafts and proofs, both fiction and nonfiction, that he wrote, edited, or was written by others.  . Teller's books include An Island Summer (1951); The Search for Captain Slocum: A Biography (1956) and the revised edition of Joshua Slocum (1971); Five Sea Captains (1960); Area Code 215: A Private Line in Bucks County (1963); Cape Cod and the Offshore Islands (1970); Today Will Be Yesterday (1977/8); and Within a Year. Also included, an untitled memoir by Teller written in the early 1990s.

Manuscripts edited by Teller include Twelve Works of Naïve Genius (1972); Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1973); Walt Whitman's Camden Conversations (1973); On the River (1976); and Consider Poor I: The Life and Works of Nancy Luce (1984).

Short pieces by Teller include "The Way It Is;" "Speaking of Books;" "Postscripts to the Search for Captain Slocum" (1958); "Nantucket;" "The Time and the Place;" "Hail Hiram Haydn;" the series "The Way it Is" (1963-1969); short pieces on Nancy Luce and Walt Whitman; and "In the Transcendent Hour;" among many others from magazines such as The American Scholar and The New York Times Book Review.

Speeches include "The Borrowed Axe" delivered at the Thoreau Society, "Thoreauvian Tradition" delivered at Princeton Alumni College, and several from the Woman's Club of Wyomissing and Martha's Vineyard Alumni College.

The collection also includes manuscript material from The Works of Love by Wright Morris (1952).

Correspondence in the collection includes personal and professional letters to and from Teller between 1930 and 1989. Noteworthy is the correspondence between Teller and the publishers Atheneum and Harper and Brothers; agents; authors who collaborated on or were the subject of works by Teller; and editors of magazines such as American Scholar, Esquire, Francis Brown from The New York Times Book Review, The Saturday Review, William Sloane of Rutgers U. Press, and E.B. White, then on staff at The New Yorker. The collection also includes extensive letters to Teller from readers and his replies; letters regarding Teller's membership in the Christopher Morley Knothole Association, along with other material regarding Morely; and letters between Teller and many universities and schools including Columbia University, Princeton University, Haverford College, and Boston University. Between 1933 and 1949, Teller's correspondence regard service in the Navy during World War II. There are also 125 letters between him and his wife and parents.

Printed materials consist of book jackets, essays, book reviews, interviews, school materials from his times studying and teaching at numerous universities, event programs, and brochures written by or about Teller with publications from The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, The Book of the Month Club, The Progressive, The Saturday Review, and The American Scholar. Book reviews by Teller include works by Peter Matthiessen, Hannes Lindemann, and A.A. Hurst among others. The collections contain a new edition of Teller's Master's Thesis written at Columbia University and departmental language comprehension exams from Harvard. Numerous essays regarding Christopher Morley are contained in the collection. There is also a signed copy of Starting Right with Sheep and a pamphlet from "The Drawing Society Eastern Central Regional Drawing Exhibition" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which included pieces by Jane Teller, Walter's wife.

Professional materials include contracts, royalty statements, and advertisements regarding Teller and his works, as well as documents pertaining to his time in the U.S. Navy.

Research materials include notes and background information on many of his books, including Five Sea Captains (1960), Cape Cod and the Offshore Islands (1970), Joshua Slocum (from 1967-1973), and other shorter pieces. The collection also contains miscellaneous notes regarding Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, as well as extensive material regarding Nancy Luce and Christopher Morley.

Photographs in the collection portray Walter Teller and his family and friends including pictures of Teller in uniform, at a typewriter, at the 8th Annual New Jersey Writers Conference, and reading the Philadelphia Navy Yard Beacon. Friends' photos include Robert G. Wilder in uniform and the Bellamy family. There are also 65 photographs of Whitman and his mother and works from his books.

Miscellaneous other materials include Teller's Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Application from between 1952-1963. This includes correspondences, testimonials, application blanks, and supporting evidence relative to his successful quest for support of his book Search for Captain Slocum. Also included in the collection are five notebooks; tax material and royalty statements; university diplomas; certificates of registry for the American Cheviot Sheep Society between 1939 and 1944; and a limited edition, emerald green, cotton T-shirt.
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Notable Figures
1. Teller, Walter
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide