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Arthur Wheelock Upson papers

Identifier: ua-00794

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, including letters from Carmen Sylva (pen name of Elizabeth, queen of Romania), Count Ltttzow, William Braithwaite, Richard Burton, George Cary Eggleston, Jacob Rite, and Joseph Warren Beach. There is also an extensive compiling of manuscripts, both published and unpublished, as well as materials accumulated for his Moon Anthology. There are photographs, volumes of poems written by Upson, clippings from local newspapers, articles written about Upson, and a diary from 1904-1905.

The collection also includes portraits, lectures, legal papers, family papers, and personal memorabilia, such as autographed copies of books from other writers, including John Russell Hayes and Charles E. Russell. There is a manuscript entitled Fragments from the Home Letters, which is a biography of Arthur Upson, written by his mother Julia Claflin Upson.


  • Creation: 1880-1945, 1953


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English and German

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Arthur Wheelock Upson (1877-1908)

Arthur Wheelock Upson, noted poet and lecturer of English at the University of Minnesota.

Arthur W. Upson was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1877. In 1894, Upson and his family moved to Minnesota from New York. He entered the University with the class of 1898, however he struggled with poor health most of his adult life and was unable to complete the requirements for a degree. During his collegiate years he had published a little book of verse called At the Sign of the Harp. In 1906 the University awarded him a degree after the publication of one of his volumes of distinguished poetry. The Bellman, a small but influential literary magazine of the early 1900s, was one of the first periodicals to publish his work. As a student, Upson wrote the second verse to “Hail! Minnesota,” a song composed by Truman Rickard that would become the University hymn and later the official state song. In 1906 he became a lecturer in the English department. Two years later, Upson drowned while boating alone on Lake Bemidji in northern Minnesota, where he had gone to finish a verse play while on vacation.

After Upson's death, his poems were collected and published in two volumes by Edmund D. Brooks and William C. Edgar, friends and admirers of the poet. When Walter Library opened in 1924, his friend Ruth Shepard Phelps led the effort to establish and furnish a reading room in his memory. The Arthur Upson Room formally opened on 21 February 1925.


4.0 Cubic Feet (4 boxes (3 record carton, 1 oversize))


The collection contains the papers and writings of Arthur Upson, poet and lecturer of English at the University of Minnesota.

Source of acquisition

This collection is composed of items donated to University Archives by Mr. J. C. Hollenberger in 1935 and Dr. J. Riis Owre in November 1955. Some papers were received from the Reference Department, and several were items purchased from the Carnegie Bookshop, New York City, 5 June 1956.

Related Materials in University Archives

Ruth Shepard Phelps papers

Arthur Wheelock Upson papers, 1880-1945, 1953
University Archives staff
June 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area