White, Newman Ivey, 1892-1948

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The songs in v. 1-2 were collected at Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Those in v. 3 are partly a supplement and partly a further collection made at Trinity College, Durham, NC.

From the description of Negro songs and folk-lore : with some songs, etc., of the southern whites / collected by Newman Ivey White : manuscript, 1916, 1920. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612807388

Newman Ivey White was an educator and Percy Bysshe Shelley scholar. He served as Professor of English at Trinity College and Duke University from 1919 to 1948.

From the description of Newman I. White papers, 1915-1948. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 53906095

Educator, Shelley biographer. Professor of English, Trinity College and Duke University, 1919-1948. Author, Shelley (1940) and Portrait of Shelley (1945), and other works. B.A., M.A. Trinity College, Durham, NC, 1913, 1914. M.A., Ph.D., Harvard, 1915, 1918. Married, 1922, Marie Anne Updike. Died Cambridge, MA, December 6, 1948.

Known in his time as an eminent Shelley scholar, Newman Ivey White was born in Statesville, North Carolina on February 3, 1892. He grew up in Greensboro, where his father, James Houston White, died in 1912. White entered Trinity College in Durham in 1909, graduating magna cum laude in 1913. During his student days, he was a member of the varsity tennis team for three years; he later coached the school's teams. White entered the graduate program at Trinity, obtaining his M.A. in 1914. He then went to Harvard, where he acquired another M.A. (1915) and the Ph.D. (1918). His dissertation was on Percy Shelley's dramatic poems. While at Trinity he had served as an assistant in English and Latin; he later he filled an instructorship at Alabama Polytechnic institute (1915-1916), and taught English at Washington University in St. Louis. He returned to Trinity in 1919 as a member of the English Department. In 1922 he married Marie Anne Updike, a fellow member of the department from 1927 to 1955 who taught modern literature and drama.

Mr. and Mrs. White shared an interest in folksong, and as a scholar, Dr. White authored An Anthology of Verse by American Negroes (1924, with W.C. Jackson) and American Negro Folk Songs (1928). In 1943, he became the general editor of the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore. It was as a Shelley scholar that Dr. White was best known, however. Leaving aside scholarly articles, his first published work on the poet was an anthology, The Best of Shelley (1932). This was followed by The Unextinguished Heart: Shelley and his Contemporary Critics (1938), in which White argued that the poet was not neglected in his own time. Finally, he completed in 1940 his two-volume biography, Shelley, and followed this with a shorter popular biography, the 1945 Portrait of Shelley .

Aside from scholarship, Newman and Marie White were known for their interest in progressive causes. Professor White took an interest in election reform, and in child care facilities for working mothers. He was associated with the West Durham Nursery School (1934-1936), and later the Child Care Association, of which he was chairman and member of the board of directors (1944-1946). He was also a moving force behind the establishment of the Durham Labor and Materials Exchange (1933), a clearinghouse for information about jobs, goods and services available to Durham's unemployed. During World War II, Dr. White served on the Duke University Defense Council, and arranged for publication of articles promoting national unity in the crisis.

White was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Association of University Professors, the American Folklore Society, the Modern Language Association and other scholarly associations, both in the United States and in England. His service to Duke University included membership on the University Research Council and on the Executive Committee of the Friends of Duke University Library.

During the last year of his life, Newman White was engaged in doing research for a biography of William Godwin. He was at Harvard when he died suddenly on December 6, 1948. Mrs. White died in 1975, and is buried in Statesville with her husband.

From the guide to the Newman Ivey White papers, ., 1915 - 1948, (University Archives, Duke University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Richard Gaither Walser Papers (#4168), 1918-1988 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf White, Newman Ivey, 1892-1948. Newman I. White papers, 1915-1948. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Jaffe, Louis I. (Louis Isaac), 1888-1950. Editorial correspondence files, W-Z, of the Virginian-Pilot [manuscript], 1919-1972 (bulk 1922-1949). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Brawley, Benjamin Griffith, 1882-1939. Benjamin Griffith Brawley papers, 1917-1936. Moorland-Spingarn Resource Center
referencedIn News Service Biographical Files, ., circa 1930s - 2004 University Archives, Duke University.
creatorOf Newman Ivey White papers, ., 1915 - 1948 University Archives, Duke University.
referencedIn Letters sent to Hyder Edward Rollins, 1927-1946 (inclusive), 1944-1946 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Holman, Harriet R. (Harriet Rebecca), 1912-. Harriet R. Holman papers, 1869-1986. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Hench, Atcheson Laughlin, 1891-1974. Letters of Atcheson Laughlin Hench [manuscript] 1923-1938-1962. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Biographical Reference Collection, ., 1972 - 2004 University Archives, Duke University.
referencedIn Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. Papers, 1897-1930 Houghton Library
creatorOf White, Newman Ivey, 1892-1948. Negro songs and folk-lore : with some songs, etc., of the southern whites / collected by Newman Ivey White : manuscript, 1916, 1920. Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. corporateBody
correspondedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962 person
associatedWith Brawley, Benjamin Griffith, 1882-1939. person
associatedWith Duke University corporateBody
associatedWith Duke University. Dept. of English. corporateBody
associatedWith Duke University. News Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Duke University. University Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Hench, Atcheson Laughlin, 1891-1974. person
associatedWith Holman, Harriet R. (Harriet Rebecca), 1912- person
associatedWith Hoover, Calvin B. (Calvin Bryce), 1897-1974. person
associatedWith Jaffe, Louis I. (Louis Isaac), 1888-1950. person
associatedWith Jones, Frederick L. (Frederick Lafayette), 1901-1973. person
associatedWith Kittredge, George Lyman, 1860-1941. person
correspondedWith Rollins, Hyder Edward, 1889-1958 person
associatedWith Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822. person
associatedWith Trinity College (Durham, N.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Walser, Richard Gaither, 1908- person
associatedWith Wise, Thomas James, 1859-1937. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
North Carolina
Folk songs, English
African Americans--Music--20th century
World War, 1939-1945--Correspondence
World War, 1939-1945
English literature 19th century History and criticism


Birth 1892-02-03

Death 1948-12-06


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