Monday, October 09, 2006

Simmonds Papers Added to Steinbeck Collection for Students and Scholars

The papers of noted Steinbeck scholar Roy Simmonds have been donated to Ball State University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections Research Center by his daughter Mrs. Aileen M. Lightfoot. Mrs. Lightfoot, who lives in Spain, closed her parents’ home after their deaths and sorted through her father’s papers.

Roy Simmonds, who was born in London, became an independent Steinbeck scholar after retiring from a career in the British Civil Service. He wrote numerous articles and essays for publication, along with several books. One of his most notable works was John Steinbeck: The War Years, 1939 – 1945, a study of Steinbeck’s writing during World War II. He was a member of several scholarly organizations, including the Steinbeck Society, the Steinbeck Society of Japan, and the Hemingway Society, and was the keynote speaker at the 1990 Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California.

Simmonds had an extensive Steinbeck collection, including copies of Steinbeck’s letters, articles, journals, and a manuscript of The Pearl. In addition to that material, his collection consists of correspondence, newsletters, scholarly essays by a variety of authors, programs and reviews of Steinbeck films and stage productions, book reviews, research on Steinbeck’s life, comprehensive lists of editions of Steinbeck’s works, and letters and commentary from Elaine Steinbeck.

Renowned Steinbeck scholar and Ball State professor emeritus Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi was good friends with Simmonds and his wife. In giving the papers to Ball State to complement the outstanding Steinbeck Collection that Dr. Hayashi was responsible for establishing here, Mrs. Lightfoot said her father was very fond of Hayashi and would be pleased that his papers were at Ball State along with Hayashi’s papers.

For information on the Steinbeck Collection, visit the guide to the collection at on the Archives Web site.


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