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Ben Harris McClary Papers

Identifier: MS-2916

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of letters, publications, course materials, and other items documenting the education, life, and work of Ben Harris McClary. Other individuals and families documented in this collection include Graf family, Richard Beale Davis (a literature professor at the University of Tennessee), Marcus Cunliffe (professor at Sussex), Mitzi Cunliffe (a British sculptor), and Joan Van Mort (at one time the oldest living relative of Washington Irving). Most materials date from between 1959 and 2001.


  • 1941-2001 (bulk 1959-2001)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


3.5 Linear Feet


This collection consists of correspondence, publications, course materials, and other items documenting the education, life, and work of Ben Harris McClary and several of his close friends. Most materials date from between 1959 and 2001.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ben Harris McClary was born in 1931 and grew up in Ocoee, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Master of Arts in 1955 (having previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Civilization) and continued on to serve in the army. After he was discharged, he taught high school in Cleveland, Tennessee until taking a job with Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1961. He remained at Wesleyan until 1967, with the exception of a break between 1964 and 1966 when he studied at Sussex on a Fulbright Scholarship and earned his PhD in English and American Studies. McClary became the head of the English department at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, in 1967 and held that post until accepting another position, again as head of the English department, at Middle Georgia College in 1971. He retired in 1991.


This collection consists of eight series in two boxes:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: The Graf Family, 1964-2001
  2. Series II: Richard Beale Davis, 1960-1995
  3. Series III: Marcus Cunliffe, 1959-2000
  4. Series IV: Tennessee Literature Seminar and Course, 1949-1961, 1973, undated (bulk 1961)
  5. Series V: The Lovingood Papers and the Sut Society, 1941, 1954-1975
  6. Series VI: Tennessee Poetry Journal, 1967-1971, undated (bulk 1967)
  7. Series VII: Joan Van Mort and Washington Irving, 1966-1987
  8. Series VIII: Oversized Materials, 1949-1990

Acquisition Note

Collection was donated to Special Collections on January 28, 2005

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA