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Donald Elder (1913-1965) was an editor with Doubleday, Doran and Co., which published the English translation of José Joaquín Fernandez de Lizardi's The Itching Parrot in Katherine Anne Porter's name. He was also the author of Ring Lardner, A Biography. The collection consists of correspondence between him and Porter. Important subjects include writers and writing and Porter's personal interests and opinions, as well as The Itching Parrot and Ship of Fools.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
0.25 Linear Feet
The papers of Donald Elder cover the period 1940 to 1963 and consist primarily of correspondence from Katherine Anne Porter to Donald Elder. The collection includes telegrams, postcards, Christmas cards, and a newspaper clipping. The major topics include Porter's life at her various residences; financial problems; mutual acquaintances; opinions about World War II; Porter's work on The Itching Parrot and Ship of Fools; and family and personal affairs.
Donald Elder, editor and writer, was born on April 15, 1913, in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Niles, Michigan. In 1935 he received his undergraduate degree from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. While a student at Michigan, Mr. Elder won the freshman literature contest of 1932; the Avery Hopwood Award for creative writing in 1933 for sketches entitled Railroad Men; and a major fiction award in 1935. In 1935, he began his career as an editor at Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc., Publishers, where he rose through the company's ranks to become Vice President in 1946. In 1947, he took a leave of absence from the company to write Ring Lardner: A Biography, which was published by Doubleday in 1956.
While Mr. Elder was an editor at Doubleday, he became acquainted with Katherine Anne Porter, and they became close friends. For Doubleday, he edited Eugene Pressly's translation of the Mexican novel The Itching Parrot that was published under Porter's name in 1942. Mr. Elder died May 5, 1965, at the age of 52.
The collection has been arranged in a single series.
The Papers of Donald Elder were purchased by the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries from Stephen Elder, Donald Elder's nephew, in August 1972.
Items within the series were arranged in chronological order and divided into six folders. Staples and paper clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips. The correspondence has been placed in acid-free folders in an acid-free box.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives