Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Carl Bode papers

 Collection 0073-UA

Carl Bode (1911-1993) was an author, professor of English at the University of Maryland, and officer of several literary and cultural organizations. His scholarly interests included Emerson, Thoreau, and H. L. Mencken. His books included Mencken, the first full biography to be published after Mencken's death; Maryland, a 350-year history of the state; The Man Behind You, a volume of poetry; and The Anatomy of American Popular Culture. He received a Ford Fellowship in 1952-1953 and a Guggenheim award in 1954-1955. Bode also founded the national American Studies Association. His papers consist of correspondence, drafts of publications, documentation from editing projects, and records of participation in political campaigns. Correspondence relates to Joseph Tydings, Walter R. Harding, and Wilson Follett.


  • 1941-1984

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


6.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Carl Bode papers represent Professor Bode's literary and academic contributions as well as his participation in Maryland politics, as a member and organizer of campus support for Carlton R. Sickles and Joseph D. Tydings. The collection dates from l94l to l984 and contains literary typescripts, transcripts and correspondence. Other items included are newsletters, book reviews, journals, contracts, budget reports, pamphlets, press releases, biographical sketches and tapes.

Prominent among Professor Bode's correspondents are: Wilson Follett, Walter Harding, Modern Language Association, New York University Press, C.P. Snow and Joseph Tydings.


Carl Bode was born March 14, 1911 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Paul and Celeste Helene (Schmidt) Bode. He attended the University of Chicago where he received his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy in 1933. After graduation, he taught at the Milwaukee Vocational School until 1937. The following year he married Margaret Lutze with whom he had three daughters: Barbara, Janet and Carolyn; he remarried in 1972 to Charlote W. Smith. Carl Bode went on to achieve his Master's degree in 1938 and his Doctorate in 1941 from Northwestern University. From 1944 to 1945 he served in the United States Army.

Following his stint in the Army, Bode was employed as Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1946 to 1947. He then came to the University of Maryland where he was employed as Professor of English until 1983, when he achieved the status of Professor Emeritus. From 1950 to 1957, Professor Bode served as executive secretary of the American Civilization program at the University of Maryland. He has also been a visiting professor at such prestigious academic institutions as the California Institute of Technology, Claremont College, Northwestern University, Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin.

Among Professor Bode's varied achievements are his selection as a Ford Foundation fellow from 1952 to 1953, a Newberry Library Fellow in 1954, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow from l954 to 1955. He also held the post of Cultural Attache to the American Embassy to Great Britain from 1957 to 1959 (on leave from the University of Maryland); during this time he was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and served as chairman of the United States Educational Commission in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Bode has contributed substantially to various organizations throughout his career. In 1952, he founded and served as the first president of the American Studies Association and from 1955 to 1957 he was the Director of the Thoreau Society of America, becoming its President in 1960. He served as vice-president and later, president of the Popular Culture Association, from 1972 to 1980. From 1972 to 1976 he served as chairman of the Maryland Arts Council. Professor Bode also founded the Mencken Society in 1976 and served as its first president until 1979. He has been a member of the Maryland Humanities Council since 1981.

Professor Bode's interest and accomplishments in a wide range of fields is reflected in his membership in these diverse organizations: American Association of University Professors; American Historical Association; College English Association; Modern Language Association; Emerson Society; the English Speaking Union; Alpha Tau Omega; Phi Beta Kappa (honorary) and the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.

Bode publications include volumes of poetry; anthologies of American literature; collections of Henry David Thoreau's poetry and letters; definitive works on H.L. Mencken; a collection of newspaper columns for the Baltimore Evening Sun; selections of the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson; and works on the history of Maryland. Notable volumes among his numerous works include:

  1. Portable Thoreau (l947)
  2. The Anatomy of American Popular Culture, l840-l86l (l959)
  3. American Lyceum: Town Meeting of the Mind (l968)
  4. Mencken (l969)
  5. Antebellum Culture (l970)
  6. "Highly Irregular" (Newspaper columns), l974
  7. Maryland: A Bicentennial History (l978)
  8. Practical Magic (poems) (l98l)
  9. Maryland (l983)

Professor Bode has also edited, co-edited or contributed extensively to various literary works, including:

  1. Collected Poems of Henry David Thoreau (l943)
  2. American Heritage (2 volumes) (l955)
  3. The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau (l958)
  4. The Young Rebel in American Literature (l96l)
  5. The Great Experiment in American Literature (l96l)
  6. American Literature (3 Volumes) (l966)
  7. American Life in the l840's (l967)
  8. Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Profile (l969)
  9. The Young Mencken (l973)
  10. The New Mencken Letters (l977)
  11. The Portable Emerson (l98l)
  12. Ragged Dick and Struggling Upward (l985)


The collection is organized as three series:

  1. Series 1: Literature
  2. Series 2: Academic Career
  3. Series 3: Politics and Miscellaneous

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The papers of Carl Bode were donated to the University of Maryland College Park Libraries in 1974, 1975 and 1986 by Dr. Bode.

Processing Information

The order of the collection was maintained as much as possible as received from Carl Bode, however, the final order was created by the archives. Initially, an inventory of the collection was made, removing paper clips and refoldering material into acid-free folders. After establishing a general order, the series were established and more clearly defined. Finally, the folders were labeled and boxed and the guide written.

Guide to the Carl Bode Papers
Minimally Processed
Processed by M.S.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742