Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Davidson mss., 1961-1975, are the letters of Eric Honeywood Partridge, 1894-1979, etymologist and author of London, England, to Norris Maris Davidson, 1906-1975. Davidson for twenty years was the music annotator for the CBS broadcast of the Philadelphia Orchestra and resided at Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He and Partridge corresponded about the meaning and origins of words, books and their authors, and in the later years about matters of health. The two men met on one occasion in London in August of 1964. The letters of Davidson to Partridge for 1961 to 1975 may be found in the Partridge mss. At the time of his death Davidson was a resident of the Foulkeways Community in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania.

Some of the authors discussed in their letters were: James Donald Adams, Arnold Bennett, Wilson Benington, Sir Basil Henry Blackwell, John Brophy, Ivor John Carnegie Brown, Anthony Burgess, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Julian Franklyn, George Norman Garmonsway, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Winston Mawdsley Graham, Emily Hahn, Hamish Hamilton, Geoffrey Edward West Household, James Root Hulbert, Ray Coryton Hutchinson, John Cecil Moore, Sir Harold George Nicolson, Charles Talbut Onions, Mario Andrew Pei, Paul Scott, Edith Sitwell, Walter William Skeats, John Ivan Simon, Alan W. Steele, Oliver Stonor, Sir Donald Francis Tovey, Colwyn Edward Vulliamy, Edmund Wilson, Sloan Wilson.

Two papers by Partridge are included in the collection: Slang, an article for the new edition of Colliers Encyclopedia, T.D.S., 11p., 25.5cm., with minor holograph corrections, written in July, 1965; All our Penguins go to College, a review of The Penguin English Dictionary by G.N. Garmonsway, carbon of T.D., 3p., 25.5cm., enclosed with a letter of August 11, 1965.

A few clippings and printed Partridge Christmas greetings complete the collection.

Collection size: 282 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.