Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Sanders, Scott Russell mss., ca. 1966-2009, consist of the correspondence and papers of Indiana University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Scott Sanders (b. 1945), who taught at IU from 1971-2009.

Born in Tennessee and raised in Ohio, Sanders studied at Brown University, where he was valedictorian, and earned his Ph.D. as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University. Among his twenty books are novels, collections of stories, and works of personal nonfiction, including Staying Put (1993), Writing from the Center (1995), and Hunting for Hope (1998). His memoir, A Private History of Awe (2006), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His writing examines the human place in nature, the character of community, the relation between culture and geography, and the search for a spiritual path.

Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the Associated Writing Programs Creative Nonfiction Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Indiana Authors Award, and the Cecil Woods Award in Nonfiction, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has appeared in such magazines as Orion, Audubon, and The Georgia Review, and it has been reprinted in The Art of the Essay, The Norton Reader, and more than one hundred other anthologies, including the annual Best American Essays. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have raised two children in their hometown of Bloomington in the hardwood hill country of Indiana's White River Valley.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Writings; II. Correspondence; III. Audio-Visual; IV. Biographical Materials; and V. Additions. Writings are divided into two subseries: "Short Writings," which include stories, essays, and speeches; and "Major Works," which include drafts, page proofs, and accompanying materials that pertain to Sanders' novels and nonfiction books.

Correspondents include Philip Appleman, Robert Atwan, Carol Bergé, Marshall Best, Carol Bly, David Bosworth, Alan Cheuse, Bernard Cooper, Michael Egan, Stanley Elkin, Richard Elman, Hannah Finchman, Greg Frost, George Garrett, Barry Greer, Peter Greer, Edward Hoagland, David Hoppe, Richard W. Jackson, Scott Jones, Bill Kelly, Guy Fitch Lytle, George R. R. Martin, George Morgan, Jay Neugeboren, Charles Pratt, Bill and Martha Schafer, Murray Sperber, Tony Stoneburner, Brian Swan, Willian Van Wert, Michael Wilkerson, Sol Yurick, and Ann Zwinger. Also included are a letter of recommendation for Barbara Kingsolver and a copy of a letter to Joyce Carol Oates, both written by Sanders. The Correspondence series also includes resumes, recommendation letter requests, and award applications sent to Sanders. The Audio-Visual series includes audiotapes, videotapes, and compact disks of interviews with and readings by Scott Russell Sanders. The Biographical Materials series includes articles about Sanders, as well as photographs and a schedule of speaking engagements.

The Additions series include more writings, correspondence, and audio-visual materials as well as extensive material related to Sanders' various lectures and readings and also academic journals containing Sanders' essays. The collection also contains a worn Sexus dust jacket autographed by Henry Miller and musical compositions inspired by Sanders' poems.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Books are catalogued separately in IUCAT.

Acquired: 2003, 2009, 2014

Collection size: 6,500 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.