Skip to main content

Personal papers of Edward F. Grier

Call Number: PP 302


Grier taught English at the University of Kansas from 1951-1984. This collection contains information about Walt Whitman's Notes and unpublished prose manuscripts, edited by Grier, and some personal papers, including notably records surrounding his death.


  • Creation: 1917 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Edward F. Grier

Edward F. Grier was born April 23, 1917 in New Jersey, the son of William Douglas (1870-1936) and Ruth O'Leary Grier (1881-1967). He received his BA in English from the University of Pennyslvania in 1938 and his Masters in English from Columbia University in 1939. He served as an instructor at Seton Hall University from 1939-1942. His studies were then interrupted by World War II, and Grier served in the Army from 1942-1945. He was discharged as a sergeant major, overseeing administrative and personnel work for his unit.

Grier completed his doctoral studies in American Civilization at the University of Pennslyvania in 1949, his dissertation focusing on "Walt Whitman's Democratic Idealism." After serving as an instructor at Darmouth College, Grier joined the faculty of the University of Kansas in the Department of English in 1951, reaching full Professor status in 1962. Grier held Fulbright lecturer positions at the University of Lyon (France) and University of Catania (Italy) in the the 1950s and 1960s.

Grier taught a variety of classes in the English Department, including freshman and sophomore composition and literature, American literature to 1870 and from 1870-present, introductions to the novel and to poetry, and classes on major American and British authors. He held seniors honors courses on Walt Whitman, Henry James, Herman Melville, and William Faulkner.

Grier's major academic works included two books on Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman: The Eighteenth Presidency! (1957) and Walt Whitman: Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (1984). He wrote and translated several articles on Whitman, and he also wrote about American Civilization programs in higher education, amongst other topics. He established the American Civilization, later American Studies, program at the University of Kansas in 1953.

Edward F. Grier retired in 1984 and died June 11, 2004. He was interred at Pioneer Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.

[Information retrieved from Grier's CV and]


16.75 Linear Feet (18 boxes + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 302

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the Edward F. Grier Collection
Personal papers of Edward F. Grier
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005. Finding aid revised by skt, 2010; mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Edward F. Grier, University Archives, PP 302, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States