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Ben Lucien Burman papers, ca. 1940 - ca. 1963

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Ben Lucien Burman papers


ca. 1940 - ca. 1963


University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Minimal level of organization.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Ben Lucien Burman papers, ca. 1940-ca. 1960, 1M50M39, 1M51M28, 1M52M11, 1M52M58, 1M55M72, 1M57M27, 1M58M28, 1M59M12, 1M61M1, #160, AAK0186LM, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


7.5 cubic ft.


Author, journalist. Ben Lucien Burman was born in Covington, Ky, served in World War I, and graduated from Harvard in 1920. He was a reporter with newspapers in Boston, Cincinnati, and New York, and was a correspondent from Africa and the Middle East during World War II. He also wrote books, both fiction and non-fiction, depicting life along the Mississippi River. He married Alice Caddy, the illustrator of many of his books, in 1927. Burman died in 1984.

Scope and Content

These papers consist mainly of drafts of articles, short stories, and novels written by Burman. Included are drafts and/or proofs of many of Burman's works, including THE FOUR LIVES OF MUNDY TOLLIVER; ROOSTER CROWS FOR DAY; CHILDREN OF NOAH; IT'S A BIG COUNTRY; SEVEN STARS FOR CATFISH BEND; BLOW FOR A LANDING; HIGH WATER AT CATFISH BEND; THE STREET OF THE LAUGHING CAMEL; IT'S A BIG CONTINENT; and THE OWL HOOTS TWICE AT CATFISH BEND; also of several articles published in THE SATURDAY REVIEW OF LITERATURE, including "The Cult of Unintelligibility", "Music on the Mississippi", "Tolliver's Travels", and "Unnatural Natural History"; and several other articles, including "This I Believe." Also included are a number of original drawings by Alice Caddy.

Also included (in 61M1) are a microfilm copy (negative, 16mm) of one of the manuscript copies of THE STREET OF THE LAUGHING CAMEL, and a set of phonograph records containing a copy of the manuscript dictated by Burman.


  • Caddy, Alice illustrator.
  • American fiction--20th century.
  • Mississippi River in literature.

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.