Hayashi Steinbeck Collection
A Special Message From the Donors
Our Donation and Dedication of the Hayashi Steinbeck Collection and Archives to the Alexander M. Bracken Library, Ball State University in Honor of Dr. and Mrs. John J Pruis and Dr. and Mrs. Richard W. Burkhardt
Professor Emeritus of English/
Director Emeritus of the Steinbeck Research Institute
by Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi
Mrs. (Akiko) Hayashi and I regard it as a special pleasure/privilege to donate our "life-long" collection of Steinbeckiana by and about John Steinbeck, the Nobel Prize winning author and my personal archives: educational, scholarly, and editorial materials, and British, American, and Japanese literature items, both published and in manuscripts, including my published short stories, senryu poems, and edited plays (a musical and a TV drama of Steinbeck's East of Eden in adaptations) in English and Japanese, through Mr. John B. Straw, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, to the Alexander M. Bracken Library in honor of Dr. and Mrs. John J Pruis and Dr. and Mrs. Richard W. Burkhardt. Ever since 1968 they have sponsored and supported most enthusiastically and unflaggingly our Ball State-centered, international Steinbeck studies, teaching, research, and publications to help us serve and advise students, teachers, writers, scholars, and non-university researchers in their endeavors. They have done so not only during my tenure at Ball State University in 1968-1993 where I served as Director of the Steinbeck Research Institute, President of the International Steinbeck Society, and Editor-in-Chief of the Steinbeck Quarterly and other Steinbeck publications, including proceedings and monographs; but also when I, as a Ball State-retired visiting professor abroad, was teaching at Japanese universities in 1993-2001; and even after I returned to our Muncie home late in March 2001 to continue my volunteer service as Senior Editorial Consultant to the three Steinbeck periodical journals and as Senior Consultant to the Steinbeck Society of Japan.
Furthermore, Dr. and Mrs. Pruis and Dr. and Mrs. Burkhardt have contributed to the advancement of international Steinbeck education and scholarly research/publications by their generous donations to the Ball State University Foundation, not only during their illustrious tenures at Ball State University as Presidents and First Ladies, but also long after their retirements. To be specific, since 1978 both the Pruises and the Burkhardts have helped us recognize and honor the outstanding Steinbeck teachers with the John J and Angeline R. Pruis Award and the outstanding Steinbeck scholars with the Richard W. and Dorothy Burkhardt Award C most prestigiously, as we have screened the recipients out of many international nominees. Many of the past recipients have now been actively serving as the distinguished educational leaders in the study of American literature, especially in the U. S. A., Canada, England, India, and Japan.
For the record, I should like to mention and recognize the following legacy further: (1) In 1991 Dr. Burkhardt awarded a budget to purchase the first Steinbeck materials including some of the precious first editions of Steinbeck's works at the request and recommendation of Dr. Raymond Suput, then Director of the University Library, to support our Ball State-centered Steinbeck projects that were slowly but steadily developing, and to provide our students, faculty, and visiting scholars with more authentic study, teaching, and research materials; (2) as a result, there was the publication of The Steinbeck Collection of the Ball State University Library: A Bibliographical Handbook for their use in 1972, compiled by Tetsumaro Hayashi and Donald L. Siefker; (3) when the new library building was completed, Dr. Pruis named it the Alexander M. Bracken Library and dedicated it officially as the center of learning, teaching and research; (4) then Dr. Burkhardt presided in the special dedication ceremony of the Steinbeck Collection, with Mrs. Elaine Steinbeck, the author's wife, and Ms. Elizabeth R. Otis, Steinbeck's lifelong literary agent, both from New York City, as our guests of honor on March 26, 1976, and who began to donate some of the priceless Steinbeck items to the Bracken Library's then new Steinbeck Collection, including Steinbeck's books, letters, manuscripts, and photographs. We are profoundly indebted to the two former administrators of Ball State University, Dr. Burkhardt and Dr. Pruis, for this Steinbeck-related legacy.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Hayashi Steinbeck Collection and Archives contains Hayashi’s personal files and archives from his academic career. Included in his files are personal correspondence with friends, family and other Steinbeck colleagues and scholars (1969-2001); manuscripts, both published and unpublished; various accumulated professional and administrative papers; papers from professional organizations and services, including the International Steinbeck Society; personal publications; research files; a special senryu poetry section, including some of Hayashi’s written senryu poems; and 31 short stories, published in Japanese in the United States; and teaching material. Also included are personal scrapbooks that span from the late 1950s to the 1990s and several photo albums, and computer files and academic audiovisual material. Finally, the collection includes a number of books and monographs, covering both Steinbeck and non-Steinbeck subjects, accumulated by Hayashi. For more detailed information, please see the A Catalog of John Steinbeck Material in the Ball State University Libraries.