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Dr. Charles Moorman Papers

Identifier: M171

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Moorman’s academic work and professional correspondence. The academic work contained in this collection consists of edited manuscripts—either typed or handwritten—as well as edited typescripts. The collection also contains edited galley proofs for his book, The Book of Kyng Arthur. The inclusive dates are 1954, the earliest dated correspondence, to 1969, the date of an essay. The professional correspondence consists of letters regarding the American Studies Association, the American Studies Association of Lower Mississippi, National Education Association, and the National Organization on the Legal Problems in Education.

Three inscribed books were removed from this collection and transferred to the Mississippiana collection in McCain Library: Precincts of Felicity, The Book of Kyng Arthur, and Editing the Medieval Manuscript.


  • Creation: 1954-1969

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Reproduction of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Provision of photocopies or digital reproductions does not constitute permission to publish, distribute, provide internet access to, or otherwise display images of materials in this collection. Copyright is retained by the lawful copyright holder, and it is the responsibility of the permission seeker to contact and secure permission from the copyright holder. Where copyright permission is not granted, images are only for use in private study subject to the Fair Use exceptions made in U.S. Copyright Law.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1925 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Charles Moorman, received his A.B. from Kenyon College in 1949 and went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. from Tulane University. The bulk of his time as a professor was at the University of Southern Mississippi where he was an Associate Professor of English from 1954-1956, Professor of English and Chairman of the English Department from 1956-1968, Associate Dean of the Graduate School from 1969-1969, Dean of the Graduate School from 1969-1970, and Dean of the University from 1970-1975. He was the Vice-President of Academic Affairs until 1980 when he returned to teaching until he retired in 1990. He died in May 1996 in Arkansas.

His academic work focuses mainly on Middle English literature, specifically the Arthurian cycle and legends as shown in this collection. His scholarship involves texts from other periods as well as he analyzes the characteristics of the epic as a form and how the knight evolved in literature throughout time.

Moorman was also involved in many academic and professional organizations. In addition to the organization mentioned in this collection, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, Lambda Iota Tau. Further, he was involved with the Modern Language Association, the Royal Society of Arts, the International Arthurian Society, and the Medieval Academy of America.

Since Moorman’s retirement, The University of Southern Mississippi has awarded the Moorman Distinguished Professorship, which assists professors in specific research project in their field. Past recipients have included Drs. Philip Kolin, Maureen Ryan, D.C. Berry, and Angela Ball.


2.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains the literary and academic manuscripts of Dr. Charles Moorman, as well as his personal correspondence with the members of the professional and academic organizations of which he was a part.


The collection is arranged in two series:

Series I. Academic and Critical Work

Series II. Professional Correspondence and Organizational Involvement

Series I is arranged alphabetically. Moorman’s own works are first in the series, followed by miscellaneous correspondence or papers related to him.

Series II is arranged alphabetically by the organization title and then chronologically by the date of the correspondence. Undated materials are at the end of each series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in this collection were donated by Dr. Charles Moorman in on August 1, 1972. A duplicate copy of Editing the Middle English Manuscript was added to the collection by Terry S. Latour on November 19, 1990.

Related Materials

Related materials at the University of Southern Mississippi Cook Library include:

Addresses to the Faculty by Charles W. Moorman as Dean of the University, 1969-1975 [and] as Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1976-1981, call number LD3425.M66 1982 (McCain)

An Arthurian Dictionary, call number PN685.M6 (Cook)

Arthurian Triptych: Mythic Materials in Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and T.S. Eliot, call number PR479.M9 M6 (Cook) and PR6045.I5 Z85 (McCain)

The Book of Kyng Arthur: The Unity of Malory Morte Darthur, call number PR2-45.M6 (McCain)

Editing the Middle English Manuscript, call number PR275.T45 M6 (Cook and Gulf Coast)

Kings & Captains: Variations on a Heroic Theme, call number PN610.M6 (Cook and Gulf Coast)

A Knyght There Was: The Evolution of the Knight in Literature, call number PN56.K6 M6 (Cook)

The Pearl-Poet, call number PR2111.M6 (Cook)

The Precincts of Facility: The Augustinian City of the Oxford Christians, call number PR471.M6 (Cook and McCain)

The Works of the Gawain-Poet, call number PR1203.W67 (Cook, Gulf Coast, and McCain)


Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967 James B. Lloyd, editor

“Kenyon College Obituaries”:

“About the Moorman Distinguished Professorship”:

Dr. Charles Moorman Papers
Kyle Ethridge
April 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Edition statement
Last revised April 7, 2015

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001