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Wilson Hudson

NOTE: There are two William Hudson collections. Below is the guide to the William Hudson Collection (Collection 117), donated by Joe Scruggs. For the guide to the William Hudson Papers (Collection 011), donated by Hudson and Bill Wittliff, go here.

A Guide to the Wilson Hudson Collection
Collection 117

Descriptive Summary

Wilson Hudson

Wilson Hudson Collection

1936-1998 (Bulk dates: 1946-early 1990s)

The Wilson Hudson Collection consists of his papers and includes off-prints, manuscripts and drafts, correspondence, photographs, newspapers, obituaries, and personal papers. There is also a substantial amount of material relating to the Texas Folklore Society.

Collection 117

4 boxes


The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University

Biographical Sketch

Wilson Mathis Hudson was born in Flatonia Texas, on December 26, 1907. He spent most of his adult life in Austin, Texas, earning a BA in English and French in 1929 and an MA in English in 1930 from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught English at the Rice Institute and later enrolled in the University of Chicago to complete his doctorate in 1938. When World War II began, he halted his time in academia to join the Army Air Force from 1942-1946 and attained the rank of captain before returning to the University of Texas. He taught in the English Department until he retired in the summer of 1974 and was honored with the status of professor emeritus by President Stephen H. Spurr.

 His academic, research, and writing tastes were eclectic. He taught everything from poetry and languages to regional and international literature. He took over the Life and Literature of The Southwest course from J. Frank Dobie, professor at University of Texas at Austin and a personal friend, and the popular European Novel course. In his personal research he started writing essays about Celtic literature concentrating on the Irish warrior-bard Ossian and the Welsh poet Taliesin. He soon settled on myth theory, Western United States literature, and Southwestern Folklore while also examining Jungian and Freudian theories. His major work in Western Literature studies was his 1964 book Andy Adams: His Life and Writings which provided an in-depth description of cowboy life.

He devoted much of his professional time to the Texas Folklore Society. The society was founded in 1909 and is the second oldest state folklore association in the United States. The society honored him with a Fellowship in 1972 after serving as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President, and President over the years. One of his greatest contributions was as the editor of the book series Publications of the Texas Folklore Society which is still published today.

He passed away in Austin Texas on February 19, 2002 at age ninety-five. Prior to his death were those of his first wife, Mildred Ruckman Hudson, in 1949 and his second wife, Browning scholar and Southwest Texas State University English professor Gertrude Catherine Reese, in 2001. 

Scope and Content Note

The Wilson Hudson Collection spans 1936-1998 and is arranged in six series: Correspondence, Obituaries, Texas Folklore Society, Writings by Hudson, Publications, and Personal Papers. Further description of the series is below: 

Series I: Correspondence, 1949-1994
Box 1
Includes correspondence To Wilson Hudson and From Wilson Hudson in chronological order as well as About Wilson Hudson. His correspondence as a member of the Texas Folklore Society is found within Series III.

Series II: Obituaries, 1974, 1988-1989
Box 1
Hudson wrote several obituaries for people close to him over the years including Bertha McKee Dobie (J. Frank Dobie’s wife), Frank Wardlaw (Founder of the University of Texas Press and the Texas A&M University Press), and Alice Cook (Hudson’s college English teacher). These files also includes notes Hudson used to write the obituaries.

Series III:  Texas Folklore Society, 1949, 1973-1998
Box 1
Includes handwritten President’s speech, correspondence, and other miscellanea from operation and publications of the society.

Series IV: Writings by Hudson, 1950-1973
Boxes 1-2
Includes poems, published works, collaborated works, offprints, signed offprints, drafts etc. They are arranged alphabetically by book title from rough draft to final product. Two copies of each offprint are to be kept unless a signed copy is present. Does not include those writings associated with the Texas Folklore Society, obituaries, or printed newspapers and magazines for preservation reasons.

Series V: Publications, 1936-1964, 1994-1996
Box 2-3
Includes publications and other specially preserved media from Hudson’s time on a variety of subjects including the Texas Folklore Society and offprints sent to Hudson by other writers.

Series VI: Personal Papers, 1932, 1946-1947
Boxes 2, 4
These documents pertain to Hudson’s personal life and include information about completing his dissertation including receipts for printing, verification of his veteran status including his marriage certificate, and awards received. The series also includes three photographs.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open for research

Preferred Citation

Wilson Hudson Collection (SWWC 117), The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joe Scruggs, 2009

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Moeller and Mary Murphy, 2015

Notes to Researchers 

The Wittliff Collection holds other Hudson-related collections:

  • The J. Frank Dobie Papers consist of information about his work, his personal papers, Bertha McKee Dobie’s and Edgar Kincaid’s personal papers, newspaper clippings, and artifacts such as clothing, pipes, and more

Container List (abbreviated: see PDF for full contents)

Series I: Correspondence, 1949-1994

Box     Folder

 1              1        Correspondence to Hudson, 1949-1992

 1              2        Correspondence from Hudson, 1952-1957, 1994      

 1              3        Correspondence about Hudson, 1993

Series II: Obituaries, 1974, 1988-1989

 1               4        Cook, Alice, 1988

 1               5        Dobie, Bertha McKee, 1974

 1               6-7     Wardlaw, Frank H., 1989

Series III: Texas Folklore Society, 1949, 1973-1998

 1                8       Speeches, 1973

 1                9       Invitations and Programs, 1949, 1973, 1985, undated

 1                10     Newsletters, 1949, 1984-1996

 1                11     Correspondence from Abernethy to Hudson, 1974, 1984-1995

 1                12     Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1991-1998

Series IV: Writings by Hudson, 1950-1973

 1                13     Notes & Research, 1955-1973

 1                14     Poems, undated

 1                15     Drafts, undated

 2                1       Drafts, continued

 2                2-3    Offprints, 1951-1969

 2                4        Book Reviews, 1951, undated

 2                5        Journal Excerpts, undated

 2                6       Journals, 1950

 2                7       Writing about Andy Adams, undated

Series V: Publications, 1936-1964, 1994-1996

 3                         Newspapers, 1936-1964, 1994

 2                8        Magazines, 1950, 1963, 1996

 2                9        Programs, 1972-1974, undated

 2               10       Writings sent to Wilson Hudson, 1972, 1982, undated

Series VI: Personal Papers, 1932, 1946-1947

 2                11      Documents, 1932, 1946-1947

 2                12      Awards, 1964

 2                13      Photograph: Hudson speaking at Wardlaw’s funeral  

 2                14     Negative: “Dobie and Archer Taylor," single negative

 4                          8 x 10 black and white portrait mounted on mortarboard assumed to be Wilson