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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Calvin Kentfield Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span:
Creator: Kentfield, Calvin (1924-1975)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0639
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Iowa writer. Manuscript for The Alchemist's Voyage and various clippings and tear sheets. Iowa Author Mss.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Calvin Kentfield. Guide posted to Internet: August 2004.

Preferred Citation: Calvin Kentfield Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Calvin Kentfield was born in 1924 in Keokuk, Iowa. Brought up near the Mississippi River, he developed a feeling for going somewhere else early in life. He attended the University of Iowa, but interrupted his studies to ship out as ordinary seaman and able seaman on freighters and tugs. He wrote stories and earned enough money to travel for a year in Europe. In 1948 he returned to the University of Iowa and earned a B.A. His first novel, The Alchemist's Voyage, appeared in 1955, The Angel and the Sailor in 1957, All Men Are Mariners in 1962, and The Great Wandering Goony Bird in 1963, among others. As well as writing novels and short stories, he frequently wrote essays for Holiday, the New Yorker, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Kentfield died September 4, 1975.

This collection consists of the original drafts and manuscripts of Kentfield's novel The Alchemist's Voyage.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Clippings
  • Essay: "State University of Iowa." Holiday, November 1953, pp. 88-90, 140-151
  • Box 1:
  • Partial Draft (apparently not used)
    2 folders
  • First Draft (with corrections)
    2 folders
  • Second Draft (with corrections)
    2 folders
  • Third Draft (with corrections)
  • Drafts and proofs of beginning material and original jacket design
  • Page proofs
    2 folders
  • Printer's proofs
    2 folders
  • Galley proofs
    4 folders

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

English & American Literature
Writers Archive at Iowa
Novelists, Story Writers, & Poets