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Edward B. Irving, Jr. Old English Collection

Identifier: 02-exws_irving

Scope and Contents

Edward B. Irving (1923-1998), was a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania from 1960 to 1993. He also taught at Yale University. He specialized in medieval literature, but could lecture on a variety of topics from Shakespeare to James Joyce. He was a member of both the Medieval Academy of America and the Modern Language Association of America. He published several books, among them An Introduction to Beowulf which was included in Prentice-Halls’ Landmarks in Literature series in 1969, Reading Beowulf published in 1968, and Rereading Beowulf published in 1989. In addition, he co-edited Old English Studies in Honor of John C. Pope. The items in this collection span most, if not all, of Irving's academic career. They were donated to both the Medieval Institute and Special Collections at Western Michigan University by Edward Irving's wife, Dr. Judith Moffett, after his death in 1998. The collection includes class lectures and notes, articles on critical studies of medieval literature, typescript chapters of Irving's books with revision notes, as well as other media such as LPs, cassette tapes and floppy disks. There are also donated books associated with this collection, which have been cataloged separately and are searchable via the WMU libraries online catalog. These include books on Chaucer, Piers Plowman, and Beowulf, the series Anglo-Saxon England through volume 25, in addition to interpretive books on Old English literature.


  • Creation: 1930-2001; bulk 1940-1998
  • Other: Date acquired: 1998


Conditions Governing Use

Some correspondence and personal journals are under restricted access until January 1, 2027 (Boxes 47-49)


50 boxes

Language of Materials



Personal papers, books, lectures, notes, manuscripts and publishing information, correspondence and journals of Edward Burroughs Irving, Jr. (1923-1998), scholar of English literature. The collection pertains mainly to Irving's education and his teaching of and research on Old English literature. A donation of books relating to Old and Middle English literature accompany this collection and are cataloged individually and searchable via the WMU Libraries online catalog.

Physical Access Requirements

WMU Special Collections. Non-circulating. Contact department for access.

Source of Acquisition

Judith Moffett.

Method of Acquisition


Physical Description

This collection comprises 50 archival boxes (18 linear feet)

Edward B. Irving, Jr. Old English Collection Finding Aid
Amber Innis and Kaileigh Oldham
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Special Collections Repository

Western Michigan University Libraries, Special Collections
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490