unc logo

Collection Number: 04429

Collection Title: Clifford and Gladys Lyons Collection of Robert Frost Materials, 1929-1981.

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 700 items)
Abstract ABSTRACT BIOG/HIST The collection includes correspondence, writings, newspaper and magazine clippings, audio tapes, photographs, and other materials documenting the life and work of Robert Frost, especially as they related to Frost's friendship with Clifford Lyons, professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Lyons's wife, Gladys.
Creator Lyons, Clifford P. (Clifford Pierson), 1904-1992.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions, except for 1 letter from Frost to Lyons that is under seal until 1 January 2020.
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Clifford and Gladys Lyons Collection of Robert Frost Materials #4429, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received by the Rare Book Collection from Clifford and Gladys Lyons of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1981.
Transferred to the Southern Historical Collection in August 1985.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Clifford and Gladys Lyons met Robert Frost and his family when they were neighbors in Gainesville, Florida, in the fall of 1937. The Frosts were spending the winter there, and Clifford Lyons was teaching English at the University of Florida. During World War II, when Lyons was stationed near Boston, he and his wife frequently exchanged visits with Frost, who was living in Cambridge.

Clifford Lyons joined the faculty of the English Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1946; it was largely due to their friendship that Robert Frost lectured annually at U.N.C. for the next fifteen years. Frost stayed with the Lyonses at those times, and dedicated several poems in this collection to them.

Over the years, the Lyonses acquired and saved a variety of materials relating to Robert Frost: books and pamphlets by him, correspondence, tapes, photographs, and numerous clippings about him and his work. In 1981, they donated these materials to the Rare Book Collection of the Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1985, the Rare Book Collection transferred all but the published works among the Frost/Lyons materials to the Southern Historical Collection.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

These papers consist of items collected by Clifford and Gladys Lyons in the course of their friendship with Robert Frost. They include handwritten copies of poems by Frost, correspondence with him and with his daughter, Lesley Frost Ballantine, and his granddaughter, Lesley Francis Zimic.

A large portion of the material is Gladys Lyons's newspaper clipping file of articles pertaining to Frost, especially to his annual appearances at U.N.C. There are also pamphlets from Middlebury College in Vermont, relating to Frost's instructorship at its annual Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Photographs, tape recordings of Frost lecturing, and transcripts of those tapes comprise most of the rest of the collection.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated.

123 items.

Handwritten, typed, and published copies of poems, an essay, and two plays by Frost, some initialed or signed by him. One poem, "Match-makers" (Folder 9), has not appeared anywhere in print, according to a note (circa 1981?) by Gladys Lyons.

Folder 1

Play, The Cow's in the Corn, 1929 (2 typed mimeographed copies) 2 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

Essay, "Everybody's Sanity," 1936 (2 typed carbon copies) 4 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

Play, The Guardeen, 1943 (photocopy of handwritten original) 3 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

Seven poems from The Atlantic, 1946 (typed carbon copies) 4 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Poems, "For Last Columbus Day" and "Smoke Mist and Haze," 1951 (typescript) 5 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

Poems, "The Convention" and "1946 - The Courage to be New" (handwritten) 2 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

Poem, "Lines Written Last Autumn," dated 1938, signed 1953 (typescript) 1 leaf. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

Poem, partial draft of "Kitty Hawk," 1958 (handwritten) 5 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

Poem, "Match-makers," 1959 (handwritten) 1 leaf. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

Poem, "A Milkweed Pod," undated (handwritten) 1 leaf. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Poem, "At the End of the Row," undated (handwritten) 1 leaf. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

Poem, "Counting Out Song," undated (handwritten) 1 leaf. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

Copies of published work by Frost, 4 leaves. #04429, Series: "1. Writings by Robert Frost, 1929-1959, and undated." Folder 13

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated.

151 items.

Correspondence of Gladys and Clifford Lyons with Elinor and Robert Frost, the Frosts' daughter, Lesley Frost Ballantine, and their granddaughter, Lesley Francis Zimic, as well as letters about Frost from various individuals, including the writer Louis Untermeyer, and Frost's biographer, Lawrance Thompson. One letter, from Frost to Clifford Lyons, is under seal until 1 January 2020 (see control file).

A folder list follows.

Folder 14

Letter from Elinor Frost to Gladys Lyons, 1937. #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

Letters and telegrams from Robert Frost to Clifford and Gladys Lyons, 1939-1953. (9 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

Copies of telegrams from Robert Frost to others, 1955 and undated. (4 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17

Letters from Lesley Frost Ballantine to Clifford and Gladys Lyons, 1957-1976, and undated. (8 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 17

Folder 18

Copies of letters from Clifford Lyons to Lesley Frost Ballantine, 1977-1978. (2 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 18

Folder 19

Letters from Lesley Francis Zimic to Clifford and Gladys Lyons, 1958-1978. (22 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

Letter from Louis Untermeyer to Clifford Lyons, 1938. #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 20

Folder 21

Letters from Lawrance Thompson to Clifford Lyons, 1959-1962. (7 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 21

Folder 22

Letters from Kathleen Morrison to Clifford Lyons, 1951-1977, and undated. (33 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 22

Folder 23

Letters from J. J. Lankes to Clifford Lyons, 1957-1959. (4 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 23

Folder 24-25

Folder 24

Folder 25

Miscellaneous letters to and from Clifford Lyons about Robert Frost, 1949-1978. (44 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 24-25

Folder 26

Correspondence and miscellany concerning Robert Frost's honorary degree from U.N.C., 1953. (4 items) #04429, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1937-1978, and undated." Folder 26

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated.

About 325 items.

Clippings (folder 27-57), pamphlets, brochures, lists, notes, and other materials relating to Frost's life and writings. Also included in this series are the transcripts of the tape recordings in Series 4 (folders 61-66).

Folder 27-44

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Biographical information on Frost, 1937-1981, and undated. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 27-44

Folder 45

Obituaries and other tributes to Frost, 1963. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 45

Folder 46-47

Folder 46

Folder 47

Reviews and notices of works by Frost. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 46-47

Folder 48-54

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

Folder 53

Folder 54

Frost at Chapel Hill, 1943-1962. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 48-54

Folder 55

Articles quoting or briefly referring to Frost. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 55

Folder 56

Articles by and about Lesley Frost Ballantine, 1955-1977. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 56

Folder 57

Articles about J. J. Lankes (illustrator of some of Frost's works). #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 57

Folder 58

Works by Lesley Francis Zimic, 1978. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 58

Folder 59

Essay by Allen Tate (photocopy, undated). #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 59

Folder 60

Essay by Clifford Lyons on Frost - "Not Unbounded" (draft and a corrected copy). #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 60

Folder 61-66

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

Folder 64

Folder 65

Folder 66

Transcripts of Frost's Chapel Hill lectures, 1954-1961. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 61-66

Folder 67

Poems about Frost, by Raymond W. Adams and Robert B. Sharpe. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 67

Folder 68-71

Folder 68

Folder 69

Folder 70

Folder 71

Pamphlets and other materials about Frost at Bread Loaf Writers' Conferences, 1939-1957. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 68-71

Folder 72

Articles, etc., about Frost at Amherst College, 1954-1963. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 72

Folder 73-74

Folder 73

Folder 74

Materials about Frost's 85th and 88th birthdays, 1959 and 1962. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 73-74

Folder 75

Caricatures by David Levine (including one of Frost). #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 75

Folder 76

Materials from rare book dealers about Frost's publications. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 76

Folder 77

Chronology of Frost's life to 1941. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 77

Folder 78

Sheet of Robert Frost commemorative stamps, 1974. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 78

Folder 79

Envelopes, notes, and other material in Frost's hand. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 79

Folder 80

Assorted notes on Frost, probably by Gladys and Clifford Lyons #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 80

Folder 81-82

Folder 81

Folder 82

Miscellaneous materials about Frost. #04429, Series: "3. Subject Files, 1937-1981, and undated." Folder 81-82

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960.

21 items.

Tape recordings (reel-to-reel originals, most with cassette copies), mainly of Robert Frost lecturing and being interviewed at U.N.C. Locations of transcripts are noted.

Audiotape T-4429/1A

Robert Frost lecturing in Hill Hall, U.N.C., January 1954. Transcript is in folder 61. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/1A

Audiotape T-4429/1B

Cassette copy of T-4429/1A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/1B

Audiotape T-4429/2A

Second part of above lecture. Also includes first part of an address by Ogden Nash (undated and unrelated to Robert Frost). Transcript is in folder 61. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/2A

Audiotape T-4429/2B

Cassette copy of T-4429/2A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/2B

Audiotape T-4429/3A

Second part of Ogden Nash address. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/3A

Audiotape T-4429/3B

Cassette copy of T-4429/3A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/3B

Audiotape T-4429/4A

First part of interview with Robert Frost by Clifford Lyons, 3 March 1960. Transcript is in folder 62. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/4A

Audiotape T-4429/4B

Cassette copy of T-4429/4A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/4B

Audiotape T-4429/5A

Second part of above interview. Transcript is in folder 62. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/5A

Audiotape T-4429/5B

Cassette copy of T-4429/5A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/5B

Audiotape T-4429/6A

First part of lecture by Robert Frost in Memorial Hall, U.N.C., March 1960. Transcript is in folder 63. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/6A

Audiotape T-4429/6B

Cassette copy of T-4429/6A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/6B

Audiotape T-4429/7A

Second part of above lecture. Transcript is in folder 63. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/7A

Audiotape T-4429/7B

Cassette copy of T-4429/7A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/7B

Audiotape T-4429/8A

Third part of above lecture. Transcript is in folder 63. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/8A

Audiotape T-4429/8B

Cassette copy of T-4429/8/A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/8B

Audiotape T-4429/9A

Segment of presentation by RF for radio production called "Listen America." Undated; probably circa 1950-1955. Transcript is in folder 64. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/9A

Audiotape T-4429/9B

Cassette copy of T-4429/9A. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/9B

Audiotape T-4429/10-11

T-4429/10

T-4429/11

Copies of T-4429/1A-B and 2A-B, apparently, made for U.N.C.'s radio station, WUNC. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/10-11

Audiotape T-4429/12

Odgen Nash address; probably same one that appears on T-4429/2A-B and 3A-B. #04429, Series: "4. Sound Recordings, 1954-1960." T-4429/12

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated.

74 items.
Image P-4429/1

Robert Frost in the Lyons's home, circa 1956-1959. Image is signed: "Gladys and Cliff - from RF." #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/1

Image P-4429/2

RF and Clifford Lyons, 1961. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/2

Image P-4429/3-8

P-4429/3

P-4429/4

P-4429/5

P-4429/6

P-4429/7

P-4429/8

Six pictures from the Syracuse (New York) Post-Standard , of RF at his farm in Ripton, Vermont (P-4429/8 is of the farm itself), 1950-1956. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/3-8

Image P-4429/9-22

P-4429/9

P-4429/10

P-4429/11

P-4429/12

P-4429/13

P-4429/14

P-4429/15

P-4429/16

P-4429/17

P-4429/18

P-4429/19

P-4429/20

P-4429/21

P-4429/22

Twelve snapshots of RF speaking to students at UNC Chapel Hill, January 1954. (Printed in March 1955) Clifford Lyons is in P-4429/15-20. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/9-22

Image P-4429/23-26

P-4429/23

P-4429/24

P-4429/25

P-4429/26

RF at UNC, circa 1951-1961. Chancellor Robert B. House is at RF's right in P-4429/23; Clifford Lyons is in P-4429/23-25. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/23-26

Image P-4429/27-29

P-4429/27

P-4429/28

P-4429/29

RF in Clifford Lyons's home, March 1957. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/27-29

Image P-4429/30-34

P-4429/30

P-4429/31

P-4429/32

P-4429/33

P-4429/34

RF, probably in Chapel Hill, April 1957. Clifford Lyons is in P-4429/31-33. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/30-34

Image P-4429/35

RF cutting a cake, with Clifford Lyons and Dr. and Mrs. Richard Thornton looking on, March 1958. Originally enclosed with letter from Richard Thornton (folder 25). #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/35

Image P-4429/36

RF in the Lyons's home, March 1958. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/36

Image P-4429/37-62

P-4429/37

P-4429/38

P-4429/39

P-4429/40

P-4429/41

P-4429/42

P-4429/43

P-4429/44

P-4429/45

P-4429/46

P-4429/47

P-4429/48

P-4429/49

P-4429/50

P-4429/51

P-4429/52

P-4429/53

P-4429/54

P-4429/55

P-4429/56

P-4429/57

P-4429/58

P-4429/59

P-4429/60

P-4429/61

P-4429/62

RF in the Lyons's yard, March 1961. (3 copies of each print) C. Lyons is in P-4429/58-62. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/37-62

Image P-4429/63

RF on the steps of Wilson Library, U.N.C., 1943. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/63

Image P-4429/64-68

P-4429/64

P-4429/65

P-4429/66

P-4429/67

P-4429/68

Enlargements of P-4429/9, 42, 53, 60, and 63. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/64-68

Image P-4429/69-70

P-4429/69

P-4429/70

Postcards of RF's homes in Derry, New Hampshire, and Ripton, Vermont. Images are reproductions of snapshots taken circa 1908. Both are identified on verso by RF's daughter, Lesley. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/69-70

Image P-4429/71

Photo. of painting of RF at age 42 (1916; print made in 1957.) #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/71

Image P-4429/72

RF, circa 1956-1957. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/72

Image P-4429/73

RF in front of stone wall, circa 1940-1960. Repro. of drawing (color). Artist: Boris Chaliapin #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/73

Image P-4429/74 (OP)

Enlargement of P-4429/26: RF speaking to class in Bingham Hall, U.N.C., circa 1960-1961. #04429, Series: "5. Pictures, 1943-1961, and undated." P-4429/74 (OP)

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Laura K. O'Keefe, December 1985

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Back to Top