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Collection Number: 04494

Collection Title: Robert Henry Mason Papers, 1933-1987

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.


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Size 5.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2500 items)
Abstract Robert Henry Mason worked as a writer and in other capacities for the "Virginian-Pilot" in Norfolk, Va., 1945-1952 and 1957-1978, and was editor of that paper, 1962-1978. Correspondence, speeches and writings, news clippings, and photographs documenting the career of Robert Henry Mason. Correspondence is with newspaper colleagues, other business associates, government officials and friends, including Jonathan Daniels (1902-1981), Doris Betts (1932- ), Alonzo Dill, and Burke Davis, and deals with such matters as the American Society of Newspaper Editors; the "Sanford Herald," Sanford, N.C., which Mason partly owned in the mid 1950s; and the editorial stance of the "Virginian-Pilot."
Creator Mason, Robert Henry, 1912-
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
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 Robert Henry Mason Papers #4494, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Robert Mason of Southern Pines, N.C., in October 1987, January 1994 (Acc. 94008), April 1996 (Acc. 96034), and March 1997 (Acc. 97038).
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.
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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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Robert Henry Mason was born on 1 September 1912 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and grew up in Mebane. He received an A.B. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1933. He married Frances Fulton of Walnut Cove, North Carolina, in 1939. The Masons have one daughter, Frances (Mrs. Robert F. Baldwin, Jr.).

Robert Mason was editor of the Virginian Pilot from January 1962 until his retirement in October 1978. He had been the newspaper's managing editor, Sunday editor, city editor, and a staff writer. Before joining the Pilot in 1941, he worked for The Sanford Herald, The Raleigh Times, and the Durham Morning Herald, all in North Carolina. He left the Pilot during World Was II when he served as a Naval Reserve lieutenant in the Pacific Amphibious Force, and again for five years (1952-1957) while editing the Sanford paper, of which he then was part owner.

For seventeen years beginning in 1960, Mason was a member of the board of trustees of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences and its successor, the Chrysler Museum of Norfolk. As chairman of the Norfolk Civil War Centennial Committee, he cooperated with the Atlantic Amphibious Force training command in staging a scale-model reenactment of the Merrimack ( C.S.S Virginia) - Monitor battle on its hundredth anniversary. He has written and spoken extensively on Civil War naval topics, the Confederate cruisers especially.

Mason received a National Book Award for literary criticism in 1951 and twice was a Pulitzer juror. He was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors for twenty years. In 1987, he was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame. He is the author of One of the Neighbors' Children, published by Algonquin Books in 1987.

In 1980, Mason and his wife moved to Southern Pines, North Carolina. He is active in Weymouth, a regional cultural center. He continues to write, publishing articles in such journals as the William and Mary Law Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Naval Institute Proceedings

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, speeches and writings, news clippings, and photographs documenting the career of Robert Henry Mason. Correspondence is with newspaper colleagues, other business associates, government officials and friends, including Jonathan Daniels (1902-1981), Doris Betts (1932- ), Alonzo Dill, and Burke Davis, and deals with such matters as the American Society of Newspaper Editors; the "Sanford Herald," Sanford, N.C., which Mason partly owned in the mid 1950s; and the editorial stance of the "Virginian-Pilot."

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995.

About 1,800 items.

Arrangement: loosely sorted by year.

Correspondence not included in subject files (see Series 2), mostly between Robert Mason and various colleagues, business associates, government officials, and friends.

Notable correspondents include:

Doris Betts (8 letters and postcards, 1973, 1978, 1981-1982, 1987)

Jonathan Daniels (5 letters and postcards, 1973-1976)

Clyde Edgerton (2 letters, 1985-1986)

William Friday (6 letters, 1978, 1981-1983)

Bob Jones, of Bob Jones University (2 letters, 1970)

Reynolds Price (4 letters, 1975, 1982-1983)

There is also scattered correspondence with Burke Davis and Alonzo Dill.

Folder 1

1933-1957 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 1

Folder 2

1958-1964 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 2

Folder 3

Editorial Correspondence, 1963-1964 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 3

Folder 4

1967 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 4

Folder 5

1968 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 5

Folder 6

1969 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 6

Folder 7

Meetings and Travel, 1968-1969 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 7

Folder 8

1970 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 8

Folder 9

1971 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 9

Folder 10-11

Folder 10

Folder 11

1972 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 10-11

Folder 12-13

Folder 12

Folder 13

1973 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 12-13

Folder 14

1974 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

1975 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 15-16

Folder 17-19

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

1976 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 17-19

Folder 20-22

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

1977 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 20-22

Folder 23-24

Folder 23

Folder 24

1978 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 23-24

Folder 25

1979 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 25

Folder 26

1980 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 26

Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

1981 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 27-28

Folder 29-30

Folder 29

Folder 30

1982 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 29-30

Folder 31

1983 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 31

Folder 32

1984 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 32

Folder 33

1985 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 33

Folder 34

1986 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 34

Folder 35-35a

Folder 35

1987 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35-35a

Folder 35b

1988 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35b

Folder 35c

1989 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35c

Folder 35d

1990 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35d

Folder 35e

1991 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35e

Folder 35f

1992 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35f

Folder 35g

1993 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35g

Folder 35h

1994 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35h

Folder 35i

1995 #04494, Series: "1. General Correspondence, 1933-1995." Folder 35i

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated.

About 1,000 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical by file title.

Correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, speeches, and other materials relating to Robert Mason's work as a newspaper writer and editor. Also included are a few items of personal correspondence, most notably a series of Christmas cards from Robert Betts. For the most part, Mason's original arrangement and labeling have been maintained.

Folder 36

The American Assembly #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 36

Folder 37

American Society of Newspaper Editors #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 37

Folder 38

American Society of Newspaper Editors Program #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 38

Committee (1973-1974)/Sylvan Meyer Correspondence #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 38

Folder 39

Betts, Robert E. (Christmas cards) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 39

Folder 40

Certificates #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 40

Folder 41

Chambers, Lenoir #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 41

Folder 42

Christmas cards #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 42

Folder 43

Citizens Advisory Committee #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 43

Folder 44

Citizens Conference on State Legislatures #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 44

Folder 44a

Clippings about Mason #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 44a

Folder 44b

Dill, Lon #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 44b

Folder 45

Editorial Correspondence, Meetings, and Travel (1970) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 45

Folder 46

Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon (1970) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 46

Folder 47

Eyewitness (U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings article) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 47

Folder 48

First Flight: Fred C. Kelly #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 48

Folder 49

First Flight: Keville Glennan #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 49

Folder 50

Goals ( Virginian-Pilot) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 50

Folder 51

Grand Jury (1979) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 51

Folder 52

Hall, Michael #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 52

Folder 53

Haynie, Hugh #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 53

Folder 54

Hebrew University (American Friends of) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 54

Folder 55

Hines, Jessie W., Civil Suit #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 55

Folder 56

History of Norfolk Newspapers #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 56

Folder 57

Horner, W.E. ( Sanford Herald) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 57

Folder 58

Israel (1970) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 58

Folder 59

Letters: Lenoir Chambers #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 59

Folder 60

Letters: On Becoming Editor #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 60

Folder 61

Letters: On Becoming Managing Editor #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 61

Folder 62

Letters: On Retiring #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 62

Folder 63

McCain, Rear Admiral John S. #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 63

Folder 64

Macmillan Educational Corporation Yearbook (1975) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 64

Folder 65

Manley, Melvin #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 65

Folder 66

Mark Ethridge Fellowship (SREB) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 66

Folder 67

Martin, Roy B. (Mayor of Norfolk) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 67

Folder 68

Merrimack #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 68

Folder 69

Middle East Columns #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 69

Folder 69a

Moore, Alfred #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 69a

Folder 70

NC 2000 #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 70

Folder 71

National Newspaper Publishers Association Merit Award Contest #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 71

Folder 72

News Product #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 72

Folder 73

Obituaries #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 73

Folder 74

"Old St. Paul's Vestry Book" #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 74

Folder 75

Raleigh/Durham/Miscellaneous #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 75

Folder 76

Rawls, Walter C. #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 76

Folder 77

Reports #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 77

Folder 78

Richmond Bureau #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 78

Folder 79

Roanoke Island Historical Association #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 79

Folder 80

Rough Logs ( Virginian-Pilot) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 80

Folder 81

Sanford Herald #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 81

Folder 82

Speeches #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 82

Folder 83

Styron, William #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 83

Folder 84

Synon, John J. #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 84

Folder 85

UNC Journalism Reunion (1974) #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 85

Folder 86

Zedd-Nimmo Case #04494, Series: "2. Subject Files, 1940-1993 and undated." Folder 86

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Writings, 1984-1993 and undated.

About 50 items.

Typescript draft of Robert Mason's book One of the Neighbors' Children, published by Algonquin Books in 1987. This series also contains correspondence with Louis Rubin related to the book. There are also miscellaneous short writings by Mason.

Folder 87-91

Folder 87

Folder 88

Folder 89

Folder 90

Folder 91

One of the Neighbors' Children #04494, Series: "3. Writings, 1984-1993 and undated." Folder 87-91

Folder 92-96

Folder 92

Folder 93

Folder 94

Folder 95

Folder 96

Miscellaneous short writings #04494, Series: "3. Writings, 1984-1993 and undated." Folder 92-96

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Scrapbook, 1951.

1 item.

Telegrams, letters, postcards, newspaper and magazine clippings, and photographs concerning Mason's National Book Award for literary criticism, awarded while he was Sunday editor of the Virginian-Pilot.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Pictures

Image P-4494/1

Front page of the Virginian-Pilot, 18 December 1903. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/1

Image P-4494/2

Keville Glennan, former editor of the Virginian-Pilot, and Fred C. Kelly, the Wright biographer. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/2

Image P-4494/3

Robert Mason, George H. Tucker, and unidentified man. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/3

Image P-4494/4-5

P-4494/4

P-4494/5

Robert Mason. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/4-5

Image P-4494/6

Robert Mason and unidentified woman. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/6

Image P-4494/7

Robert Mason and unidentified man. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/7

Image P-4494/8

Guy Friddell and unidentified man. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/8

Image P-4494/9

Robert Mason and unidentified man. #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/9

Image P-4494/10-12

P-4494/10

P-4494/11

P-4494/12

Unidentified woman #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/10-12

Image P-4494/13

Robert Mason, 1932 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/13

Image P-4494/14

Robert Mason, 1938 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/14

Image P-4494/15

Robert Mason, 1952 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/15

Image P-4494/16

Robert Mason, 1960 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/16

Image P-4494/17

Robert Mason, 1962 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/17

Image P-4494/18

Robert Mason, 1975 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/18

Image P-4494/19

Robert Mason, 1988 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/19

Image P-4494/20

Robert Mason and APME officials, 1960 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/20

Image P-4494/21

Robert Mason, 1938 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/21

Image P-4494/22

Robert Mason, 1945 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/22

Image P-4494/23

Robert Mason, 1960 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/23

Image P-4494/24

Robert Mason, 1962 (sketch) #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/24

Image P-4494/25

Robert Mason, 1965 #04494, Series: "5. Pictures" P-4494/25

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Processing Information

Processed by: Gina Overcash, November 1987; Roslyn Holdzkom, March 1993 and July 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Not fully processed pending additions.

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