Mark Twain Studies Resource Pages
CMTS is committed to giving accurate, accessible information related to Mark Twain, his literature, his circle, and his world. These resource pages have been written by Mark Twain scholars, often times experts in the particular field. These are meant to be reliable, efficient resources for teachers, students, enthusiasts, and the general public.
- Buffalo (Mark Twain’s Time in Buffalo)
- Elmira College
- Hartford House (Overview)
- Hartford House (Beginnings)
- Hawai’i (Mark Twain’s Time in Hawai’i)
- Quarry Farm
Mark Twain Day by Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition. This invaluable resource for Twain scholars has never before been available outside research libraries and rare private collections. It is a unique tool for scholars, students, teachers, and other Twain enthusiasts. Please recognize that this is a preliminary, BETA version of a resource which we will continue to develop in the coming years.
A collection of online resources dedicated to Mark Twain’s legacy in Elmira, collected and curated by the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Includes the following sections:
- The Gospel of Revolt in Elmira
- The Courtship of Sam and Livy
- A Virtual Tour of Mark Twain’s Elmira
- Emancipation Day, 1880 – Frederick Douglass in Elmira
- Quarry Farm
David Bianculli, nationally-known television critic and contributor to NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, has assembled a collection of all the known times the character “Mark Twain” has occurred on television exclusively for the Center for Mark Twain Studies. CMTS hopes that this collection helps contribute to the academic discussion of Mark Twain’s portrayal in the television era and beyond.
This virtual tour shows the entirety of Quarry Farm, the Quarry Farm grounds, the Mark Twain Study, the Langdon/Clemens plot in Woodlawn Cemetery and many other locations associated with CMTS. One of the major highlights is the Quarry Farm parlor, Mary Ann Cord’s stove in the Kitchen, and the Porch where Mark Twain set “A True Story, Word For Word As I Heard It.”
Walter Ritchie, Jr., decorative arts scholar and architectural historian specializing in nineteenth-century American domestic architecture, interiors, and furniture, discusses the interiors and furnishings in the main house at Quarry Farm. Scholars from all corners of the United States and the globe have the opportunity to spend their time amongst this important collection.
The most extensive document focusing on the architectural history of Quarry Farm. Written by Johnson-Schmidt & Associates, Architects, this report examines the developmental history of Quarry Farm, including historical background and context, chronology of development and use, physical description, character defining features, and an evaluation of its significance.
The most extensive document focusing on the landscape history of Quarry Farm. Written by Martha Lyon Landscape Architects, LLC, this report includes a report on the Quarry Farm landscape in history, a historical chronology, photographs of existing conditions, and a bibliography for further reading and research.
This interactive map introduces a series of landmarks and community members affiliated with Twain and his extended family.
Mark Twain and most of his extended family are buried in the Langdon-Clemens plot at Woodlawn Cemetery. The Center for Mark Twain Studies has created a geo-located map of Woodlawn which also features short bios of many of the prominent Elmirans buried there.
Major James B. Pond recorded the North American section of Mark Twain’s famous 1895-1896 with photographs and text. The journey resulted in Twain’s fifth and final travel book Following the Equator (1897). Collection includes Pond’s pictures and textual description of Twain’s tour, as well as intimate pictures of Quarry Farm in September 1895.
A catalog of the 19th century furnishings at Quarry Farm, compiled by Walter J. Ritchie, Jr., Quarry Farm Fellow, in 2017. The catalog includes furniture that once existed in the Langdon Mansion and items specifically purchased for Quarry Farm by Susan Crane. This is an ever-growing list. The catalog will be used for preservation efforts for this Quarry Farm collection.
In an expanded collection of primary and secondary documents and photos, Mark Twain in Elmira recounts the story of Sam Clemens’ time in Elmira and underscores the importance of Elmira in the development of American literature. Mark Twain in Elmira (1977) was first compiled by Robert D. Jerome, an Elmira businessman and Mark Twain researcher and collector, and Dr. Herbert A. Wisbey, Jr., and Elmira College Professor of History. As information about Mark Twain’s life in Elmira grew, Jerome and Wisbey created a list of pieces they proposed for inclusion in a second edition. This expanded second edition contains those suggestions as well as additional new content and photographs of interest to mark Twain scholars and enthusiasts. Dr. Barbara Snedecor is the editor of the second edition.
Important Online Resources
University of California, Berkeley – This site applies innovative technology to more than four decades’ worth of archival research by expert editors at the Mark Twain Project. It offers unfettered, intuitive access to reliable texts, accurate and exhaustive notes, and the most recently discovered letters and documents. The site’s ultimate purpose is to produce a digital critical edition, fully annotated, of everything Mark Twain wrote. MTPO offers not only the edited texts of more than 2000 letters and several book-length writings, including Autobiography of Mark Twain, but a catalog of all Clemens-related correspondence known to the Project staff and a variety of digital research resources.
Contains hundreds of downloadable versions of Twain’s works. Some contain original illustrations from the first editions of the texts.
The Mark Twain Forum has long been a leading venue for reviews of new publications in Mark Twain Studies. The site has an extensive archive of reviews.
From Barbara Schmidt’s www.Twainquotes.com. This comprehensive publication list of Mark Twain interviews was first compiled using Louis Budd’s check lists of interviews that were published in American Literary Realism in the Winter 1977 issue and a later supplementary list published in the Spring 1996 issue. Budd published a small selection of Twain’s interviews in these two journals. Since 1996, researchers have found additional interviews utilizing the new technology of text-searchable historical newspaper databases. These have been added to the lists first compiled by Budd. It is expected that many more interviews are yet to be found. In the fall of 2006 Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews, edited by Gary Scharnhorst (University of Alabama Press) was released. It does not contain every version of every interview, disputed interviews — those Twain denied making, fake interviews or foreign interviews. Nor does it include all photographs and illustrations that were often published alongside the interview. It is, however, the best reference source available to date and highly recommended. This online resource combines all sources of known interviews (including spurious, disputed, and foreign) and indicates where they have been published.
From Barbara Schmidt’s www.Twainquotes.com. A large collection of full text newspaper articles written by Mark Twain, ranging from 1853 to 1892. Collection includes a large number from Twain’s time in San Francisco.
From Barbara Schmidt’s www.Twainquotes.com. An extensive chronology of Mark Twain’s public speaking engagements, some with full text. Documenting all of Mark Twain’s known public speeches, readings and lectures is a monumental undertaking first attempted by Paul Fatout in his classic volume Mark Twain Speaking published by University of Iowa Press, 1976. Fatout’s listing has been updated at least once by noted Twain scholar Louis Budd in”A Supplement to ‘A Chronology’ in Mark Twain Speaking” published in Essays in Arts and Sciences, Vol. XXIX, October 2000, pp. 57-68. As more and more of Mark Twain’s letters are published and more and more historical newspaper databases become searchable in digital format, it becomes increasingly apparent that no list of Twain’s known speeches will likely be complete. While texts of some of Twain’s major speeches do survive, many have never been recovered.
This interpretive archive focuses on how “Mark Twain” and his works were created and defined, marketed and performed, reviewed and appreciated. The goal is to allow readers, scholars, students and teachers to see what Mark Twain and His Times said about each other, in a way that can speak to us today. Contained here are dozens of texts and manuscripts, scores of contemporary reviews and articles, hundreds of images, and many different kinds of interactive exhibits. The site is written and directed by Professor Stephen Railton and is produced by the University of Virginia Library.
This site is devoted to presenting the geography of the many places he visited and/or spoke about. The site is designed as a series of courses. Several of the courses follow his books, such as Roughing It and Innocents Abroad. The books have been divided into geographically significant sections. The site was created and is maintained by B. Scott Holmes.
This is a set of links to pdf clips of the letters associated with the Holy Land Excursion. This pattern mostly follows Daniel Morley McKeithan, Traveling with The Innocents Abroad: Mark Twain’s Original Reports from Europe and the Holy Land (University of Oklahoma Press, 1958). This site is maintained by B. Scott Holmes.
This organization claims to bring about the “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain.” LibriVox, founded in 2005, is a community of volunteers from all over the world who record public domain texts: poetry, short stories, whole books, even dramatic works, in many different languages. The site is particularly useful to the sight impaired. John Greenman has narrated a number of Twain’s works in this collection. See also John Greenman’s collection on Internet Archive.
The Major Mark Twain Centers
The four major Mark Twain Centers include the Center for Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, New York; The Mark Twain Papers at the University of California, Berkeley; the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut; and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri.
University of California Berkeley – The Mark Twain Papers contain the voluminous private papers of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain). Before his death in 1910, Clemens passed these documents to his official biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine, who published sparingly from them until his death in 1937. Several successive editors served as literary executors for Clemens’s estate and custodians of the Papers, which became part of The Bancroft Library in 1971. Their website includes information about the archive’s history and current holdings, encourages viewers to learn more about their research resources, and allows Twain scholars to schedule a visit to the archives.
The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author’s Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. In addition to providing tours of Twain’s restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain’s literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. The website includes a virtual tour of the Hartford House and resources for teachers and students.
Located in Hannibal, Missouri, The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum holds a number of Mark Twain’s personal artifacts, an extensive collection of printed materials, five historic buildings, including the house where the Clemens family lived from 1844 to 1853, two museums, and three museum shops. The site also contains resources for teachers and students.
Academic Organizations and Academic Journals
The Mark Twain Circle of America is the principal scholarly organization dedicated to the study of Samuel Clemens, his works, and his times. The membership includes most of the leading Mark Twain scholars in the world, as well as teachers, fans, and enthusiasts from many nations and many walks of life. The Mark Twain Circle is an active presence in the American Literature Association, Modern Language Association of America, and South Atlantic Modern Language Association. The Circle sponsors scholarly meetings at American Literature Association and Modern Language Association of America national conventions. It has two publications: the Mark Twain Annual and the Mark Twain Circular.
The Mark Twain Annual publishes articles related to Mark Twain and those who surrounded him and serves as an outlet for new scholarship as well as new pedagogical approaches. It is the official publication of the Mark Twain Circle of America, an international association of people interested in the life and work of Mark Twain.
The Mark Twain Journal is a twice-yearly periodical devoted to the life and works of the American author Mark Twain, drawing where possible on contemporary sources. The Journal also explores his family and social relationships as well as his literary and intellectual connections. Founded in 1936 by Cyril Clemens (editor, 1936-1982), the eclectic Mark Twain Journal is one of the oldest American journals devoted to a single author.
Founded in 1975, the American Humor Studies Association promotes scholarship on all aspects and periods of American Humor through conferences, publications, awards and the general support of a community of dedicated scholars of American humor. The AHSA has sponsored joint conferences with the Mark Twain Circle in America. AHSA prints two publications: Studies in American Humor, a scholarly journal, and To Wit, a bi-annual newsletter.
Founded by the American Humor Studies Association in 1974 and published continuously since 1982, Studies in American Humor is a scholarly publication that specializes in humanistic research on humor in America (loosely defined) because the universal human capacity for humor is always expressed within the specific contexts of time, place, and audience that research methods in the humanities strive to address. Such methods now extend well beyond the literary and film analyses that once formed the core of American humor scholarship to a wide range of critical, biographical, historical, theoretical, archival, ethnographic, and perhaps digital studies of humor in performance and public life as well as in print and other media.
According to its Constitution, The purpose of the the Japan Mark Twain Studies is to study the literature of Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) and the surrounding area, to establish a broader and deeper understanding, and at the same time to establish mutual relationships among members. The Society publishes the academic journal Mark Twain Studies every three years. The organization also facilitates The International Forum of the Japan Mark Twain Society.
Important Sites Dedicated to Mark Twain, His Literature, and His Time
Founded in 1923, the Chemung County Historical Society is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of the history of the Chemung Valley region, the area in which Elmira is located. The museum has the permanent exhibit “Mark Twain’s Elmira” that focuses on the people and places that the author knew during his time here. The exhibit features artifacts used by Mark Twain and his family and historic images of Elmira during the late 1800s. It also contains a number of research resources and photographs concerning to Mark Twain, the Langdons, and the author’s legacy in Elmira.
John W. Jones’ house in Elmira, New York, as an interactive museum commemorating the life and work of the former slave, who as an Underground Railroad Station Master, safely assisted nearly 800 slaves’ flight to Canada and was responsible for the dignified burial of nearly 3000 Confederate soldiers. Jones worked with Jervis Langdon (1809-1870) in their efforts with the Underground Railroad.
A large collection of quotations and prinary sources attributed to Mark Twain, organized by topic. The site also includes special reports and scholarly articles. The site was created and is managed by Barbara Schmidt.
The largest and most popular listserv dedicated to Mark Twain. The site also contains an extensive collection of scholarly book reviews.
This online exhibition from The Morgan Library & Museum and the New York Public Library presents a major exhibition at the Morgan exploring a central, recurring theme throughout the author’s body of work: his uneasy, often critical, attitude towards a rapidly modernizing America. The exhibition coincides with the 175th anniversary of Twain’s birth in 1835 and is composed of more than 120 manuscripts and rare books, including original manuscript pages from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) and Life on the Mississippi (1883) as well as letters, notebooks, diaries, photographs, and drawings associated with the author’s life and work.
The site focuses on Twain’s short time in Buffalo. The permanent exhibit contains leaves from the original handwritten manuscript of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In the early 1930s, the Buffalo Public Library began to build a unique collection of special English and foreign language editions of the novel. Through the years, this collection has continued to grow. These remarkable items, currently numbering more than five hundred, fill the bookcases lining the walls. The site contains pictures of present and past exhibits focusing on Twain.
The mission of this Center is to build cross-cultural understanding by documenting, preserving and presenting the history of the 19th and 20th-century African American community in Hannibal and northeast Missouri. It commemorates the once thriving African American community and the people who built it. It also examines the pain and suffering of slavery, segregation, and racial oppression. “Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center” honors Daniel Quarles, the prototype for Jim in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and acknowledges Samuel Clemens the humanitarian, and the African Americans he impacted and those who influenced his life and work.
Cornell University Library commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the author known to the world as Mark Twain, with an exhibition featuring the Mark Twain collection of Susan Jaffe Tane. The online exhibit contains books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, and other materials that celebrate the life and work of this American icon.
From the Northern Illinois University Libraries, the site provides searchable texts of works in which Mark Twain imagined and remembered the Mississippi Valley of the mid-nineteenth century, as well as a set of primary source materials providing other descriptions of it or places within it. It also includes original interpretive materials, maps, and lesson plans for teachers.
Brent Colley, a local historian, has compiled a wealth of information on Twain’s last days in his Redding home, Stormfield.