Merrill Lewis Collection

Merrill Lewis Collection

Western Collection: Lewis, M. and Lewis, M. (VF)

Biographical Note

A teacher and scholar of American literature, specializing in late nineteenth century American literature and the literature of the American West, Merrill Lewis was born March 21, 1932, in Baldwin Park, California. He was educated at the University of Oregon (BA 1954: English; MA 1959: History) and the University of Utah (PhD 1968: English: American Studies). His doctoral dissertation was entitled American Frontier History as Literature: Studies in the Historiography of George Bancroft, Theodore Roosevelt, and Frederick Jackson Turner. His early teaching experience included appointments at Central Oregon College and the University of Utah. In 1968, Dr. Lewis was appointed to the faculty of Western Washington State College (subsequently Western Washington University) where he attained the rank of Professor in 1976. On his retirement in 1994, he was honored with the title Professor Emeritus of English.

During his long career at Western, Dr. Lewis served as Director of American Studies, Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of English, Chair of the Academic Coordinating Commission, and Co-Director of American Cultural Studies among many other administrative appointments. A prolific contributor to the literature of his specialties, as well as to the proceedings of professional conferences, Dr. Lewis authored monographs and other works on the Western writers Wallace Stegner and Robert Cantwell. Among other honors for his scholarship, he was awarded research fellowships at Yale University and the Huntington Library. Dr. Lewis's research interests include nineteenth and early 20th century American literature, Western American writing and regionalism in American writing, critical theory including rhetoric and historiography, and American culture and comparative cultures.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of works created 1963-1988, including books, journal issues containing articles authored by Dr. Lewis, off-prints and photocopies of articles, copies of conference presentations, a sound recording, and other scholarly contributions.

Notes on Arrangement

The books and sound recording in the Merrill Lewis Collection are shelved under "Lewis" in the Western Collection stacks area, sub-arranged by title. Additional copies of individual book titles may also be available in the Libraries' circulating collection; search the library catalog by author or title for more information.

Other material in the collection is organized into folders. Items are ordered chronologically by date of publication, sub-arranged alphabetically by title when items share a common publication date. The arrangement is by Special Collections.


The collection is  the gift of Merrill Lewis to Special Collections for The Western Collection.

Copyright Notice

Material in this Collection may be under copyright.



Robert Cantwell, by Merrill Lewis, ed. Wayne Chatterton, James H. Maguire, Boise, Idaho: Boise State University, 1985.

Wallace Stegner, by Merrill Lewis and Lorene Lewis, Boise, Idaho: Boise State College, 1972.

The Westering Experience in American Literature: Bicentennial Essays, ed. by Merrill Lewis and L.L. Lee, Bellingham, Wash.: Bureau for Faculty Research, Western Washington University, 1977.

Women, Women Writers, and the West, by L. L. Lee and Merrill Lewis, Troy, N.Y.: Whitson Publishing Co., 1979.


Sound Recording

Works of Wallace Stegner [sound recording], lecture by Merrill Lewis, Deland, Fla.: Everett/Edwards, 1974.

Folder List

Folder 1: Resumé:  Merrill E. Lewis, January 1990 


Folder 2: Works, 1963-1976

Lewis, Merrill E.  "History as Melodrama: Theodore Roosevelt's 'The Winning of the West'." The American West, an Appraisal. Ed. R. G. Ferris. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1963. 201-10, 249-51. 2 copies.

Lewis, Merrill.  "Organic Metaphor and Edenic Myth in George Bancroft's History of the United States. Journal of the History of Ideas 26 (1965): 587-592. Original issue and 2 copies.

Lewis, Merrill.  "Lost and Found-in the Wilderness: the Desert Metaphor in Cooper's The Prairie." Western American Literature 5 (1970): 195-204. 3 copies.

Lewis, Merrill. Rev. of The Closed Frontier: Studies in American Literary Tragedy, by Harold P. Simonson. Western American Literature 6 (1971): 259-261.

Lewis, Merrill E.  "The Art of Frederick Jackson Turner: the Histories."  Huntington Library Quarterly 25 (1972): 241-255. 3 copies.

Lewis, Merrill.  "Language, Literature, Rhetoric, and the Shaping of the Historical Imagination of Frederick Jackson Turner. Pacific Historical Review 45 (1976): 399-424. 2 copies.


Folder 3: Works, 1977-1985

Lewis, Merrill.  "In Praise of Whittier's 'Pictures'." ESQ 23 (1977): 244-251. 3 copies.

Bennett, James R. ... Merrill Lewis.  "History as Art: an Annotated Checklist of Criticism." Style 13 (1979): 5-36. 2 copies.

Lewis, M.  "Hitch Your Wagon to a Star: Turner, Emerson, and the Idea of an American Civilization." [conference paper; Western Literature Association, 1979, Albuquerque, NM]. 19 leaves.

[Lewis, Merrill E.].  "Reading Wallace Stegner: Some Critical Issues."  [conference paper; Western Literature Association, 1981, Boise, ID]. 7 leaves. Typescript and 1 photocopy.

Lewis, Merrill.  "The Function of Memory in Wallace Stegner's Recapitulation." [Prelim. version (?) of "Wallace Stegner's Recapitulation: Memory As Art Form," pub. in Critical Essays on Wallace Stegner. Ed. A. Arthur. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982]. Typescript. 12 p.

[Lewis, Merrill]. "Abstract: Power and Power Failure in the Novels of Robert Cantwell." [Abstract of paper, "The Sense of an Ending: Power and Failure in Robert Cantwell's Laugh and Lie Down," Western Literature Conference, October 1984. l leaf. Typescript and copy.

[Lewis, Merrill E.].  "Comments on Session Papers: Pacific Northwest Cultural History."  [conference paper; Pacific Northwest History Conference, 1984, Bellingham, WA]. 4 leaves.

Lewis, Merrill.   "Western Images in the Short Fiction of Robert Cantwell." [conference paper; symposium honoring Don D. Walker, 1984, University of Utah]. 16 leaves. 2 photocopies.

[Lewis, Merrill].  Robert Cantwell.  Boise: Boise State University, 1985. 'Mark-up' draft. Unpaged.


Folder 4: Works, 1986-1992

[Lewis, Merrill].  "James Stevens's 'Great Men ... Greatly Remembered'." [conference paper; Western Literature Association, 1986, Durango, CO]. 13 leaves.

Lewis, Merrill.  "[Wallace Stegner's] Beyond the Glass Mountain." Masterplots II. Pasadena: Salem Press, 1987. 1: 196-199.

[Lewis, Merrill].  "Design and Interpreted Design in the Work of H. L . Davis."  [conference paper; Western Literature Association, 1988, Eugene, OR]. Typescript and 1 photocopy.

[Lewis, Merrill] "Introduction." Honey in the Horn, by H. L. Davis. Moscow, Id.: University of Idaho Press, 1992. 17, [2] leaves. Draft, typescript, annotated. 

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