Brainard Bartwell Cheney and Frances Neel Cheney Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0004

Scope and Contents

The Brainard and Frances Cheney Papers, 1841-1989, include correspondence, manuscripts of writings, speeches, research materials, publication materials, publicity for books and play productions, reviews, legal and financial documents, family records, memorabilia, clippings and photographs, programs from cultural events, clippings on race relations, materials from Brainard Cheney’s career in politics, and manuscripts of writings by other authors. The last thirty-five boxes of the collection contain papers from Frances Neel Cheney’s career in Library Science including correspondence, writings, speeches, course materials from the Japan Library School and the Peabody Library School, publication materials, work with the Tennessee Library Association, a national survey on Public Library Reference Service for the American Library Association, bibliographies, and library related writings by others. The collection is extensive, with the bulk of the materials ranging from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Major topics of interest include multiple versions of Brainard Cheney’s novels, the Pine Barrens and Rivers of Southeastern Georgia, materials relating to the Cheney’s friendships with many of the Fugitive/Agrarian writers, Brainard Cheney’s interest in Catholicism, Tennessee Politics in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, race relations and civil rights, Library Science and reference services.

Perhaps the greatest treasure of the collection is the correspondence, both the Cheney's and their respondents. Brainard Cheney was diligent in saving copies of letters he sent out. Highlights from the correspondence received include letters from Cleanth Brooks, Ashley Brown, Frank Clement, Donald Davidson, Caroline Gordon, Mildred Haun, Elia Kazan, Russell Kirk, Andrew Lytle, David McDowell, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, John Crowe Ransom, Monroe Spears, Tom Stewart, Allen Tate, Peter Taylor, Robert Penn Warren, and Eudora Welty. There is over six cubic feet of correspondence in this collection.

There is extensive material in the Writings series, approximately eight cubic feet. These materials include manuscripts copies of all of Brainard Cheney’s published work and much of his unpublished work, often there are several versions showing a progression of the writings. Genres represented are novels, plays, stories, reviews, articles and essays, memoirs, eulogies, speeches, and a movie script. There is a small amount of material by Frances Neel Cheney in this series. Closely related to the Writings series is the Publication materials series, which includes research, outlines, summaries, character sketches, chapter outlines and summaries, notes, photographs, and clippings for many of Brainard Cheney’s writings, and production materials for the works which were published. There is also a series of reviews written about many of both Brainard and Frances Neel Cheney’s published works.

The Personal and Biographical and the Events and Activities series are varied and contain information pertaining to the Cheney’s everyday lives. This includes curriculum vitas for both Brainard and Frances. There is material on Brainard Cheney’s family land in Georgia and a small group of papers belonging to his mother. There is a minor amount of memorabilia and photographs. The oldest material in the collection is represented in the Personal and Biographical series. The Events and Activities series mainly has material from projects in which Brainard Cheney was a involved, for example, the Tennessee Education and Dramatic Commission, the Sam Davis Outdoor Theatre, and Project R.A.F.T.

The Subject Files series contains programs and bulletins from events that the Cheney’s attended, clippings on subjects of interest and materials from Brainard Cheney’s political career. The Associates Series is limited to materials about several of the Cheney’s friends. The Writings by Other Authors series is interesting but not extensive. There are writings by Ashley Brown, Frank Clement, Antonio Gotto, John Lukacs, Edward McCrady, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Allen Tate among others.

Dates

  • 1841 - 1989
  • Majority of material found within 1940s-1970s

Creator

Brainard Bartwell Cheney Biography

  • 1900 Born on June 3, in Fitzgerald, Georgia, to Mattie Mood and Brainard Bartwell Cheney.
  • 1906 Family moved from Fitzgerald to Lumber City, Georgia.
  • 1908 Father died. Robin Bess, the overseer of the family’s land holdings, became his male role model.
  • 1916 Graduated from Lumber City High School, Georgia.
  • 1917-19 Attended the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 1918 Enlisted in the United States Army on November 12, as part of the Students Army Training Corps, and was Honorably Discharged on December 10.
  • 1919-20 Bank Clerk in Lavonia, Georgia.
  • 1920 Spent one semester at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • 1920-21 Timber dealer, Lumber City, Georgia.
  • 1921-22 School Principal, Jonesville, Georgia.
  • 1922-23 School Principal, Scotland, Georgia.
  • 1923-24 School Principal, Bostwick, Georgia.
  • 1924 Attended Georgia University in Athens, Georgia for the Summer term.
  • 1924-25 Attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (left Vanderbilt after completing junior year). Studied with John Crowe Ransom, Edwin Mims, and Walter Clyde Curry and became friends with several members of the Fugitive group- Donald Davidson, Merrill Moore, Stanley Johnson, and Robert Penn Warren. While in school he worked for an investment banking company. At the end of the school year his mother died and he went to Georgia to settle her estate. When he returned to Nashville, he had been fired from the banking company and he realized he would not be able to afford school in the fall. He continued to live at Vanderbilt in an apartment on West Side Row with Ralph McGill.
  • 1925-42 In September, at the recommendation of Ralph McGill, Cheney joined the staff of the Nashville Banner Newspaper as a police reporter. He continued with the Banner through 1942, serving as the Cityhall, Courthouse, Federal and Capitol reporter; the city, wire, farm, financial, and aviation editors; and as a feature writer and editorial writer.
  • 1927 Was in a terrible car wreck, as the result of driving heavily intoxicated. He was in the hospital for two months.
  • 1928 Married Frances Neel Cheney June 21.
  • 1931 Through their close friend, Robert Penn Warren, the Cheneys became acquainted with Allen Tate and Caroline Gordon, a friendship which had lasting importance to the Cheneys for religious reasons and to Brainard in particular for literary reasons.
  • 1932 Manuscript for a novel, several short stories and poems burned in the Wesley Hall fire on the Vanderbilt campus.
  • 1934-35 Worked on a novel titled World Without Words, that was submitted for publication and Nannine Joseph, Caroline Gordon’s literary agent, said he had great potential and suggested that he put this novel aside as experience and write a new one.
  • 1936 Carwreck near Manchester. Cheney has minor injuries and another passenger was killed.
  • 1937 Began work on a novel with the working title The Squatter, later titled Lightwood.
  • 1939 Spent three weeks in April on the boat Adventure II, following the river voyage of Sam Donelson’s Adventure from Fort Patrick Henry on the Holstein River to the banks of the Cumberland in Nashville, he submitted articles to the Nashville Banner each day of the trip. Lightwood published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • 1940 Published The Yellow Dress, a short story, in the Contemporary Southern Prose anthology from D.C. Heath and Company. Began work on River Rouge, spent three months in Southern Georgia researching for the novel. Received a Fellowship to attend the Breadloaf Writers Conference in Vermont, where he met Wallace Stegner, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Robert Frost.
  • 1941 Received a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete River Rouge.
  • 1942 River Rogue was published by Houghton Mifflin Company, and was chosen for the Book-of-the-Month Club. MGM held rights to make a movie but the project was deferred because of the war.
  • 1943-44 Served as Executive Secretary to Senator Tom Stewart of Tennessee. In 1943, the Tates had moved to Washington D.C. because Allen Tate had been appointed as the Library of Congress Poetry Chair. While living in Washington the Cheney’s shared a home with the Tates and together they entertained many of their literary friends.
  • 1944-45 Served as Secretary of the Subcommittee on War Surplus Disposal of the Senate Small Business Committee
  • 1945-52 Wrote and rewrote The Image and the Cry (unpublished) five times.
  • 1949-50 Served as the Public Relations Director of the Greater Nashville Community Chest and wrote radio scripts and a movie script , entitled Not Enough To Go Around, on their behalf.
  • 1950-51 Wrote the script for Strangers in This World, the initial idea for this play came from a scene in The Image and the Cry. Received a Fellowship from the Huntington Hartford Foundation in Los Angeles.
  • 1952 Strangers in This World was produced by the Vanderbilt University Theater, February 6-9. The Cheneys purchased land on St. Simon’s Island off the coast of Southern Georgia. In August, he wrote a review of Flannery O’Connor’s first novel, Wise Blood, which was to be the beginning of a very close friendship between the two writers.
  • 1952-58 Served as Public Relations man for Tennessee Governor Frank Clement.
  • 1953 Became a member of the Roman Catholic Church. On June 6th Brainard and Frances met Flannery O’Connor for the first time, at her home outside Milledgeville, Georgia, on their way to St. Simon’s Island.
  • 1956-57 Through the auspices of the Tennessee Education and Dramatic Commission (1956) and the Sam Davis Outdoor Theater Project (1957) Cheney worked on a project to establish a State Theater and Workshop in Tennessee to produce plays by fiction writers.
  • 1956 Strangers in This World, produced in Louisville, Kentucky at the Little Theater on the University of Louisville, Belknap Campus, January 26-28.
  • 1958 This Is Adam is published by McDowell Obolensky Inc. Received a Literary Award from the Georgia Writers Association for This Is Adam.
  • 1959-60 Wrote Quest for the Pelican, offered for publication 1960-1964 and was then withdrawn.
  • 1960 Another play, I Choose to Die was produced by the Vanderbilt University Theatre, November 2-5.
  • 1962 Cheney became very interested in the writings of the French Jesuit Priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard’s book, The Phenomenon of Man, became paramount in Cheney’s quest to reconcile science and religion.
  • 1965 Co-Authored an essay on Teilhard de Chardin with Antonio Gotto titled, “Has Teilhard de Chardin Really Joined the Within and the Without of Things?”, published in the Sewanee Review.
  • 1969 His novel Devil’s Elbow published by Crown Publishers.
  • 1969-71 Worked on In Pursuit of Happiness. The novel was up for publication through Crown Publishers and had a release date but was never produced.
  • 1970’s Worked on two novels, one titled The People, The People, and the other, a fictionalized history of his mother’s family titled Kitty Mood’s Cup.
  • 1972 Sold the bulk of his papers to the Joint University Libraries.
  • 1981-82 Project R.A.F.T, a celebration of the river culture and timber trade along the Ocmulgee, Oconee, and Altahama rivers in Southern Georgia. Cheney was involved in the organization of Project R.A.F.T. with Delma Presley. Cheney spoke at the Lumber City, Bailey, Jessup, and Darien town celebrations.
  • 1982 Reprint of River Rouge with an Introduction by Robert Penn Warren was published by Burr Oak Publishers, Inc.
  • 1984 Reprint of Lightwood with an Introduction by Delma E. Presley was published by Burr Oak Publishers, Inc. Terrye Newkirk submits “Cheers: Letters of Flannery O’Connor to Brainard and Frances Neel Cheney, 1953-1958” as Master’s Thesis at Vanderbilt University.
  • 1986 The Correspondence of Flannery O’Connor and the Brainard Cheneys, compiled by C. Ralph Stephens, is published by the University Press of Mississippi.
  • 1990 Brainard Bartwell Cheney died on January 15, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 89.
1900
Born on June 3, in Fitzgerald, Georgia, to Mattie Mood and Brainard Bartwell Cheney.
1906
Family moved from Fitzgerald to Lumber City, Georgia.
1908
Father died. Robin Bess, the overseer of the family’s land holdings, became his male role model.
1916
Graduated from Lumber City High School, Georgia.
1917-19
Attended the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
1918
Enlisted in the United States Army on November 12, as part of the Students Army Training Corps, and was Honorably Discharged on December 10.
1919-20
Bank Clerk in Lavonia, Georgia.
1920
Spent one semester at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
1920-21
Timber dealer, Lumber City, Georgia.
1921-22
School Principal, Jonesville, Georgia.
1922-23
School Principal, Scotland, Georgia.
1923-24
School Principal, Bostwick, Georgia.
1924
Attended Georgia University in Athens, Georgia for the Summer term.
1924-25
Attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (left Vanderbilt after completing junior year). Studied with John Crowe Ransom, Edwin Mims, and Walter Clyde Curry and became friends with several members of the Fugitive group- Donald Davidson, Merrill Moore, Stanley Johnson, and Robert Penn Warren. While in school he worked for an investment banking company. At the end of the school year his mother died and he went to Georgia to settle her estate. When he returned to Nashville, he had been fired from the banking company and he realized he would not be able to afford school in the fall. He continued to live at Vanderbilt in an apartment on West Side Row with Ralph McGill.
1925-42
In September, at the recommendation of Ralph McGill, Cheney joined the staff of the Nashville Banner Newspaper as a police reporter. He continued with the Banner through 1942, serving as the Cityhall, Courthouse, Federal and Capitol reporter; the city, wire, farm, financial, and aviation editors; and as a feature writer and editorial writer.
1927
Was in a terrible car wreck, as the result of driving heavily intoxicated. He was in the hospital for two months.
1928
Married Frances Neel Cheney June 21.
1931
Through their close friend, Robert Penn Warren, the Cheneys became acquainted with Allen Tate and Caroline Gordon, a friendship which had lasting importance to the Cheneys for religious reasons and to Brainard in particular for literary reasons.
1932
Manuscript for a novel, several short stories and poems burned in the Wesley Hall fire on the Vanderbilt campus.
1934-35
Worked on a novel titled World Without Words, that was submitted for publication and Nannine Joseph, Caroline Gordon’s literary agent, said he had great potential and suggested that he put this novel aside as experience and write a new one.
1936
Carwreck near Manchester. Cheney has minor injuries and another passenger was killed.
1937
Began work on a novel with the working title The Squatter, later titled Lightwood.
1939
Spent three weeks in April on the boat Adventure II, following the river voyage of Sam Donelson’s Adventure from Fort Patrick Henry on the Holstein River to the banks of the Cumberland in Nashville, he submitted articles to the Nashville Banner each day of the trip. Lightwood published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
1940
Published The Yellow Dress, a short story, in the Contemporary Southern Prose anthology from D.C. Heath and Company. Began work on River Rouge, spent three months in Southern Georgia researching for the novel. Received a Fellowship to attend the Breadloaf Writers Conference in Vermont, where he met Wallace Stegner, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Robert Frost.
1941
Received a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete River Rouge.
1942
River Rogue was published by Houghton Mifflin Company, and was chosen for the Book-of-the-Month Club. MGM held rights to make a movie but the project was deferred because of the war.
1943-44
Served as Executive Secretary to Senator Tom Stewart of Tennessee. In 1943, the Tates had moved to Washington D.C. because Allen Tate had been appointed as the Library of Congress Poetry Chair. While living in Washington the Cheney’s shared a home with the Tates and together they entertained many of their literary friends.
1944-45
Served as Secretary of the Subcommittee on War Surplus Disposal of the Senate Small Business Committee
1945-52
Wrote and rewrote The Image and the Cry (unpublished) five times.
1949-50
Served as the Public Relations Director of the Greater Nashville Community Chest and wrote radio scripts and a movie script , entitled Not Enough To Go Around, on their behalf.
1950-51
Wrote the script for Strangers in This World, the initial idea for this play came from a scene in The Image and the Cry. Received a Fellowship from the Huntington Hartford Foundation in Los Angeles.
1952
Strangers in This World was produced by the Vanderbilt University Theater, February 6-9. The Cheneys purchased land on St. Simon’s Island off the coast of Southern Georgia. In August, he wrote a review of Flannery O’Connor’s first novel, Wise Blood, which was to be the beginning of a very close friendship between the two writers.
1952-58
Served as Public Relations man for Tennessee Governor Frank Clement.
1953
Became a member of the Roman Catholic Church. On June 6th Brainard and Frances met Flannery O’Connor for the first time, at her home outside Milledgeville, Georgia, on their way to St. Simon’s Island.
1956-57
Through the auspices of the Tennessee Education and Dramatic Commission (1956) and the Sam Davis Outdoor Theater Project (1957) Cheney worked on a project to establish a State Theater and Workshop in Tennessee to produce plays by fiction writers.
1956
Strangers in This World, produced in Louisville, Kentucky at the Little Theater on the University of Louisville, Belknap Campus, January 26-28.
1958
This Is Adam is published by McDowell Obolensky Inc. Received a Literary Award from the Georgia Writers Association for This Is Adam.
1959-60
Wrote Quest for the Pelican, offered for publication 1960-1964 and was then withdrawn.
1960
Another play, I Choose to Die was produced by the Vanderbilt University Theatre, November 2-5.
1962
Cheney became very interested in the writings of the French Jesuit Priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard’s book, The Phenomenon of Man, became paramount in Cheney’s quest to reconcile science and religion.
1965
Co-Authored an essay on Teilhard de Chardin with Antonio Gotto titled, “Has Teilhard de Chardin Really Joined the Within and the Without of Things?”, published in the Sewanee Review.
1969
His novel Devil’s Elbow published by Crown Publishers.
1969-71
Worked on In Pursuit of Happiness. The novel was up for publication through Crown Publishers and had a release date but was never produced.
1970’s
Worked on two novels, one titled The People, The People, and the other, a fictionalized history of his mother’s family titled Kitty Mood’s Cup.
1972
Sold the bulk of his papers to the Joint University Libraries.
1981-82
Project R.A.F.T, a celebration of the river culture and timber trade along the Ocmulgee, Oconee, and Altahama rivers in Southern Georgia. Cheney was involved in the organization of Project R.A.F.T. with Delma Presley. Cheney spoke at the Lumber City, Bailey, Jessup, and Darien town celebrations.
1982
Reprint of River Rouge with an Introduction by Robert Penn Warren was published by Burr Oak Publishers, Inc.
1984
Reprint of Lightwood with an Introduction by Delma E. Presley was published by Burr Oak Publishers, Inc. Terrye Newkirk submits “Cheers: Letters of Flannery O’Connor to Brainard and Frances Neel Cheney, 1953-1958” as Master’s Thesis at Vanderbilt University.
1986
The Correspondence of Flannery O’Connor and the Brainard Cheneys, compiled by C. Ralph Stephens, is published by the University Press of Mississippi.
1990
Brainard Bartwell Cheney died on January 15, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 89.

Frances Neel Cheney Biography

  • 1906 Born Frances Neel on August 19th in Washington D.C. to Carrie Tucker and Thomas Meeks Neel. She grew up in Newbury, South Carolina. She was the grandniece of Sam Davis, a confederate war hero.
  • 1924 Graduated from high school in Newbury, South Carolina. Played the role of Miss Cherry Blossom in “Miss Cherry Blossom, Maid of Tokyo”. Began school at Vanderbilt University in the Fall. As a student, she studied with John Crowe Ransom, worked at the Vanderbilt Library and was, among others, good friends with Cleanth Brooks, with whom she had a written correspondence.
  • 1928 Within three weeks, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Vanderbilt University on June 13, married Brainard Cheney on June 21 in Nashville, Tennessee, and began a full time job at the Vanderbilt University Library.
  • 1930-43 Served as head of the Reference department at Vanderbilt University and then for the Joint University Libraries which was formed in 1942 as a consortium among Vanderbilt, George Peabody College and Scarritt College.
  • 1934 Received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Library Science from George Peabody College.
  • 1937 Summer graduate study at the University of Chicago.
  • 1938 Attended Columbia University for graduate work.
  • 1940 Received her Master of Library Science Degree from Columbia.
  • 1942 Took over writing the Current Reference Books column for the Wilson Library Bulletin temporarily for Louis Shore, ended up writing the column for thirty years. Also, took over the editorship of an American Library Association sponsored book entitled, Research Librarianship. The war delayed publication and eventually the volume was set aside.
  • 1943-46 Lived in Washington D. C. Worked at the Library of Congress. Together with Allen Tate, who had a one year appointment as the Chair of Poetry, they compiled a poetry bibliography, Sixty American Poets, 1896-1944, which was published by the Library of Congress General Reference and Bibliography Division. For the year the Tates were in Washington, they shared a house with the Cheneys and together they entertained many of their literary friends.
  • 1946 Began teaching reference courses at Peabody Library School. The Cheneys’ moved to Smyrna, Tennessee where Frances had inherited Idler’s Retreat, a large Antebellum home.
  • 1946-55 She was consultant for the Tennessee Regional Library Service.
  • 1951-52 Spent a year in Japan, at Keio Gijuku University, helping to establish an American style Library School. Edited, with Yukiko Monji, An Annotated List of Selected Japanese Reference Materials, for the Library Studies Series of the Japanese Library School at Keio Gijuku University.
  • 1954 Great Human Issues of Our Times, published by Peabody College. Frances Cheney contributed a chapter titled Books and Reading in the Modern World.
  • 1955-62 Worked on the American Library Association Reference Services Division Public Library Reference Survey.
  • 1960 Assumed the Associate Director position of the Peabody Library School.
  • 1966 Received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Marquette University.
  • 1970’s She was a frequent contributor of book reviews to the Sunday Tennessean Newspaper.
  • 1970 Folcroft Library Editions reprinted “Sixty American Poets, 1896-1944”.
  • 1971 Her book, Fundamental Reference Sources was published by the American Library Association. She wrote the Forward for K. Setty Umapathy’s American Books for Library Science Programs in Developing Countries with Special Reference to India, which was published in India in 1972.
  • 1975 Officially retired from Peabody Library School as professor emerita and continued to teach on an “as needed” basis. Virginia Reavis Lyle compiled, “My Friend F.N.C. in Review”, a collection of representative book reviews by Frances Cheney that appeared in the Tennessean from 1972-1975.
  • 1978 “Special Collections in Libraries of the Southeast”, edited by J.B. Howell is published for the Southern Library Association by Howick House, with an Introduction by Frances Cheney.
  • 1980 The Second Edition of Fundamental Reference Sources is published by the American Library Association with inclusions by Wiley J. Williams.
  • 1982 October 18, Edwin S. Gleaves on “Coffee Break” on WPLN-FM Nashville Public Radio, discusses Reference Services and Library Education: Essays in Honor of Frances Neel Cheney.
  • 1983 Lexington Books published Reference Services and Library Education: Essays in Honor of Frances Neel Cheney edited by Edwin S. Gleaves and John Mark Tucker. Along with Ashley Brown compiled and edited “The Poetry Reviews of Allen Tate 1924-1944”, published in the Southern Literary Studies Series by Louis D. Rubin, Jr. out of the LSU Press.
  • 1984 Terrye Newkirk submitted “Cheers: Letters of Flannery O’Connor to Brainard and Frances Neel Cheney, 1953-1958” as Master’s Thesis at Vanderbilt University.
  • 1986 The Correspondence of Flannery O’Connor and the Brainard Cheneys, compiled by C. Ralph Stephens, was published by the University Press of Mississippi.
  • 1996 Frances Neel Cheney died on May 5th, at the age of 89.
1906
Born Frances Neel on August 19th in Washington D.C. to Carrie Tucker and Thomas Meeks Neel. She grew up in Newbury, South Carolina. She was the grandniece of Sam Davis, a confederate war hero.
1924
Graduated from high school in Newbury, South Carolina. Played the role of Miss Cherry Blossom in “Miss Cherry Blossom, Maid of Tokyo”. Began school at Vanderbilt University in the Fall. As a student, she studied with John Crowe Ransom, worked at the Vanderbilt Library and was, among others, good friends with Cleanth Brooks, with whom she had a written correspondence.
1928
Within three weeks, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Vanderbilt University on June 13, married Brainard Cheney on June 21 in Nashville, Tennessee, and began a full time job at the Vanderbilt University Library.
1930-43
Served as head of the Reference department at Vanderbilt University and then for the Joint University Libraries which was formed in 1942 as a consortium among Vanderbilt, George Peabody College and Scarritt College.
1934
Received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Library Science from George Peabody College.
1937
Summer graduate study at the University of Chicago.
1938
Attended Columbia University for graduate work.
1940
Received her Master of Library Science Degree from Columbia.
1942
Took over writing the Current Reference Books column for the Wilson Library Bulletin temporarily for Louis Shore, ended up writing the column for thirty years. Also, took over the editorship of an American Library Association sponsored book entitled, Research Librarianship. The war delayed publication and eventually the volume was set aside.
1943-46
Lived in Washington D. C. Worked at the Library of Congress. Together with Allen Tate, who had a one year appointment as the Chair of Poetry, they compiled a poetry bibliography, Sixty American Poets, 1896-1944, which was published by the Library of Congress General Reference and Bibliography Division. For the year the Tates were in Washington, they shared a house with the Cheneys and together they entertained many of their literary friends.
1946
Began teaching reference courses at Peabody Library School. The Cheneys’ moved to Smyrna, Tennessee where Frances had inherited Idler’s Retreat, a large Antebellum home.
1946-55
She was consultant for the Tennessee Regional Library Service.
1951-52
Spent a year in Japan, at Keio Gijuku University, helping to establish an American style Library School. Edited, with Yukiko Monji, An Annotated List of Selected Japanese Reference Materials, for the Library Studies Series of the Japanese Library School at Keio Gijuku University.
1954
Great Human Issues of Our Times, published by Peabody College. Frances Cheney contributed a chapter titled Books and Reading in the Modern World.
1955-62
Worked on the American Library Association Reference Services Division Public Library Reference Survey.
1960
Assumed the Associate Director position of the Peabody Library School.
1966
Received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Marquette University.
1970’s
She was a frequent contributor of book reviews to the Sunday Tennessean Newspaper.
1970
Folcroft Library Editions reprinted “Sixty American Poets, 1896-1944”.
1971
Her book, Fundamental Reference Sources was published by the American Library Association. She wrote the Forward for K. Setty Umapathy’s American Books for Library Science Programs in Developing Countries with Special Reference to India, which was published in India in 1972.
1975
Officially retired from Peabody Library School as professor emerita and continued to teach on an “as needed” basis. Virginia Reavis Lyle compiled, “My Friend F.N.C. in Review”, a collection of representative book reviews by Frances Cheney that appeared in the Tennessean from 1972-1975.
1978
“Special Collections in Libraries of the Southeast”, edited by J.B. Howell is published for the Southern Library Association by Howick House, with an Introduction by Frances Cheney.
1980
The Second Edition of Fundamental Reference Sources is published by the American Library Association with inclusions by Wiley J. Williams.
1982
October 18, Edwin S. Gleaves on “Coffee Break” on WPLN-FM Nashville Public Radio, discusses Reference Services and Library Education: Essays in Honor of Frances Neel Cheney.
1983
Lexington Books published Reference Services and Library Education: Essays in Honor of Frances Neel Cheney edited by Edwin S. Gleaves and John Mark Tucker. Along with Ashley Brown compiled and edited “The Poetry Reviews of Allen Tate 1924-1944”, published in the Southern Literary Studies Series by Louis D. Rubin, Jr. out of the LSU Press.
1984
Terrye Newkirk submitted “Cheers: Letters of Flannery O’Connor to Brainard and Frances Neel Cheney, 1953-1958” as Master’s Thesis at Vanderbilt University.
1986
The Correspondence of Flannery O’Connor and the Brainard Cheneys, compiled by C. Ralph Stephens, was published by the University Press of Mississippi.
1996
Frances Neel Cheney died on May 5th, at the age of 89.

Extent

38.22 Linear Feet (91 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection contains the papers of Brainard Bartwell Cheney and Frances Neel Cheney. Major topics of interest include multiple versions of Brainard Cheney’s novels, the Pine Barrens and Rivers of Southeastern Georgia, materials relating to the Cheney’s friendships with many of the Fugitive/Agrarian writers, Brainard Cheney’s interest in Catholicism, Tennessee Politics in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, race relations and civil rights, Library Science and reference services.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives
Title
Finding Aid for the Brainard Bartwell Cheney and Frances Neel Cheney Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Hosanna Banks
Date
2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

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