Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A & M University

Inventory of the Thomas F. Mayo Papers

1914-1915; 1945-1953



Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Mayo, Thomas F.
Title Inventory of the Thomas F. Mayo Papers
Dates 1914-1915; 1945-1953
Abstract Thomas Franklin Mayo (1893-1954), librarian, educator, author, and Rhodes Scholar, was born in Columbia, Mississippi 27 March 1893. He graduated from the University of Mississippi (1913) with a B.A. in English. A Rhodes Scholarship enabled Mayo to attend Oxford University in England in 1914, eventually earning a B.A. in English Literature (1916). After serving as an ambulance driver in France (1916) during World War I, followed by two years of teaching in the Texas A & M University English Department at College Station, Tex., then eighteen months serving with the U. S. Navy as an intelligence officer in naval aviation, Mayo returned to Oxford University to continue his education, earning a B.A. in Modern History (1921) and a M.A. in English (1922). Mayo immediately returned to Texas A & M University and resumed his teaching career, having been appointed Associate Professor of English and Librarian. Mayo spent the remainder of his career at Texas A & M University, except for one year of graduate study at Columbia University, 1927-1928. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1934. Mayo continued in the dual role of Librarian and Associate Professor of English until 1944, at which time he was named Head of the English Department. In 1935 he had been promoted to the rank of Professor. After serving eight years as Head of the English Department, Mayo asked to be relieved of the administratie duties on 1 September 1952 so that he could devote full time to teaching and writing. He died 26 June 1954 and was buried beside his parents in Arlington National Cemetry. As an educator, Mayo championed "humanistic" education at Texas A & M University, believing that such an approach was necessary to counterbalance the great emphasis on "technical" education in other departments. As a librarian, Mayo strove to emphasize acquiring and making accessible books in the fields of art, literature, and history. The Thomas Franklin Mayo Papers (1914-1914 and ca. 1945-1953) contain a few letters and notes, drafts, and final copies of book reviews, articles, and chapters of books. Chapter topics include Gothic Culture, Medieval Architecture, Romanesque Art and Architecture, Baroque Art, and Renaissance Painting, particularly the paintings of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The bulk of the latter material probably pertains to a book on which Mayo was working at the time of his death in 1954. The book was to have been titled The Great Pendulum and would have recorded the cycles between romanticism and rationalism in art and literature.
Identification TAMU MSS 00084
Extent .5 linear foot.
Language English.
Repository Cushing Memorial Library College Station, TX 77843-5000

Biographical Note

Thomas Franklin Mayo (1893-1954), librarian, educator, author, and Rhodes Scholoar, was born in Columbia, Mississippi 27 March 1893. He was the son of Col. John P. Mayo. He recieved his early education at the elementary school and at Franklin Academy in Columbia.

Following graduation from Franklin Academy, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi from which he received a B.A. in English in 1913. During the 1913-1914 school year, Mayo taught English and coached athletics at the high school in Oxford, Mississippi. The award of a Rhodes Scholarship enabled the young scholar to enroll at Oxford University in London in 1914. He was awarded a B.A. in English Literature in 1916.

While serving as an ambulance driver in France during 1916, Mayo was induced to accept a teaching position in the English Department at Texas A & M University, then known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. One source reports that a fellow ambulance driver who was the son of the head of the English Department convinced Mayo that Texas A & M was the best school in the world. After two years of teaching in College Station, Mayo enlisted in the navy as an intelligence officer in naval aviation. He served about eighteen months and then returned to Oxford University to continue his education.

In three years at Oxford University, Mayo earned two additional degrees, a B.A. in Modern History in 1921 and a M.A. in English in 1922. At the conclusion of this period, he returned to Texas A & M and resumed his teaching career. He was appointed Associate Professor of English and Librarian. Mayo spent the remainder of his career at Texas A & M except for one year of graduate study at Columbia University, 1927-1928. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1934.

Mayo continued in the dual role of Librarian and Associate Professor of English until 1944, at which time he was named Head of the English Department. In 1935 he had been promoted to the rank of Professor. After serving eight years as Head of the English Department, Dr. Mayo asked to be relieved of the administratie duties on 1 September 1952 so that he could devote full time to teaching and writing. He died 26 June 1954 while visiting friends in Houston, and was buried beside his parents in Arlington National Cemetry.

For a number of years, Mayo had engaged on research on the cycles between romanticism and rationalism in literature and art. He intended to write a book to be entitled The Great Pendulum in order "to establish the fact of the alteration and to show why this happens."Mayo felt that "culture of an age is always romantic when the ruling forces are new forces, and always rationalistic when the ruling forces are old forces." He taught much of this theory to his students in a course on great books.

As an educator, Mayo's chief concern was with what he called "humanistic" education. He explained that he wanted "to broaden and deepen and enlighten the personal quality and the personal attitudes of our students."Mayo felt that such an approach was necessary to counterbalance the great emphasis on "technical" education--teaching the students the necessary skills to obtain and retain a good job--in other departments.

Mayo's goal as a librarian was similar to that in teaching. He strove to emphasize acquistion of books in the fields of art, literature, and history, and to make them readily available to the students. Considering his extremely limited resources and the constant pressures from faculty members for technical books, Mayo faced a terrific struggle to accomplish his goal.

The high esteem in which Thomas F. Mayo was held his colleagues and the students is demonstrated in a special issue of the student newspaper, Battalion, devoted to his memory. Three successive issues contained numerous landatory tributes to him as a teacher and scholar.


Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Franklin Mayo Papers (1914-1914 and ca. 1945-1953) consist of one box occupying five inches of shelf space and containing a few letters and notes, drafts, and final copies of book reviews, articles, and chapters of books. Chapter topics include Gothic Culture, Medieval Architecture, Romanesque Art and Architecture, Baroque Art, and Renaissance Painting, particularly the paintings of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The bulk of the latter material probably pertains to a book on which Mayo was working at the time of his death in 1954. The book was to have been titled The Great Pendulum and would have recorded the cycles between romanticism and rationalism in art and literature.

Newspaper clippings in the Archives' biographical file seem to indicate that more of the book was completed than exists here. At this time, we cannot determine what may have happened to any additional chapters in final form. One of the executors of the Thomas F. Mayo estate reported that he did not find writing of any kind.


Restrictions

Access

No restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Online Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of Cushing Memorial Library. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Names
Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564.
Organizations
Cappella Sistina (Vatican Palace, Vatican City)
Texas A & M University. Dept. of English.
Subjects
Architecture, Medieval.
Architecture, Romanesque.
Arts, Romanesque.
Arts, Baroque.
College librarians as authors--Texas--College Station.
College teachers as authors--Texas--College Station.
Education, Humanistic--Texas--College Station.
Arts, Gothic.
Painting, Renaissance.
Rationalism.
Rationalism in literature.
Renaissance.
Romanticism in art.
Romanticism.
Places
College Station (Tex.)--History.

Administrative Information

Provenance

Received from Robert W. Barzak of College Station, Tex. in 1960s.

Acquisition Information

Papers were salvaged from Mayo F. Thomas's office by Robert W. Barzak of the Texas A & M English Department sometime after Thomas's death (1954).

Processing Information

Processed by Charles R. Schultz in 1972.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Series 1. Drafts of articles and books, 1914-1951ca.1945-1953

box-folder
1/1 Notes on proposed book, probably to be entitled The Great Pendulum, 27 pp., holograph, 15 pp., typed.
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1/2 The Great Pendulum: Notes on a Few Chapter Headings, 15 pp., typed, partial alternate draft, 7 pp., typed.
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1/3 Tentative introductory chapter to The Great Pendulum, 16 pp., typed.
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1/4 The Great Pendulum: Notes on a Few Chapter Headings, 15 pp., typed, partial alternate draft, 7 pp., typed.
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1/5 The Great Pendulum [1949,] draft of summary article, 58 pp., typed.
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1/6 The Great Pendulum, draft of summary article, 31 pp., typed.
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1/7 "Gothic Culture: The Passion for Godliness " (1180-1500,) draft of chapter, 90 pp., typed.
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1/8 "Gothic Culture: The Passion for Godliness " (1180-1500,) draft of chapter, 75 pp., typed.
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1/9 "Renaissance: Introduction," 11 pp., typed.
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1/10 "Renaissance: Fifteenth Century Painting," draft of chapter, 82 pp., holograph.
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1/11 "Renaissance: Fifteenth Century Painting,", draft of chapter, 53 pp., typed.
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1/12 Notes on Medieval Architecture in England: Romanesque Cycle of Style, 21 pp., holograph (some duplicate material.)
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1/13 Notes on Romanesque Art and Music in England and France, 47 pp., holograph.
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1/14 Notes on Quattrocente Painting, 15 pp., holograph.
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1/15 Notes on the Baroque, 2 outline drafts, 26 pp., holograph, 16 pp., holograph.
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1/16 Two Notes on the Baroque, two drafts of article, 10 pp., typed, 11 pp., typed.
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1/17 Notes on the paintings by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 11 pp., holograph.
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1/18 Fragment of notes on 15th century Italian painters and paintings, 11 pp., holograph.
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1/19 " Victorianism and After", two drafts of review of John Glasworthy's five "Forsythe" books, 6 pp., typed, 10 pp., fragment, typed.
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1/20 "John Glasworthy, "draft of an article or speech, 9 pp., typed.
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1/21 "The Spoiled Generation: The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy," draft of a review, 3 pp., typed.
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1/22 " The Return of the Eighteenth Century," draft of an article, 12 pp., typed.
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1/23 "The Sacraments," draft of an article, 10 pp., typed.
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1/24 "A Drama Ritual of Texas," fragment of a speech at the Texas Day Program of the College Woman's Club, probably by by Samuel E. Asbury, 8 pp., typed.
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1/25 "The Authorship of "The History of John Bull,"" drafts of a review of the book by H. Teerink, 12 pp., typed, 11 pp., typed.
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1/26 " The Isms of Our Day: What Do They Mean," drafts of an article, 12 pp., holograph, 8 pp., typed.
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1/27 "Man As Educator: A Review of Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture by Werner Jaeger," two drafts, 12 pp., holograph, 4 pp., typed.
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1/28 "Once More Domocracy: Dialectic on the Brazos," draft of an article, 12 pp., typed.
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1/29 "Readings from the Poetry of Robinson Jeffers," draft of an article, 12 pp., typed.
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1/30 " A World Fit for Hamlet," draft of an article, 25 pp., holograph.
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1/31 "The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi," drafts of a review, 16 pp., holograph, 18 pp., typed.
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1/32 "Conclusion of Rostovstzeff's Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire," draft of a review or summary, 5 pp, typed.
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1/33 "Great Moments in Old Books: Antigone before Creon, ""Old Man in a Storm, ""Wordsworth: Peaks and Depressions, " drafts of three segments of a course outline [?,] 7 pp., holograph, 4 pp., typed, and 7 pp., holograph and 5 pp., typed.
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1/34 Miscellaneous notes and outines regarding the English curriculum, 17 pp., holograph, 7 pp., typed.
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1/35 Miscellaneous short notes, outlines, and drafts, 27 pp., holograph, 13 pp., typed.
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1/36 Correspondence of and about John P. Mayo and two undated drafts of letters from Thomas F. Mayo, 1914-1915 and undated