John and Marjorie Idol Hawthorne Collection

The Idol Hawthorne Collection contains over 650 rare and annotated publications by and about Nathaniel Hawthorne, collected by former Clemson University English professor John L. Idol, Jr. for his teaching and research. Idol served as the editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society newsletter (1983-1985) and editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review (1986-1992).

The collection's main strength is the great number of editions of Hawthorne's published works, most of which span from first or early editions through the late 20th century. Of note are:

  • First editions
  • Illustrated editions
  • Non-traditional publications of Hawthorne's works, i.e., comic books, graphic novels, plays
  • Translations of Hawthorne's works into other languages, including French, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Hungarian

As editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Idol established contacts with European and Asian scholars who studied Hawthorne's appeal in their respective countries. Thus, the collection includes several international perspectives, including many Japanese writings.

Secondary sources, annotated by Idol, are part of the collection, as well as older secondary or ephemeral Hawthorne sources. Modern, un-annotated secondary sources were added to the circulating Main Stacks collection. Idol's own writings about Hawthorne are available in the closed collection of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, as is his Thomas Wolfe Collection.

Uses of the collection

The multiple editions of Hawthorne's works provide an outstanding resource for an examination of the packaging, illustration, and dissemination of Hawthorne's work over time. For instance, the collection contains over 140 editions of The Scarlet Letter, initially published in 1850. Early publications differ greatly from those published 50 years later, which then differ from those published 100 years later, and so on.


  • Click here to see all titles in the Hawthorne Collection
  • The John Idol, Jr. Papers (AC.1098) contain research materials on Hawthorne generated by Idol during his career.

How to Use the Collection

Please visit the Using Archives, Manuscripts, and Rare Books page to learn how to use this collection.