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Library Resources

MACC’s Kate Stamper Wilhite Library serves the students, faculty and staff of MACC by providing access to information in both print and electronic format. Full access to the Internet is provided along with traditional access to books, magazines, and audiovisual material.

 

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Additional Resources

  • David W. Stamper Collection
  • Full internet access and e-mail capability
  • Small study rooms and audiovisual viewing rooms

*Contact library or off-campus resource area for EBSCO remote access information.

Copyright Compliance

Moberly Area Community College makes every effort to comply with laws and institutional policies on copyright and to encourage awareness within its community of both responsibilities and appropriate actions for compliance. Copyright information is available from the Office of the Vice President for Instruction and from the Library.

 

LARC Contact Information

Moberly

Valerie J. Darst, Director of Library and Academic Resource Center - ext. 11244

Jill Gosseen, Library and Academic Resource Center Coordinator- ext. 11310

Donna M. Monnig, Library Services Specialist - ext.11210

Columbia

Stacy Donald, Resource Coordinator - ext. 12116

Hannibal

Amy L. See, Advisor/Resource Coordinator - ext. 14012

Kirksville

Dee Motter, Assistant Director - ext. 15011

Mexico

Rhonda Curtis, Business Office Specialist/Advisor - ext. 13629
Walter Staley, Instructional Technology Specialist - ext. 13651

Biographical Data

“The Sage of Moberly” as Jack Conroy was known, was born December 5, 1898 in a coal mining camp (Monkey’s Nest) near Moberly. His parents were Thomas E. (Tom) Conroy and Elizabeth Jane McCullough McKiernan Conroy.
1920’s 
Attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for one semester and held various factory jobs in Des Moines, Hannibal, Detroit and Toledo.
1931-1932 
Edited The Rebel Poet.
1933 
Founded The Anvil. First novel, The Disinherited, published.
1935 
Received a Guggenheim Fellowship to write about migrant workers. Second novel, A World to Win published.
1938-1942 
Moved to Chicago. Edited, with Nelson Algren, The New Anvil. Joined the Federal Writers Project; collected industrial folklore; assigned to Black history project with Arna Bontemps.
1942 
Publication of The Fast Sooner Hound, first of three children’s books, in collaboration with Arna Bontemps.
1944 
Six of Conroy’s industrial folktales anthologized in B.A. Botkin’s A Treasury of American Folklore.
1947 
Published Midland Humor and became senior editor for The New Standard Encyclopedia in Chicago.
1966 
Returned to Moberly. Began his autobiography and lectured at numerous universities. Published Anyplace But Here in collaboration with Arna Bontemps.
1973 
Edited Writers in Revolt with Curt Johnson.
1977 
Awarded honorary doctorate from University of Missouri—Kansas City.
1985 
The Weed King and Other Stories published.
1990 
Died at Moberly, Missouri, age 91. Buried at Sugar Creek Cemetery.
1991
University of Missouri edition of The Disinherited appears.
1994 
Biography of Jack Conroy, Worker-Writer in America by Douglas Wixson published by University of Illinois Press.
2000 
A World to Win.

Published Works

The Disinherited, 1933
A World to Win, 1935
The Fast Sooner Hound, 1942, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
They Seek A City,1945, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
Slappy Hooper, The Wonderful Sign Painter, 1946, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
Sam Patch, The High, Wide and Handsome Jumper,1951, co-authored by Arna Bontemps
Anyplace But Here, 1966
Anyplace But Here, 1997 (University of Missouri Press)
A World to Win, 2000 (University of Illinois Press) with introduction by Douglas Wixson.

 

Edited Works

Unrest (with Ralph Cheyney), 1929-1931
Midland Humor: A Harvest of Fun and Folklore, 1947
Writers in Revolt: The Anvil Anthology, 1973

Awards and Honors

Guggenheim Award, 1935
Literary Times Award, State of Illinois, 1967
Society of Midland Authors James L. Dow Award for Anyplace But Here, 1967
Rabinowitz grant to write his autobiography
Missouri Literary Association, Literary Award, 1969
Honorary Do ctor of Letters, University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1975
National Endowment for the Arts, Artist’s grant (1978)
Mark Twain Award, Society for the Midwestern Literature, 1980
Recognition by the Missouri Senate, 1984
City of Moberly, Jack Conroy Day, May 22, 1985
Society of Midland Authors Award for Lifetime Achievement, 1986
Lifetime Membership, Missouri Folklore Society
“A True Friend of Working People”, Central Missouri Labor Council, AFL-CIO and all the working men and women of Mid-Missouri

Jack Conroy American Studies Collection

The Jack Conroy American Studies Collection is housed in the Kate Stamper Wilhite Library of Moberly Area Community College. The Collection of rare books embraces several thousand volumes of American history, literature, and folklore which Jack Conroy (1898-1990) collected over many years. Many are signed first editions, long out of print. Most relate to the broader topics of labor history, Black history, folklore, American literature, and politics, of both general and scholarly interest. The Collection contains each of the published works of Conroy, some in both English and foreign languages. A sampling of literary magazines that Conroy edited (The Anvil, The New Anvil, etc.) are also in the Collection. A collection of early American women’s fiction (1880’s-early 1900’s) belonging to Conroy’s mother is also housed in the American Studies Collection.
Another unique holding within the Collection is a large collection of book reviews that were written by Conroy on many of the books within the Collection. In many cases, the initial handwritten or typed copy of the review is available along with the final published copy of the review. These reviews were published in Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City newspapers in the 1940’s –1970’s.


The personal papers of Jack Conroy are at the Newberry Research Library in Chicago, Illinois.
Annual literary programs are sponsored by the Jack Conroy Literary Society at Moberly Area Community College. Gwendolyn Brooks, Jack Carter, Vincent Ferrini, Dr. Alan Wald, Dr. Fred Whitehead, Carla Cappetti, and Stephen Wade are just a few of the past presenters.


The Collection is open to researchers and the general public, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. For more information about the Conroy American Studies Collection, contact Moberly Area Community College at 660-263-4110 or

The Jack Conroy American Studies Collection Room is open to the public for tours. For many years the fourth grade class of the St. Joseph Catholic School in Salisbury, Missouri made an annual field trip to visit the Conroy Room after reading Conroy's "The Fast Sooner Hound" in their language arts reader.

Photos

"We prefer crude vigor to polished banality," the motto of The Anvil which was one of the most significant literary magazines of the 1930's. Conroy started publishing The Anvil in 1933 after he returned to his hometown of Moberly and continued it until 1936. It later merged with the Partisan Review. The New Anvil reappeared in 1939 with Conroy and Nelson Algren co-editing it. This was published until 1940. The magazine had a wide circulation throughout the country. Conroy also founded the literary magazine,The Rebel Poet.

Conroy published poetry and stories, introducing many young writers to the literary scene, such as Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, Frank Yerby, Erskine Caldwell, Langston Hughes, James Farrell and others.

Jack Conroy always said the song, "This Land Is Your Land" should be America's national anthem. He knew and was a good friend of Woody Guthrie who wrote, sang the song, and loved the land as much as he did.
Conroy knew the land. Riding on a freight train, working at a steel mill and in factories, digging trenches, he continued to write with his writing being drawn from experiences. Conroy had the unique ability to remember and quote thousands of verses and lines and he frequently entertained his visitors and cohorts with a verse or two.

Jack Conroy and Professor Doug Wixson, close friend, biographer and literary executor of Conroy's, on Jack's front porch at 701 Fisk Ave. in Moberly, Missouri taken in 1982.
This is the home Jack moved to upon returning from Chicago to spend the rest of his life in his hometown of Moberly and where he continued to write and receive students, friends and scholars until his illness prevented him from doing so.
Doug Wixson is the author of Worker/Writer in America, the biography of Jack Conroy from 1898 - 1990, published in 1994. Receiving excellent reviews this book tells not only of Jack's life, but of the lives of other midwestern radicals and the cultural history of that era. Wixson resides in Austin, Texas.

 

The old miners' cemetery where the Conroy family is buried. Here Jack had engraved on the large monument, "Death Be Not Proud, Though Some Have Called Thee Mighty and Dreadful For Thou Art Not So." Conroy's father and two brothers lost their lives in the Monkey Nest coal mine.
Shown is Stephen Wade, the nationally famous "Banjo Dancer" who used some of Conroy's folk tales in his long running Arena Stage production of "Banjo Dancing" in Washington D.C. as well as throughout the nation and Carolee Hazlet, close friend of Conroy's.

Conroy's The Disinherited was first published in 1933 by Covici-Friede Publisher. It was reissued in 1963 by Hill & Wang, then in 1982 by Lawrence Hill & Co. It was again renewed in 1991 by the University of Missouri Press.
The Disinherited gave Conroy public attention in the U.S. and abroad and firmly established him as an authentic worker-writer of the proletarian literary movement tagging him by Richard Wright as the "grandaddy of all rebel writers". Conroy drew from life experiences creating a vivid and realistic view of the Depression era. This won him an honored place in American literature as well as in other countries. The novel has been published in seven other languages.

Still today The Disinherited is required reading in many college American literature and social history courses.

Gwendolyn Brooks, internationally honored and celebrated poet. She was a good friend of Conroy's and well acquainted with his work. In 1967 she presented Conroy with the State of Illinois Literary Times Award, and in 1990 she honored him with a poem in his memory. The poem serves as the preface to the 1991 edition of New Letters which is dedicated to Conroy. Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winner and Poet Laureate of Illinois, appeared as the third presenter in a four part series based on the Jack Conroy American Studies Collection at Moberly Area Community College.

"Do not let words put the message in your heart but let your heart put words on paper," a strong message he would give to young writers. Jack Conroy was often asked how to be a good writer. He would also tell them to "leave the booze alone and wait until you're old to get married."
Conroy wrote thousands of reviews, so many in fact that the editor thought he should have a pseudonym, so his reviews were published not only under the name of Conroy but Tim Brennan and John Norcross as well and many times all three were printed in the same issue. Conroy always said that writing was the hardest job he ever did.

Jack Conroy's own desk and typewriter, which are housed at Moberly Area Community College in the Conroy American Studies Collection room. The desk has not been refinished but stands worn and stained from Conroy's use. Conroy would write for many hours and end up with a couple of saved papers and a wastebasket full of paper he didn't think was worth saving, saying, "another day in the trenches of the mind."

His library room in his home on Fisk Ave. in Moberly had bookshelves from floor to ceiling, on all four, walls from corner to corner; filled with thousands of books he, either reviewed, edited, were written by friends, or wrote introductions to. When asked, he knew where any specific book was.

This map drawn by Jack Conroy shows his birthplace in the old coal miners' camp. The Monkey Nest Mine, as it was called by the miners, but legally named the Eagle Mine, was considered one of the most dangerous shaft coal mines in the area.

The Weed King published in 1985 includes "Tales from Monkey Nest". These stories are taken from real life experiences of his life in the camp. The titles of the stories are on the map. At age eight Conroy published a paper for the coal mine camp. He called it the Monkey Nest Monitor. He wrote each issue out by hand on a piece of butcher paper, carefully dividing the page into departments. He drew comic strips, reported local events and the rough humor of the miners.

Studs Terkel, writer, oral historian and radio legend, was a close friend of Conroy's since 1930 and remained friends with him until Conroy's death. Terkel lives in Chicago and continues to write. Winn Stracke, a friend of Conroy's since those early days as well, was the founder of the "Old Time School of Folk Music" in Chicago and a musical star of early Chicago television. Visiting Conroy in Moberly, October, 1984, the three rehashed old times, sang songs together and recorded old stories. Conroy received visitors from all corners of the world from the time he moved back to Moberly until his death in 1990, in his 100 year old house.

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