Fonds UBCA-ARC-1308 - William E. Fredeman fonds

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William E. Fredeman fonds

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2.78 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

William Evan (Dick) Fredeman was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1928. He was raised in Little Rock and attended schools in Arkansas and Tennessee. He served in the US Navy in World War II and then attended university in Arkansas and Oklahoma (Ph.D., 1956). While teaching high school and completing his graduate degrees, he served as a Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve. Fredeman joined UBC's Department of English in 1956. He received the first of many Canada Council, SSHRC, Killam, and Guggenheim Fellowship grants in 1959. He spent the following year in London researching Pre-Raphaelitism: A Bibliocritical Study, based on his Ph.D. dissertation published in 1965. Although he was enormously interested in and published widely about the Victorian era, Fredeman continued to focus on the Pre-Raphaelite poets and painters for the rest of his life. He wrote more than fifty articles and reviews on Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites, Tennyson, and bibliography and the introductions to A Bookman's Catalogue: The Norman Colbeck Collection of nineteenth-century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres and Thomas Bird Mosher Pirate Prince of Publishers. He had also completed two volumes of his major study, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Letters, at his death. Other publications and activities included: editor of The PRB Journal: William Michael Rossetti's Diary of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 1849-1853, Together with the Other Pre-Raphaelite Documents (1975); A Rossetti Cabinet (1991); three John Rylands Library monographs; three unique numbers of Victorian Poetry; and four volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography (with Ira B. Nadel).
Fredeman also served as president of the Victorian Section of the Modern Language Association of America; founding member and first vice-president of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals; member of the editorial boards for Victorian Poetry, Victorian Studies, and the Journal of Publishing History; co-editor of the Journal of Pre-Raphaelite & Aesthetic Studies, 1987-91; and co-chair of the Canadian University Committee of the Editorial Boards, Encyclopaedia Britannica (1986-1999).
While at UBC, Fredeman was instrumental in arranging the donation of English bookseller Norman Colbeck's collection of the nineteenth century and Edwardian literature to the Library in 1967 and for Colbeck's hiring by the university to catalogue the collection. He also assisted the Library in acquiring other significant Victorian literature groups, including both books and manuscripts. Fredeman also lectured extensively at learned societies and universities in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was also an avid collector of books, antiques, and art. He died on July 15, 1999, four days before his 71st birthday.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds contain materials that document William Fredeman's professional activities and personal life. It consists of correspondence, reports, copies of articles, course materials, a journal, clippings, microfilms and photocopies of original manuscripts, written notes and other research materials, photographs, videocassettes, a set of index cards, and a metal seal bearing the logo of the Journal of Pre-Raphaelite & Aesthetic Studies. The materials are arranged in the following series: Colbeck Collection, JPRAS (Journal of Pre-Raphaelite & Aesthetic Studies), Emily Faithfull and the Victorian Press, Victorian Poetry, T.J. Wise and UBC Materials, Mosher Books, Correspondence, Subject Files, Miscellaneous, Microfilm, and Audiovisual Materials. The photographs and videocassettes are stored separately.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Most materials were acquired from William Fredeman's wife Betty in 2000. A small selection of subject files and Colbeck-related material was acquired in 2003.


Where the original order of the material is obvious, that order has been maintained. Otherwise, the material has been re-organized logically.

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Photographs have been digitized and are available to view on the UBC Library Open Collections series UBC 47.1.

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Physical description

Includes 50 reels of microfilm, 4 black-and-white photographs, 2 videocassettes, 1 set of index cards, and 1 metal seal or stamp.

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