Information for Researchers
Collection Title: C. Grant Loomis papers
Date (inclusive): 1927-1962
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 911
Loomis, Charles Grant
8 cartons, 1 box
10.4 linear feet
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information
on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], C. Grant Loomis Papers, BANC MSS C-B 911, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
Loomis, C. Grant (Charles Grant), 1901 -- Archives
University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of German -- Faculty.
Manuscripts for publication.
The C. Grant Loomis papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Virginia G. Loomis on December 19, 1963.
Processed by Jack Doran and Jae Mauthe in November, 2011.
C. Grant Loomis, professor and former chairman of the Department of German, Berkeley, was born at Worcester, Massachusetts,
on January 21, 1901, took his A.B. at Hamilton College in 1923, and then taught in high schools for a few years in the vicinity
of New York City. An important turning point in his life was the two years, 1926-28, which he spent at the University of Munich.
Here he came under the influence of the late Max Foerster, distinguished Old English philologist, and this seems to have been
the experience which determined him to embark on an academic career. Upon his return to this country he went to Harvard to
pursue graduate studies in English, taking the M.A. in 1929 and the Ph.D. in 1933, with a dissertation on Old English saints'
lives written under the direction of George Lyman Kittredge. He commenced his teaching in the German field concurrently with
his graduate work, becoming instructor in German at Tufts College in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1930, where he remained until
1937. He then returned to Harvard as an instructor in the Department of German and as a tutor in the Division of Modern Languages.
In 1941 he was called to an assistant professorship in the Department of German, Berkeley. He was promoted to associate professor
in 1947 and professor in 1953, acting as chairman of his department from 1957 to 1962. He held a Guggenheim Fellowship in
1945-46. He died suddenly on March 22, 1963. His career was noteworthy for service to the profession. He spent the year 1952-53
as Associate Secretary of the Modern Language Association in New York, taking an active part in the organizing of a newly
founded program for the teaching of the modern foreign languages. He served on the council of the Association from 1951 to
1955 and had been elected its vice-president for 1963. He was a member of the Medieval Academy, the American Folklore Society,
and the California Folklore Society, and held official positions in all of them. He gave much energy and thought to his editorship
of Western Folklore in the years after 1949. He was the president of the Philological Association of the Pacific Coast for
The activities of Professor Loomis as teacher and scholar show great variety. In addition to his interest in the teaching
of elementary German, he contributed to instruction at a higher level by a large body of translations of materials for courses
in German literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, which have been an indispensable aid in courses
in German literature in translation given by the department. His interest in saints' legends continued through many years,
and after the publication of various articles culminated in
White Magic (Cambridge, Mass., 1951), a survey of a vast field and has proved to be a useful guide for medievalists generally. In the
Department of German he taught courses in seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth-century literature and thus showed a competence
of unusual range. Folklore was close to his heart. During a long course of years he published critical articles and collections
of materials concerned with American aphoristic sayings of various kinds, puns, riddles, and Wellerisms. Perhaps the largest
of the collections was an excerpting of proverbs used by William McLeod Raines, a noted author of westerns. He intended to
assemble his studies and historical account of these neglected expressions of the folk mind. His intimate knowledge of the
materials, his large collections, and his ripe critical judgment would have enabled him to write a significant study in a
Scope and Content Note
The C. Grant Loomis papers consist of professional and personal correspondance, articles written and published by Loomis on
folklore, medieval saint's legends and German poetry and culture. Also included are notes on folklore, transcripts and translations
of German poetry and prose, and miscellaneous notes and clippings that Loomis' publications are based on.