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Bernard F. Huppé papers

Identifier: BUA-0019

Scope and Contents

The collection contains records related to the scholarly work of Bernard F. Huppé. Materials include draft and published versions of Huppé's writings, an author contract, research and writing notes, and correspondence.


  • 1939 - 1987


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has been reviewed for restrictions and is open for research.

Biographical Note

Bernard F. Huppé (1911-1989) was a Medieval English Literature Scholar, and a Professor and Chair of the English Department at Harpur College (later University of Binghamton).

Huppé came to Harpur College in 1950 to teach English. He was invested in Harpur College's liberal arts values, and he served as the Chair of the Humanities Division from 1952-1954. In 1958, he became Chairman of the Graduate Committee, which established the graduate degree program. In 1963, he left the Graduate Committee to become the Chair of the English Deprtment. Then in 1968, he became co-director fo the Center for Medieval and Rennaissance Studies. He was part of the founding of the SUNY Press and served on its publication committee for many years.

Huppé was know for his Augustinian aesthetic analysis of Medieval English literature, especially in analysing the works of Chaucer. The approach was developed to apply a Medieval lense to literature and to understand books in the way that they were understood at the time they were written. He wrote several books using this lense, including A Reading of the Canterbury Tales, Doctrine and Poetry, and Piers Plowman and Scriptural Tradition.

After his retirement in 1981, Huppé turned toward translation, especially creating resources for undergraduate students. In 1984 he published a translation of Beowulf, and then in 1987 he published a student edition. At the time of his death in 1989, he was in the process of publishing translations with commentary on Old English poems for students.

Before coming to Binghamton, Huppé had gotten his PhD at New York University in 1940. He served in World War II as an Army Engineer in 1942-1946. In 1943, he married Marion Lois Mc Master, with whom he had 3 children. In 1945, he taught English at the Shrivenham Army University. In 1946, he became an Assistant Professor in English at Princeton University, where he taught until coming to Binghamton.

In 1981, Huppé retired and moved to Maine, where he continued to write. When his wife, Mary Lois, died, he returned to Binghamton to teach and to write. Huppé died the evening of Thursday, March 2, 1989, after meeting his undergraduate honors class, "The Sacred and Profane Love Machine."

Bibliography Horowitz, S. H., & Eller, A. (1989). In Memoriam: Bernard F. Huppé (1911-89). Old English Newsletter, 22(2), 12. Mediaevalia, 6. (1980). Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Bernard F. Huppé papers contain records related to the scholarly work of Bernard F. Huppé, Medievalist and Chair of the English Department at the University of Binghamton. Materials include draft and published versions of Huppé's writings, an author contract, research and writing notes, and correspondence.


The files are arranged alphabetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Alex Huppé, the son of Bernard F. Huppé, gifted the material to the University Archives in 2012.

Processing Information

In 2023, Madison White (Archival Processing Manager), arranged and described the collection. Unrelated and FERPA restricted materials were weeded, materials were placed in folders, and folders were arranged alphabetically. A finding aid was then created to reflect the new arrangement.

In 2023, Madison White also tried and failed to process 9 small data disks that came with the collection. They came with a Smith Corona typewriter computer, and were a smaller-than-standard floppy disk style. After consulting with the systems department and doing some research, she found out that the disks ran on proprietary software, and so the only way to access the files would be on the original Smith Corona Machine. When the disks were placed in the machine however, the machine was unable to read the disks (likely because of the age of the disks). Because the disks were unreadable, White decided to remove both the machine and the disks from the collection. The disks likely contained further writing drafts and notes by Huppé, since notes written on the disks included "Exodus," "Riddles," and "Jesus and the Devil."

  • During processing in 2023, Madison White removed several essays and offprints not by Huppé. If the offprint was signed by the author or had a note to Huppé, it stayed in the collection. Alex Huppé is an active donor who gives large monetary gifts to the University, so offprints were kept that might have otherwise been discarded. A book of student grades, essays by graduate students, and unrelated ephemera was also removed.
  • 9 small floppy disks and a Smith Corona Typewriter-Computer
Guide to the Bernard F. Huppé papers
Madison White (Archival Processing Manager)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-06-15: Created new finding aid

Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA