World Literature Today Founding Letter


Oct. 21, 1926

Dear President Bizzell:

I wish to request that a small allowance be made for the financing of a quarterly publication which Dr. Josiah H. Combs, Dr. Stephen Scatori and I will edit if the financial support can be made available. We want to call the publication “Books Abroad” or by some similar name, and to make it a journal of information as to current foreign books. At least at the start, we want to distribute it free to colleges and public libraries. If we get it on its feet and continue it, I hope that we can have four issues next year, appearing in September, December, March, and June. This year, I think, it will be wiser to undertake only two, one to appear about the first of the year and the other late in the spring.

Aside from the special type for the foreign book-titles, these two issues can be brought out for $150 or less. Future issues, in an edition of five hundred, need not cost more than about $60 each. I have not yet full information about the special foreign type, but I think it would cost well toward $100. This, however, is a once-for-all outlay, and the institution would be supplied for a long time with the foreign characters, which would no doubt be useful in other University publications. I believe, on the basis of considerable experience as a free-lance book-reviewer, that foreign publishers will respond to our request with books which will become the property of the institution, and which will be worth a large fraction of our outlay, perhaps all of it.

I should like to call your attention to the fact that there is no publication now in existence, scholarly or popular, covering the entire field we hope to cover, in German, French, Spanish and Italian, with perhaps an occasional mention of items from still other languages, and that I know our little magazine will be useful in various quarters. A good many of us, I think, are coming to feel strongly that the University of Oklahoma must begin fostering contributions to the scholarly and cultural activities of the nation.

Very truly,

Roy T. House

WLT Founding Letter, page 1

WLT Founding Letter

Office of the President
The University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma

October 25, 1926

Dean Roy Gittinger,
Faculty Exchange. 

Dear Dean Gittinger:

I enclose herewith a communication from Dr. R. T. House which I wish you would submit to your Committee on Publications.

I have talked this matter over with Dr. House and I am impressed with the general plan that he has outlined. The expense does not seem to be very great considering the importance of the undertaking. 

However, I prefer to have the committee pass on this matter before I authorized Dr. House to proceed further. 

Very sincerely yours, 

W. B. Bizzell, President 


Source: Box 2, World Literature Today archives, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Books Abroad letter