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   Nora Lourie Percival Papers, 1932-2011 [Bulk Dates: 1934-1938]

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Nora Lourie Percival Papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information


A collection of correspondence between Nora Lourie Percival (BC '36) and her first husband, Herman Gund (CC '34 and Journalism MA '35) as well as copies of Columbia and Barnard College literary publications to which they both contributed.

At a Glance

Call No.:UA#0213
Bib ID:12264294 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Percival, Nora, 1914-
Title:Nora Lourie Percival Papers, 1932-2011 [Bulk Dates: 1934-1938]
Physical description:1.46 linear feet 3 document boxes and one 1/2 document box.
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection is located on site.  More information »



This collection is arranged in two series: Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: Publications.

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Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection consists of the personal correspondence between Nora Lourie and Herman Gund. It also contains copies of Columbia University and Barnard College literary publications containing contributions of both Herman and Nora which were published in the 1930s.

Series I: Correspondence, 1934-1938

Letters between Herman Gund, CC '34 and Nora Lourie, BC '36 written between 1934 and 1939. Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Series II: Publications, 1932-2011

This series contains copies of Columbia periodicals from the 1930s, many of which contain poems written by Herman Gund and/or Nora Lourie Percival as well as by other notables of that era. Titles include Varsity, Columbia Review, Jester, and The Barnard Quarterly. In addition to the 1930s periodicals this series contains copies of three memoirs written by Nora Lourie Percival and a book of poems written by Herman Gund which was published posthumously.

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Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

This collection is located on site.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Nora Lourie Percival Papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Online finding aid available.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers accessioned 7/1/2015 PTL 2015.2016.M065.

This collection was processed by Emily Felsen (BC 2018), under the direction of Jocelyn Wilk, in June 2016.

Finding aid written by Jocelyn Wilk in December 2016.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion December 14, 2016. Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
    2016-12-14 xml document instance created by Christopher M. Laico.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Barnard College.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia College (Columbia University)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gund, Herman, d.-1939.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Percival, Nora, 1914-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Nora Lourie was born in Russia on October 14, 1914. In 1922, she immigrated to America and grew up in New York City. Nora attended Barnard College, graduating in 1936. It was during her college years that she met her first love, Herman Gund, who received his B.A. from Columbia College in 1934 and his M.A. degree from the Graduate School of Journalism in 1935. They married in 1936 after Nora graduated college.

Nora and Herman were front and center for Columbia's literary renaissance during the 1930s. Under the guidance of John Erskine, Mark Van Doren and other faculty members, Herman spearheaded the rejuvenation of the literary and debate group Philolexian Society (he was president in 1934-5), the Boar's Head Poetry competition, and the resulting printed poetry collections; while Nora started the Barnard Literary Club. As Herman and Nora fell in love, they became the nucleus around which the Columbia and Barnard literary groups crystallized and grew. They influenced and encouraged Robert Giroux, John Berryman, Herman Wouk, Thomas Merton, John Treville Latouche, Ad Reinhardt, and other artistic and literary giants on campus at that time - as well as influencing the next generation of Columbia literati, including Robert Lax and Ralph de Toledano. Nora and Herman played this role during the dark days of the depression, as they were struggling to balance academics, their literary lives, and their budding romance - while worrying about having enough to eat.

Herman died of leukemia in 1939, six months before their son was born. A collection of his poems, "Out of Time", with a foreword by Mark Van Doren, was published posthumously in 1980.

Nora married her second husband Jim Percival in 1943 with whom she had four daughters. Jim Percival died in 1984. Nora Lourie Percival currently lives in Carolina High Country near two of her daughters and is the proud grandmother of eleven and great grandmother of three.

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