Ben Santos Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Ben Santos Papers
Call Number: MS 86-06
Size: 9.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by Ben Santos, 1979
Processed by: CAW, 6-28-1978; JEO, 1996; JEF, 5-26-1998
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection of Ben Santos' papers contains personal and professional correspondence, diaries, notes on literary productions, early drafts of stories and poems, literary productions, clippings and reviews, awards and fellowships, and personal memorabilia. The materials contained in this collection date back to the 1930s when he was a student in the Philippines and continue into the early 1980s until his retirement from teaching.


Bienvenido “Ben” N. Santos (1911-1996) was a Filipino-American writer. A native of the Philippines, he taught English there for many years. When fighting broke out in the Philippines in World War II, Santos, who was studying at Columbia University in New York City, found himself cut off from his wife and children still living in what was then an American colony. At the request of the exiled Philippine government, Santos started traveling around the United States, talking about this place where tens of thousands of American soldiers eventually lost their lives. He returned home in 1946, and then came back to America with his family in 1958 as a fellow at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. In the Philippines, he served as president of Legazpi College and held several administrative posts at the University of Nueva Caceres. As he and his wife were planning to return to the Philippines in 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. The new regime banned Santos' novel, The Praying Man, mistakenly thinking the story about government corruption was about Marcos. Santos found himself in exile again, this time finding a position at WSU. He was a creative writing professor and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Wichita State University from 1973 to 1982. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Humane Letters from WSU in 1982. After his retirement, Santos became visiting writer and artist at De La Salle University in Manila. His numerous published works include novels, short story collections, poetry and non-fiction.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-25 Personal Correspondence
Series 2 Box 1 FF 26 - Box 2 FF 9 Professional Correspondence
Series 3 Box 2 FF 10-13 Diaries
Series 4 Box 2 FF 14-15 Notes on Literary Productions
Series 5 Box 2 FF 16-21 Early Drafts of Stories and Poems
Series 6 Box 3 FF 1-19A Literary Productions
Series 7 Box 3 FF 20-22 Clippings and Reviews
Series 8 Box 4 FF 1-4 Awards and Fellowships
Series 9 Box 4 FF 5-6 Board on Textbooks
Series 10 Box 4 FF 7-10 Conferences
Series 11 Box 4 FF 11-14 University of Nueva Caceres
Series 12 Box 4 FF 15-19 Personal Memorabilia
Series 13 Box 6 Miscellaneous
Series 14 Box 7 Scrapbooks
Series 15 Box 7A Scrapbook of Santos’ Short Stories Printed in Newspapers and Magazines, December 6, 1933 to December 14, 1941
Series 16 Box 8 Videotapes
Series 17 Box 9 FF 1-3 Correspondence Between Bienvenido N. Santos and Leonard Casper
Series 18 Box 9 FF 4-9 Book Photocopies: What the Hell for You Left Your Heart in San Francisco and The Man Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor
Series 19 Box 10 Book Manuscript: Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, November 2, 1989

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Personal Correspondence

Box 1 FF 1 Leslie Gourse.
Box 1 FF 2 Len Casper.
Box 1 FF 3 P. C. Morantte I.
Box 1 FF 4 David Quemada.
Box 1 FF 5 Miss Lim.
Box 1 FF 6 Abelardo Albis, Writer - Letters and Manuscripts.
Box 1 FF 7 Browns, Friends - Letters and Writings.
Box 1 FF 8 Sister Emanuela.
Box 1 FF 9 Letters and Writings - Frank Sionil José.
Box 1 FF 10 Martin Luschei.
Box 1 FF 11 Manuel A. Viray.
Box 1 FF 12 Janet Ramos.
Box 1 FF 13 Alicia Lanning.
Box 1 FF 14 Marilynne N. Williams.
Box 1 FF 15 Norma Djerassi.
Box 1 FF 16 Jock Netzorg.
Box 1 FF 17 N. V. M. Gonzales.
Box 1 FF 18 Hilma Wolitzer.
Box 1 FF 19 Maximo P. Fabella.
Box 1 FF 20 From 1959 to 1970.
Box 1 FF 21 Letters with various people, 1972-1974.
Box 1 FF 22 Letters: 1972-1978.
Box 1 FF 23 Miscellaneous - various persons, January 1979-1980.
Box 1 FF 24 Miscellaneous - various persons, January 1978-1982.
Box 1 FF 25 Letters: 1970s.

Series 2 ‒ Professional Correspondence

Box 1 FF 26 Non-dated Letters.
Box 1 FF 27 Miscellaneous 1959-1968.
Box 1 FF 28 Curtis Brown, Ltd. Publishing Company, 1960s.
Box 1 FF 29 Dean B. Santos, 1961 - July 1962.
Box 1 FF 30 Dean B. Santos, 1962-1964.
Box 2 FF 1 Dean B. Santos, 1964.
Box 2 FF 2 Dean B. Santos, 1962-1964.
Box 2 FF 3 Correspondence between Solidaridad Publishing House, and Santos, 1965.
Box 2 FF 4 Dean B. Santos, 1965-1966.
Box 2 FF 5 Miscellaneous, 1966.
Box 2 FF 6 Miscellaneous, late 1969-1970.
Box 2 FF 7 Miscellaneous, 1969-1979.
Box 2 FF 8 Greg Brillantes, 1970s letters between him and Ben.
Box 2 FF 9 Miscellaneous, 1980-1982.

Series 3 ‒ Diaries

Box 2 FF 10 December 7, 1941 - January 28, 1942.
Box 2 FF 11 July 1964.
Box 2 FF 12 1967.
Box 2 FF 13 1961-1969.

Series 4 ‒ Notes on Literary Productions

Box 2 FF 14 Seven books of notes for novel material.
Box 2 FF 15 Notes for Villa Magdalena, two notebooks.

Series 5 ‒ Early Drafts of Stories and Poems

Box 2 FF 16 Drafts of “A Winter Coat for Pura.” An issue of The Wichitan with an article on Ben’s story. Some correspondence.
Box 2 FF 17 Copies of stories.
Box 2 FF 18 Drafts of poems, Ben Santos, some correspondence and notes.
Box 2 FF 19 Drafts of poems by Ben Santos.
Box 2 FF 20 Draft of The Praying Man.
Box 2 FF 21 Drafts of many writings. Papers from drafts to final form.

Series 6 ‒ Literary Productions

Box 3 FF 1 The Bishop’s Pets, five stapled stacks, handwritten and typed of this play.
Box 3 FF 2 Notes on Butcher King.
Box 3 FF 3 Typed manuscript of The Contender.
Box 3 FF 4 Manuscripts of The Day the Dancers Came and of Footnote to a Laundry List (typed).
Box 3 FF 5 Typed manuscript of End to Flight, 1962.
Box 3 FF 6 Manuscript of End to Flight and of Footnote to a Laundry List, with handwritten changes.
Box 3 FF 7 The Filipino Novel in English, a critical essay written by Ben in 1965. An issue of a magazine Blue and Gold, from Naga City, 1962.
Box 3 FF 8 Poem, “The Gift Bearers,” December 19, 1965.
Box 3 FF 9 Three stapled stacks, Quicker with Arrows, The Vision of Sir, and The Day the Dancers Came.
Box 3 FF 10 Set of papers, each clipped together. A few loose sheets at the end. Race with Seagulls, Things and Things, My Neighbor...(no title), The Passenger...(no title), On these Courts...(no title), In This Iowa City...(no title), They’re Singing...(no title), and In Summer Play.
Box 3 FF 11 Manuscripts of The Weight of This. Five stacks, each stapled or clipped and typed with notes all over. On top of the stacks, a few loose sheets, an exchange of typed letters.
Box 3 FF 12 Six stacks: The Contender (1965), The Enchanted Plant, Footnote to a Laundry List (1962), The Day the Dancers Came (3 stacks); brochure on a conference and an issue of The Manila Chronicle, July 19, 1953 with “It is Evening Again,” a poem by Ben in it on page 25.
Box 3 FF 13 Magazines and paper clips of Ben’s productions and publications. A typed copy of the prelude to The Long Way Home (a play). Years 1952-1970 (?).
Box 3 FF 14 Manuscript of The Praying Man (a novel), part one.
Box 3 FF 15 Manuscript of The Praying Man, part two.
Box 3 FF 16 Draft of The Man who (thought he) looked like Robert Taylor. August 8, 1971, Iowa.
Box 3 FF 17 Typed notes, letters, poems (originally stapled together). Manuscripts of Old Timers.
Box 3 FF 18 Copies of published poems, 1965.
Box 3 FF 19 Note cards on the research Ben did on volcanoes at Iowa University.
Box 3 FF 19A Photocopy of The Wounded Stag.

Series 7 ‒ Clippings and Reviews

Box 3 FF 20 Reviews of Villa Magdalena.
Box 3 FF 21 Clippings from The Legazpinian, December 1957.
Box 3 FF 22 Reviews of The Scent of Apples and of early poems written by Ben. Various clippings, reviews of 1980s.

Series 8 ‒ Awards and Fellowships

Box 4 FF 1 Guggenheim (1960-1966). Letters and application forms.
Box 4 FF 2 Fulbright 1 and personal papers, 1965-1966, letters.
Box 4 FF 3 Fulbright 2 and personal papers, 1969, letters.
Box 4 FF 4 RCH Awards, letters, certificates, photographs.

Series 9 ‒ Board on Textbooks

Box 4 FF 5 Ben’s comments on textbooks he reviewed in the Dept. of Education in the Philippines. Manila 1965-1966.
Box 4 FF 6 Letters and notes: letters of congratulations to Ben for his appointment as Acting Member of the Board on Textbooks. A stack of notes stapled together with a letter. Notes for a plan of a work of fiction. List of titles of works by Ben.

Series 10 ‒ Conference

Box 4 FF 7 Asian Writers’ Conference December 1962 in Manila. Two invitations for the events of the Conference.
Box 4 FF 8 1967 and 1968 Fulbright Conferences. Letters, schedules, notes.
Box 4 FF 9 First BIKOL Writers’ Workshop, December 26-29, 1969. List of participants, their presentations.
Box 4 FF 10 Midwest Fulbright Conference on higher education. Presentations, a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the General Assembly of the U. N. in December 1948.

Series 11 ‒ University of Nueva Caceres

Box 4 FF 11 Notes on course Ben taught about Form and Theory of Fiction. English 207, 1962-1963.
Box 4 FF 12 Notes from the Kabikolan Historical Committee. A thick brochure on the region, and informative stacks of notes on Philippine history.
Box 4 FF 13 Notes for a course on teaching Philippine literature in English.
Box 4 FF 14 Issue of The Nuevas Caceres Bulletin of March 1977, Naga City. A small empty envelope from the University of Nueva Caceres.

Series 12 ‒ Personal Memorabilia

Box 4 FF 15 Class Notes: notebooks and folder with notes on: an eighteenth century English class, the English language, the teaching of poetry, and the teaching of English.
Box 4 FF 16 Lectures and Speeches: typed notes attached together in different stacks.
Box 4 FF 17 Green leather folder containing letters, cards, newspaper clips, a few poems.
Box 4 FF 18 Notebook with notes for an English literature course.
Box 4 FF 19 A book of poems from the University of Iowa, 1964, with a poem by Ben. A notebook with notes for different writings. A blue notebook with notes on The Day the Dancers Came and The Volcano and personal notes, reflections, written in diary style, 1960s. Letter to Ben.
Box 5 FF 1 Notebook on philosophy course.
Box 5 FF 2 Notebook on literature course.
Box 5 FF 3 Diary book with scattered notes and pictures, ribbons, mail.
Box 5 FF 4 Printed writings by Ben, pictures, a letter to Ben.
Box 5 FF 5 Books of notes (2).
Box 5 FF 6 Thesis of Lydia Costillo, 1970, preceded by an article on Filipino literature (1951) and by copies of a letter by L. Costillo to Ben.
Box 5 FF 7 Ph.D. thesis given to Ben by Sebastian Bilangiyil, June 1981.
Box 5 FF 8 Books of notes, 2.
Box 5 FF 9 Conferment of the Ph.D. to Ben, 1981. Biography. University of the Philippines Gazette. Issue of 1981, with papers inserted pertinent to the Ph.D. ceremonies.
Box 5 FF 10 Ben’s membership to the National Geographic society. Agreement with University Microfilms Library Services, 1967. Poems for Ben. Vitae of Ben, 1980. Two programs for an evening in his honor, November 1979.
Box 5 FF 11 Papers from the 1940s and the 1960s. Letters between Ben and the U.S. Naval Training Center in 1945. Notes on the invasion of the Japanese in Manila in December 1941.
Box 5 FF 12 Letters between Ben and Mary Rodell, who read his manuscripts, 1960s.
Box 5 FF 13 Russian poems in Russian.
Box 5 FF 14 Manila, letters of the 1940s and the 1960s.
Box 5 FF 15 Address book from Manila, receipts and money matters regarding Villa Magadalena, 1965.
Box 5 FF 16 Poems, newspaper clips, pictures of Ben teaching. Letters to a national bank in Iowa. Other letters to Ben and by Ben, 1969-1970.
Box 5 FF 17 Book of notes and poems. Issue of The Black Warrior Review, dated Fall 1981. Ben’s name is on the list on the back cover.

Series 13 ‒ Miscellaneous

Box 6 FF 1 Two typed copies of The Purple People Eaters by Thomas Santos.
Box 6 FF 2 Writings from various Filipino writers, among whom is Ben. Each person is introduced at the beginning.
Box 6 FF 3 Manuscript of Shawl from Kashmir and Eight Other Stories by Manuel A. Viray.
Box 6 FF 4 Manuscript of Songs of the East by P. C. Morantte.
Box 6 FF 5 Manuscript of One to Another by P. C. Morantte.
Box 6 FF 6 Manuscript of Dedicated to my Lord by P. C. Morantte, with a letter to Ben dated August 1954.
Box 6 FF 7 Poem in Filipino and in English by Diosdado Macapagal on the death of Don Honorio Ventura dated September 3, 1940. A piece of writing entitled “I speak for Democracy,” but not signed. A letter to the Santos’ by the Foreign Service of the Philippines dated December 19, 1961. Ben’s curriculum vitae date April 17, 1963.
Box 6 FF 8 Several poems by Ben. Letters addressed to him. University of Iowa documents concerning Ben’s appointment there and his classes. A newspaper clip about his son Thomas. A curriculum vitae of Ben dated May 1968.
Box 6 FF 9 Poems by various people, letters of a personal character, and pieces of writings by unidentified persons.
Box 6 FF 10 Calling cards, letters, writing newspaper clips, English Department notes, short pieces of prose by Ben to one year old daughter of Willie D. Nolledo, information guide on foreign scholars and U.S. income tax, outline on a Philippine literature course, manuscript of Solo Flight by Martin Luschei.
Box 6 FF 11 Addresses delivered at various conferences.
Box 6 FF 12 Newspaper copies of Naga City about writers including Ben, then a dean, in February 1970. Copies of curriculum vitae of Ben from 1932 to 1966.
Box 6 FF 13 Typed writings by different persons.
Box 6 FF 14 Article analyzing prize winning story by Ben, Brother, My Brother. Various writings for Ben by other people.
Box 6 FF 15 Outlines for courses on the novel. Various writings by different persons. Curriculum vitae facts up to 1964.
Box 6 FF 16 Notes, pieces of writings, typed and handwritten. Calendars with daily appointments and activities for August and September 1968; newspaper clips.
Box 6 FF 17 Part of manuscript. Letter by Ben to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Manila date January 7, 1963 from the city of Naga. Letter from a bank.
Box 6 FF 18 Scattered handwritten notes on the back of a Summer Schedule 1965 to a writer’s workshop. Different papers, letters to Ben about his books, his grants, invitations. Pieces of writings. Invitations and schedules for conferences. Certificate of Service awarded to Ben by a Rotary Club in the Philippines.
Box 6 FF 19 Issue of the Examiner of December 1965. Two issues of the B Mail, December 1965 and February 1966.
Box 6 FF 20 Pieces of writings. Notes on Ben’s classes as he studied in the 1930s.
Box 6 FF 21 Two copies of The Vision of Sir by Exequiel Young.
Box 6 FF 22 General notes on literature. Program notes for the Tagore Memorial Recital of August 1961. Copy of a final exam question. Notes of Thai literature for the Asian Writer’s Conference of December 1962 in Manila.
Box 6 FF 23 Notes for a workshop on Fiction and Form of Fiction. Calendar of 1969, letters.
Box 6 FF 24 Affidavits. Schedule for Commencement of 1970, where Ben delivered address. Award, notes, newspaper clips.
Box 6 FF 25 An issue of Nueva Caceres of July 1980. Letter of Ben included. Article of PVM Santos. An issue of The Manila Review, with a story by Ben Solomon King. Brochure of criticism of Ben’s writings included inside. Writings.
Box 6 FF 26 Book Letter in Exile to which Ben contributed indirectly. Teacher’s Handbook in which there is a criticism of Scent of Apples.
Box 6 FF 27 Two copies of Gazebo, a WSU poetry journal with poems by Ben. Two copies of Kamadhenu, a poetry journal from Pullman, Washington State University with poems of Ben, August 18, 1982. An issue of Scope, from The Wichita Eagle-Beacon, with an article on Ben, November 25, 1979. The Bell Ringer and Other Stories by Abelardo S. Albis with an introduction by Ben.

Series 14 ‒ Scrapbooks

Box 7 FF 1 Red book with notes from a class on the 17th century, from December 1941. Notes on John Donne.
Box 7 FF 2 Ben’s scholarly activities, 1940s.
Box 7 FF 3 Scrapbook of newspaper clips, 1940s and 1950s.
Box 7 FF 4 Scrapbook of Ben’s achievements, 1960s.
Box 7 FF 5 Invitations to literary evenings, newspaper clips on novel reviews, a letter from Ben’s son who announces his wedding to be, a letter from Alfreds O. Cuencas, two postcards, 1961-1970.
Box 7 FF 6 Burgundy book with an invitation and speech of Ben at a luncheon - general assembly of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in the honor of his work, Legazpi City, November 8.
Box 7 FF 7 Brown cover book with newspaper clips.
Box 7 FF 8 Brown book with newspaper clips, 1960s.

Series 15 ‒ Scrapbook of Santos’ Short Stories Printed in Newspapers and Magazines

Box 7A Contains a scrapbook of Santos’ short stories that were printed in newspapers and magazines dated from December 6, 1933 to December 14, 1941; 92 in all. The scrapbook contains 376 pages.

Series 16 ‒ Videotapes

Box 8 Two-part lecture series on video tape: “You Lovely People”: Filipino Americans in American Literature, Featuring Bienvenido Santos and Jessica Tarahata Hegedon, Representing Two Generations and the Many-voiced Waitings of America, Washington State University. Part 1: Reading by Santos from his work, Immigration Blues, April 26, 1982. Part 2: Reading by Santos from Scent of Apples and by Jessica Tarahata Hegedon from Dangerous Music and Petfood and Tropical Apparitions, April 27, 1982.

Series 17 ‒ Correspondence between Bienvenido N. Santos and Leonard Casper

Box 9 FF 1 Contains six typescript letters from Bienvenido N. Santos to Leonard Casper dated July 28, 1957; November 17, 1964; May 12, 1966; May 21, 1966; November 2, 1972; and July 31, 1973.
Box 9 FF 2 Contains two holograph letters from Bienvenido N. Santos to Leonard Casper dated September 30, 1972 and March 21, 1975.
Box 9 FF 3 Contains two holograph cards from Bienvenido N. Santos to Leonard Casper dated May 1, 1973 and one with circa date 1973.

Series 18 ‒ Book Photocopies

Box 9 FF 4 What the Hell for You Left Your Heart in San Francisco, pages 1-101.
Box 9 FF 5 What the Hell for You Left Your Heart in San Francisco, pages 102-219.
Box 9 FF 6 What the Hell for You Left Your Heart in San Francisco, pages 220-322.
Box 9 FF 7 The Man Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor, pages 1-100.
Box 9 FF 8 The Man Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor, pages 101-200.
Box 9 FF 9 The Man Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor, pages 201-292.

Series 19 ‒ Book Manuscript

Box 10 FF 1 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, title page-page 50.
Box 10 FF 2 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 51-100.
Box 10 FF 3 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 101-150.
Box 10 FF 4 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 151-200.
Box 10 FF 5 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 201-250.
Box 10 FF 6 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 251-300.
Box 10 FF 7 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 301-350.
Box 10 FF 8 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 351-400.
Box 10 FF 9 Memory’s Fictions: An Intimate Personal History, pages 401-459.