Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky, students, faculty, and researchers studying the life and work of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck will have access to the papers of renowned Steinbeck scholar Dr. John M. Ditsky.
Mrs. Ditsky donated her late husband’s books and papers to Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections where they will join the papers of fellow Steinbeck scholars Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi and Roy Simmonds as part of the Libraries’ outstanding Steinbeck Collection.
Dr. John Michael Ditsky (March 9, 1938 – May 15, 2006) received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1967 and was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Canada, from which he retired in 2003 after 37 years of teaching. Prior to his tenure at the University of Windsor, he taught at the University of Detroit and Wayne State University. During his career, he served as vice president of the International Steinbeck Society, president of the New Steinbeck Society of America, and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly, and more recently of the Steinbeck Review.
In addition to his work as a Steinbeck scholar, Dr. Ditsky was an active poet, poetry editor, and music critic. He served as poetry editor of the University of Windsor Review for many years. He published four poetry collections, five critical volumes, and over 100 critical articles, essays, and book chapters on a variety of literary subjects. His vast publishing output and the many outstanding academic achievements of his career are reflected in his papers.
According to his long-time friend and colleague Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi, Dr. Ditsky “was first and foremost a passionate and dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor.” The collection of his books and papers available to students and researchers in the Ball State University Libraries will continue Dr. Ditsky’s “… legacy of extending a helping hand to emerging Steinbeck scholars.”
According to John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, the addition of the John M. Ditsky Collection “… strengthens the reputation of the University Libraries as one of the premiere Steinbeck research collections in the world. The resources available at Ball State attract international scholars.”
In 2007, Mrs. Ditsky made a significant contribution to support the use of the Libraries’ Steinbeck collections when she established the Steinbeck Research Fund in honor of Dr. Distky. The fund is used to bring Steinbeck scholars to conduct research in the Archives and Special Collections. The first two recipients of the Ditsky Award were Dr. Kyoko Ariki, Shujitsu University in Japan, and Ms. Kay Bosse, University of Dayton, in 2007. The John M. Ditsky Collection will be a great resource for future recipients of the Ditsky Award to use in their research.
-Library Insider, June 2008, Volume 6, Issue 6