Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 494

Roderick Nordell papers


Clippings of articles by a long-time Christian Science Monitor critic and editor, Roderick Nordell, and programs from performances he attended, correspondence and other papers.


  • Creation: 1948-2000

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

All of this collection (except for item (72)) is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository and retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine retrieval policies and times.


17 linear feet (51 boxes)

The bulk of this collection consists of copies of Nordell's columns, editorials, and reviews in the Christian Science Monitor; and of programs for musical and theatrical performances he attended.

The small correspondence series reflects the variety of Nordell's journalistic work, including such diverse figures as Steve Allen, William F. Buckley, James Bryant Conant, Charlton Heston, Archibald MacLeish, John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Barbara Wertheim Tuchman, and E.B. White.

The compositions series consists mostly of clippings from the Christian Science Monitor. It also includes a smaller quantity of research files, manuscripts, and typescripts for both published and unpublished writings, most notably his 1951 thesis, "The Dramatic Practice and Theory of Sean O'Casey."

Many of the programs appear to be from performances which Nordell reviewed in print, and are annotated with his notes on the performances. The bulk of the programs are from Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding area, but the series also includes numerous programs from New York City and some from Nordell's travels across the globe. The series also includes a smaller number of programs from exhibit openings, lectures, and other events.

The subject files series includes a set of papers read at the 1967 International Congress on Theatre Research; an audiocassette relating to a 1993 appearance by Quincy Jones at Harvard University; press releases, mostly dating from Nordell's term as Arts/Entertainment editor; and travel brochures and pamphlets.

The biographical miscellany series includes clippings, photographs, and programs relating to Nordell's career.

Biographical / Historical

Hans Roderick Nordell (1925-2017) was a journalist, author, and retired editor. He graduated from Harvard University in 1948, received a B Litt at the University of Dublin in 1951, and spent most of his career as a writer and editor at the Christian Science Monitor. He wrote on a wide variety of topics during his career at the Monitor, with a particular emphasis on theater, jazz, books, and travel, and also contributed numerous family and humorous pieces to the paper's editorial and Home Forum pages. He held the following positions with the Monitor : 1948-1950, New York correspondent; 1951-1955, Staff correspondent; 1956-1964, Book editor; 1966-1967, Assistant feature editor; 1971-1972, Arts/Entertainment editor; 1974-1977, Assistant chief editorial writer; 1983-1985, Home Forum editor; 1986-1987, Feature editor; 1988-1993, Executive editor, World Monitor (the Monitor's monthly magazine)

Nordell was a native of Minnesota, and a resident for many years of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He married Joan Projansky, and had three children.

New York correspondent
Staff correspondent
Book editor
Assistant feature editor
Arts/Entertainment editor
Assistant chief editorial writer
Home Forum editor
Feature editor
Executive editor, World Monitor (the Monitor's monthly magazine)


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Compositions by Roderick Nordell
  3. ___A. Christian Science Monitor journalism
  4. ___B. Other journalism
  5. ___C. Unpublished compositions
  6. III. Programs
  7. IV. Subject files
  8. V. Biographical miscellany

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2006MT-77r. Gift of Roderick Nordell, Cambridge, Massachusetts; received: 2000 December.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Processing Information

Please note that box numbers 42 and 43 were inadvertently skipped during boxing.

Nordell, Roderick. Roderick Nordell papers, 1948-2000: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440