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Rabindranath Tagore Collection

 Collection — Box: OSBox1
Identifier: MSS 1982-006

Scope and Contents

The collection provides evidence of Tagore's personal friendship with Dr. Arthur Seymour, and his wife, Mayce Seymour, and others. Dr. Seymour became friends with Rabindranath Tagore while he was the head of International Studies at the University Of Illinois in Urbana. Dr. Seymour later became a professor of Modern Languages at the Florida State College for Women. The biographical information and writings of Tagore provide a significant glimpse into his life.


  • Created: ca. 1900-1965
  • Other: Majority of material found in ca. 1910-1940

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished works by Tagore are in the public domain in the United States. Any user may copy, distribute, display, or broadcast them without restriction.

Copyright restrictions may apply to other works in this collection. Re-use or copying beyond Fair Use may require permission from rights-holders. Please contact for more information.

Biographical or Historical Information

Sir Rabindranath Tagore was an eminent scholar and prolific Indian writer in the latter half of the Nineteenth-Century and first half of the Twentieth-Century. The youngest of eleven children, he was born in Calcutta, India on May 7, 1861. His father, the Great Sage (Maharishi) Devendranath Tagore, cofounded the Brahma Samaji religious reform movement. Rabindranath's family, though Brahmin, was not considered ritually "pure"; however they were wealthy, landed, and brilliant.

At an early age Rabindranath showed considerable promise as a writer, specifically of poetry. He gave his first public reading at age 14. Rabindranath then went on to write over 3000 poems, 2000 songs, including the Indian National Anthem, 8 novels, 40 volumes of essays, and 50 plays. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his most famous work Gitanjali (Song Offerings), published in 1910. He subsequently began traveling widely in the United States, Japan, China, and Europe, spreading his doctrine of humanity's search for God and truth.

In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore's desire for agricultural, educational, and health development in India prompted him to found Santiniketan (Abode of Peace). This began as an open air boys school and developed into a coed, multicaste International University, with a wide ranging curriculum. In 1906 Rabindranath sent his son Rathindranath to the University of Illinois at Urbana to study agriculture. Rabindranath, later in 1912-1913, accompanied his son to Urbana. In 1915 Rabindranath Tagore was knighted by the British Crown. Six years later, however, he relinquished his knighthood as a protest against the massacre of Indians who were demonstrating against the British Regime in India.

Rabindranath Tagore died at age 80 in his native Calcutta, after a protracted illness on August 7, 1941. The majority of correspondence in this collection is between the two Tagores and Professor Arthur Seymour and his wife, Mayce Seymour. Professor Seymour was the head of the University of Illinois' International Studies program.


4.40 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains correspondence between Rabindranath Tagore and Dr. Arthur and Mayce Seymour, as well as other friends and family. Also included in the collection are biographical materials related to Tagore's life in both India and the United States. Tagore's writings are included in the collection with works of literary criticism and analysis of his writing. The collection also contains artwork by the Tagores and photographs.

Method of Acquisition

The collection was donated by the estate of Marion Hays.

Related Materials

Other collections related to Rabindranath Tagore can be found in Harvard University's Houghton Library, the University of London Library, and the Syracuse University Library.

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed in November 1986, and the series division and updated finding aid were created in March and April 2006 by Jennifer Welch.

Rabindranath Tagore Collection
Jennifer Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US