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MLA Records

Identifier:  MRC-2018

Scope and Content

MLA Records is the largest records group in the archives. It holds loose paper records generated by the activities of the Modern Language Association (MLA), 1896–present. Records primarily include correspondence, memoranda, and similar documents related to administration of the association. Some personal correspondence between executive directors, presidents, staff, and members is included. Early association history is missing from the collection. This is likely due to the association’s lack of an official headquarters until 1928. The collection includes preserved texts documenting the production of the MLA International Bibliography; correspondence between the MLA and groups internal and external to the association (i.e., the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and the American Dialect Society); minutes and ballots documenting actions taken by the Delegate Assembly and the Executive Council; statements capturing the changes in the administration of the association; expense forms chronicling the association’s financial activity; memoranda and correspondence documenting the general activities that fall outside of a specific office or service; written processes behind print production; early annual convention programs; correspondence to and from the offices of programs and outreach, including the Association of Departments of English (ADE) and the Association of Departments of Foreign Language (ADFL); and memoranda capturing book publication processes by the Center for Scholarly Editions.


  • 1896–present

Conditions Governing Access

The record group is partially open for research. See the conditions governing access for individual series, subseries, and files for additional information. Material may be protected by Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code). Reproduction permitted at the discretion of the association.


32 Linear Feet


The record group is organized in eleven collections that reflect the internal structure of the association:

Executive Directors and Presidents

Administration and Finance


Committees, Commissions, and Other Groups

Delegate Assembly

Executive Council

General Chronological

Information Systems


Programs and Research

Scholarly Communications

Processing Information

The first edition of this finding aid, published September 2018, was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Processing is ongoing. Only processed portions of the archives are covered in the finding aid.

MLA Records
In Progress
Liza Young
August 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Edition statement
First edition

Repository Details

Part of the Modern Language Association Archives Repository

Modern Language Association
85 Broad Street
Suite 500
New York New York 10004 USA