Folger Shakespeare Library
Stage and Screen Education and Inspiration The American Identity


Alden T. Vaughan

Alden T. Vaughan

Alden Vaughan is professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, where he taught colonial history for many years. He is one of the preeminent authorities on this subject.

He has published numerous books, including Roots of American Racism: Essays on the Colonial Experience, American Genesis: Captain John Smith and the Founding of Virginia, and New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians, 1620–1675. He also wrote the essay on Pocohantas for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

He and his wife, Virginia Mason Vaughan, co-wrote the book Shakespeare’s Caliban: A Cultural History (1991) and jointly edited an important edition of The Tempest for the Arden Shakespeare edition (1999).

The Vaughns were co-curators of the 1992 NEH-supported Folger exhibition A New World of Wonders, for which they also lectured on The Tempest and the New World in conjunction with a staged reading from the play. In 2007, they co-curated the Shakespeare in American Life exhibition at Folger Shakespeare Library and compiled and edited the exhibition catalog.

Vaughan has been a fellow with the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Charles Warren Center for Studies of American History at Harvard University, and the American Antiquarian Society. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.