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James Merrill Papers (MSS083)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence, Box 1-112, Folders 1-2880

Journals, Box 113-124, Folders 2881-2954

Ouija Material, Box 125-126, Folders 2955-2977

Manuscripts, Box 127-170, Folders 2978-5326

Material Towards Books, Box 170-182, Folders 5327-5497

Audiovisual, Box 183-262

Personal Papers, Box 263-282, Folders 5498-5615

Ephemera, Box 283-302, Folders 5616-5834

Realia, Box 303-310



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James Merrill Papers (MSS083), 1926-2003 | MSS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: James Merrill Papers (MSS083), 1926-2003Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1926-2003

ID: MSS/MSS/083

Primary Creator: Merrill, James Ingram

Extent: 175.5 Linear Feet

Languages: English, Greek,Modern(1453-)

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection holds a wide variety of materials that document James Ingram Merrill's entire life.

The extensive correspondence is between Merrill and his family, friends, business associates, and others. Thousands of pages of heavily annotated notebooks, typescripts, worksheets, and galleys show Merrill's work towards poems, fiction, and drama. The audiovisual and personal material document other aspects of Merrill's life.

Collection Historical Note

James Ingram Merrill was born in New York City on March 3, 1926, and grew up in Manhattan and Southampton. He was the son of Charles Merrill, co-founder of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch, and his second wife, Hellen Ingram. He began writing poems as a child, and at age sixteen, while he was in prep school, his father had a book of them privately printed under the title Jim's Books.

Merrill's studies at Amherst College were interrupted by service in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1945. Another book, The Black Swan, was privately printed in 1946 while he was still in college. Following his graduation in 1947, he taught for a year at Bard College. His first trade book, First Poems, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1951 to critical acclaim. In 1956 he used a portion of his inheritance to found the Ingram Merrill Foundation, which has since awarded grants to hundreds of artists and writers. Over the next decade he published two novels, The Seraglio (1957) and The (Diblos) Notebook (1965) as well as two books of poems, The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace (1959) and Water Street (1962). His 1966 collection of poems, Nights and Days, won the National Book Award and brought his work a wider audience.

He went on to earn numerous awards for his poetry, including the Bollingen Prize for Braving the Elements (1972), the Pulitzer Prize for Divine Comedies (1976), and a second National Book Award for Mirabell (1978). In 1983, his epic poem The Changing Light at Sandover (1982) won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

On February 6, 1995 James Merrill died of a heart attack in Tucson, Arizona. His last book, A Scattering of Salts, was published a month later.

Administrative Information

Repository: MSS Manuscripts

Access Restrictions: Some Restrictions. Contact Curator.

Use Restrictions:

Some Restrictions. Contact Curator.

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Method: Most of the material was donated by James Merrill. Other portions of the collection were purchased from various individuals.

Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, Box 1-112, Folders 1-2880],
[Series 2: Journals, Box 113-124, Folders 2881-2954],
[Series 3: Ouija Material, Box 125-126, Folders 2955-2977],
[Series 4: Manuscripts, Box 127-170, Folders 2978-5326],
[Series 5: Material Towards Books, Box 170-182, Folders 5327-5497],
[Series 6: Audiovisual, Box 183-262],
[Series 7: Personal Papers, Box 263-282, Folders 5498-5615],
[Series 8: Ephemera, Box 283-302, Folders 5616-5834],
[Series 9: Realia, Box 303-310],
[All]

Series 3: Ouija Material, Box 125-126, Folders 2955-2977Add to your cart.

Consists of transcripts from James Merrill's sessions with the Ouija board, which were used as inspirations for some of his poetry. These are arranged by format (bound, notebook, and looseleaf) and then chronologically within each group.

The dates listed are the beginning and ending dates noted in each grouping. However, some of the pages are undated and the dates may be sporadic.

Sub-Series III.1: Bound Ouija Material, Box 125, Folders 2955.1-2956.2Add to your cart.
Folder 2955: Ouija transcriptsAdd to your cart.
Ts, (black binder), pages 1 - 184.  1975-1977.
Folder 2956: Ouija transcriptsAdd to your cart.
Ts, (white binder), pages 185 - 319.  1977-1987.
Sub-Series III.2: Ouija Notebook Material, Box 125-126, Folders 2957-2966Add to your cart.
Box 125Add to your cart.
Folder 2957: Ouija notebook, 1977: May 19 - 1977: July 2Add to your cart.
Folder 2958: Ouija notebook, 1978: July 28 - [1978]: August 30.Add to your cart.
Athens.
Folder 2959: Ouija notebook, 1980: July 31 - 1986: January 8, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 2960: Ouija notebook, 1980: August 27 - 1992: June 1.Add to your cart.
Folder 2961: Ouija notebook, 1980: October 19 - 1981: March 17, n.d.Add to your cart.
Note: Missing front cover.
Box 126Add to your cart.
Folder 2962: Ouija notebook, [1981]: December 23 - [1992]: March 18, n.d.Add to your cart.
Includes TLS, to James Merrill from Bruce Taylor, 1981: February 5, 1p.
Folder 2963: Ouija notebook, 1983: January 28 - 1984: September 10.Add to your cart.
Folder 2964: Ouija notebook, 1986: December 16 - 1991: July 12, n.d.Add to your cart.
Note: Missing front cover.
Folder 2965: Ouija notebook, 1988: January 13 - 1990: October 6, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 2966: Ouija notebook, 1990: July 13 - 1990: July 29.Add to your cart.
Sub-Series III.3: Looseleaf Ouija Material, Box 126, Folders 2967-2977Add to your cart.
Folder 2967: Individual Ouija sessions, 1953: November 14; 1976: March 29; 1986: March 8; 1988: October 9; 1989: JaAdd to your cart.
Ts and Ts[x]
Folder 2968: Ouija transcripts, 1955: September 2, n.d.Add to your cart.
Ts[x] and Ms[x]
Folder 2969: Ouija transcripts, 1957: August 15 - 1976: April 26.Add to your cart.
Ms
Folder 2970: Individual Ouija sessions, 1958: July 11; 1973: September 29; 1979: August 12; n.d.Add to your cart.
Ts and Ms
Folder 2971: Ouija session re: DMC, Yanni, 1968: December 22.Add to your cart.
Ts
Folder 2972: Ouija session re: Changing Light, 1979: February 5Add to your cart.
Ms
Folder 2973: Ouija transcripts, 1975: March 2; 1966: September 11; n.d.Add to your cart.
Ms
Folder 2974: Ouija transcripts, 1979-1986.Add to your cart.
Ts, pages 231-308.
Folder 2975: Ouija transcripts, 1979-1986.Add to your cart.
Ts[x] (copy of most of above material), pages 229-302.
Folder 2976: Individual Ouija sessions, n.d.Add to your cart.
Ts[x]
Folder 2977: Individual Ouija sessions, n.d.Add to your cart.
Ms

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, Box 1-112, Folders 1-2880],
[Series 2: Journals, Box 113-124, Folders 2881-2954],
[Series 3: Ouija Material, Box 125-126, Folders 2955-2977],
[Series 4: Manuscripts, Box 127-170, Folders 2978-5326],
[Series 5: Material Towards Books, Box 170-182, Folders 5327-5497],
[Series 6: Audiovisual, Box 183-262],
[Series 7: Personal Papers, Box 263-282, Folders 5498-5615],
[Series 8: Ephemera, Box 283-302, Folders 5616-5834],
[Series 9: Realia, Box 303-310],
[All]


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