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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 6: Audiovisual, Box 183-262Add to your cart.
Consists of photographs, negatives, slides, cassette tapes, video tapes, and reel-to-reels.
Sub-Series VI.1: Photographs, Box 183-250Add to your cart.
Sub-Series VI.1.a: Photographs of James Merrill, Box 183-187.2Add to your cart.
7 boxes
Sub-Series VI.1.b: Photographs of Family, Box 188-195.2Add to your cart.
May include James Merrill. 10 boxes
Sub-Series VI.1.c: Photographs of Friends, Box 196-215.3Add to your cart.
May include James Merrill. 23 boxes
Sub-Series VI.1.d: Photographs of Places, Animals, or Objects, Box 216-230Add to your cart.
15 boxes
Sub-Series VI.1.e: Photographs from Peter Hooten, Box 231-233Add to your cart.
Mostly includes photographs, contact sheets, negatives, and slides toward various Merrill publications including A Different Person and Changing Light at Sandover.
Sub-Series VI.1.f: Photographs from Jerl Surratt, Box 234Add to your cart.
Sub-Series VI.1.g: Photographs from Harry Pemberton, Box 234Add to your cart.
Photographs by Harry Pemberton can also be found within other photograph series.
Sub-Series VI.1.h: Oversized Photographs, Box 235-235.3Add to your cart.
Box 235 consists of oversized photographs of Merrill, Hellen Ingram Plummer, Doris Merrill Magowan, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Ceremonial, 107 Water Street, The Orchard, and 702 Elizabeth Street. Box 235.1 consists of an oval, black and white photograph attached to cracking glass of Mary Jane Power. Box 235.2 consists of an oval, black and white photograph attached to a wooden frame of a bust of a young Merrill. Photograph has a rip across the middle. Box 235.3 consists of a glass photo frame engraved with "Dan Dan." Originally housed a photograph of Merrill in his military uniform. Transferred to Series VI.1.a.
Sub-Series VI.1.i: Photo Albums, Box 236-249Add to your cart.
Item 1: A Legacy of Leadership: Merrill Lynch 1885-1985, Box 236-237, 1985: October 21Add to your cart.

Photographs of reception to celebrate the opening of the Merrill Lynch History Exhibit held at the New York Historical Society. Includes photographs of Merrill, Hellen Ingram Plummer, Charles Merrill, Doris Magowan, Merrill Magowan, Cinnie Magowan, Vernon Lynch Merrill, Robert Merrill, etc.

Removed from original photo album. Photo album retained in Box 236.

Item 2: Merrill's Landing, Box 238-239Add to your cart.
Removed from original photo album. Photo album retained in Box 238.
Item 3: JIM, Box 240-241Add to your cart.
Contains photographs of Merrill, Removed from original photo album. Photo album retained in Box 240.
Item 4: Vincit Qui Patitur, Box 242-243Add to your cart.
Photographs removed from original photo album. Photo album retained in Box 242.
Item 5: Charles E. Merrill, Box 244Add to your cart.
Original photo album has been discarded.
Item 6: Blue binder, Box 245Add to your cart.
Original binder has been located with photographs.
Item 7: The Orchard, Southhampton, New York, Box 246Add to your cart.
Item 8: Black binder, Box 247Add to your cart.

Contains photographs of Merrill with a dog, Merrill holding a snake, Merrill with various family members including Hellen Ingram Plummer and Annie Ingram, Merrill as camp and/or school, a puppet show, etc.

Original binder has been disposed.

Item 9: Black photo album, Box 247Add to your cart.
Consists of unidentified boy at a school. Original photo album has been discarded.
Item 10: Blue whale photo album, Box 247Add to your cart.
Item 11: Red spiral photo album with Greek lettering, Box 247Add to your cart.
Includes photographs of various foot races. Original photo album housed in Box 248
Item 12: Art-Album Qualitone Prints, Box 248Add to your cart.
Contains photos of Merrill and David Jackson. 2 copies
Item 13: Super Pak Snaps, Box 248Add to your cart.
Red spiral album containing one photograph of James Merrill, one of David Jackson, and one unidentified man. The first photograph has been cut out.
Item 14: Leather-bound photo album, Box 248Add to your cart.
Consists of locations and sculptures in Newport, St. Tropez, Marseille, Nimes, etc.
Item 15: The Orchard, Southampton, N.Y., Box 248.1Add to your cart.
Item 16: Merrill's Landing, Box 249Add to your cart.
Removed from original photo album. Photo album retained.
Sub-Series VI.1.j: Nudes, Box 250Add to your cart.
Sub-Series VI.2: Negatives, Box 251-255Add to your cart.
Sub-Series VI.3: Slides, Box 256-258Add to your cart.
Sub-Series VI.4: Cassette Tapes, Box 259-260Add to your cart.
Item 1: From John Lord, 1994-1995Add to your cart.
34 cassette tapes
Item 2: Hoiby: Investiture at Cecconi's, 1992: June 20Add to your cart.
Setting of Merrill's poem, "Investiture at Cecconi's" by pianist Lee Hoiby. 1 cassette tape
Item 3: James Merrill at the Hill-stead; The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Summer 1993Add to your cart.
1 cassette tape
Item 4: James Merrill Tribute, 1995: May 13Add to your cart.
1 cassette tape
Item 5: Cassette tapes #9-16, 1993Add to your cart.
8 cassette tapes
Item 6: Side A: Galen Green Shares New Poems with JM & DJ.  Side B: July 25, 1985: Wichita: Drafts: Galen Green, 1985Add to your cart.
1 cassette tape
Item 7: Memorial Tribute to David Kalstone, New York Pulic Library, 1986: September 20Add to your cart.
Features Merrill, J. D. McClatchy, Richard Poirier, Maxine Grofsky, Edmund White, Alec Treuhaft, Charles Kalstone, and Alfred Corn. 1 cassette tape
Item 8: James Merrill speaking at Columbia addressing questions about The Changing Light at Sandover, No dateAdd to your cart.
Created by Henri Cole. 2 cassette tapes
Sub-Series VI.5: Videotapes, Box 261Add to your cart.
Item 1: James Merrill Memorial, New York Public Library, 1995: May 13Add to your cart.
1 videotape, 2 copies
Item 2: Insurance Video, Merrill's New York City Home, No dateAdd to your cart.
1 videotape
Item 3: Insurance Video, Merrill's Home at 107 Water Street, Stonington, Connecticut, 1985: july 29Add to your cart.
1 videotape
Item 4: The Inaugural Hellen Ingram Plummer Lecture, The Georgia State University College of Arts and Sciences, 1998: November 5Add to your cart.
"The Mother of Invention: Memory and the Plot of Poetry" by J.D. McClatchy. 1 videotape with program
Item 5: Voices From Sandover, Parts 1 and 2 (Poetry Works Inc), 1991: May 1Add to your cart.
1 videotape
Item 8: Merrill - Leszek #1Add to your cart.
1 DAT124 tape
Sub-Series VI.6: Reel-to-Reel Audio and Video Tapes, Box 262Add to your cart.
Item 1: Richie and Merrill - Piano impromptu; Richie, Merrill, [Wanebaum], and Jackson - Proust; Richie, Merrill, [Wanebaum], and Jackson - Howard University Players ShakespeareAdd to your cart.
1 3" reel-to-reel. Removed from original box, original box retained
Item 2: The Dreamers, 1965: JuneAdd to your cart.
2 5" reel-to-reel
Item 3: James Merrill reading at Behrend College of the Pennsylvania State College in Erie, Pennsylvania, 1973: April 12Add to your cart.
Consists of original 5" reel-to-reel (Memorex/Chroma), VHS tape transfer by PPS Group, 1 DVD transfer by Scenesavers (transferred to Rare Books), 1 CD sample wav file, and 1 CD noise reduction demo by Sound Images.

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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