Monday, March 28, 2005

Virtual Archival Digging

Although most of the women of the Beat Generation are still alive, a search on ArchivesUSA and the Internet reveal several archival collections of interest:

Carolyn Cassady's correspondence can be located in several collections—The William S. Burroughs papers at Ohio State University; Neal Cassady’s papers at the Ransom Center; the Allen Ginsberg papers at Columbia University; and the papers of Kerouac biographer Tom Clark, also at Columbia.

Ann Charters' papers, including her correspondence as editor of the Dictionary of Literary Biography with Beat writers, can be found at the University of Connecticut.

Diane di Prima’s papers are housed in several collections:
At the University of Louisville, the University of Connecticut, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and University of Delaware. Correspondence between di Prima and other famous writers such as Helen Adam, Jerome Rothenberg, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, and Philip Whalen are held in disparate collections around the country.

Joyce Johnson correspondence can be found with the Edward Dorn papers at the University of Connecticut. I suspect that the Fielding Dawson papers, not yet available to the public, also contain Johnson correspondence, since the two dated for a time in the late 50s (according to her memoir, Minor Characters).

Hettie Jones' manuscripts are at Indiana University.

Lenore Kandel correspondence can be found in the Carol Berge collection at the Ransom Center.

Joanne Kyger’s papers are at UCSD, while correspondence between her and James Koller can be found with his papers at the University of Connecticut.

Janine Pommy-Vega has several items at UCSD.

There is Anne Waldman correspondence with the papers of James Koller, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Philip Whalen, James Schuyler, Bernadette Mayer, and Alice Notley.

The Beat women I have identified as “First Generation” are better represented in the Archives, but since they are not my main focus here, I will just mention briefly what I found: Helen Adam (Kent State University, Mandeville), Carol Berge (Ransom, Kent State), Madeline Gleason (University of San Francisco), and Sheri Martinelli (with Ezra Pound papers at UNC Greensboro).

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