05 December 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: British Library and others...

Over the last few months, I have posted many different "Sylvia Plath Collections". In that time, I hope that any readers found the information useful to their own projects, or that the information will be useful in the future.

The following are listed "collections" in WorldCat with no library listed as owner, which is absolutely frustrating! For the sake of it, I attempted to inter-library loan one of them. This was the reply, "We have exhausted all possible sources. No library is able to supply this item. Unfortunately, according to Worldcat, zero libraries own this item. It is probably in a special collection somewhere that is unaccessible [sic.] for ILL. Sorry!"

My instincts tell me these are collections held in repositories in the United Kingdom and/or other countries. At least two of these are held by the British Museum (now the British Library). If anyone out there has any knowledge to help identify the collections, the libraries, and has worked with these materials, please post a comment!

In each entry, the title of the collection is in bold, followed by the author, the dates, and other information. For the first two collections, some sleuthing found that the British Library holds the materials.

Poems, etc. /

Ted Hughes; Sylvia Plath
1957-1962
Autograph & TS. Owned.

Contents:
Nessie the mannerless monster by Ted Hughes, revised autograph & TS drafts
Poems published in 'Recklings' & 'Wodwo' & 4 unpublished poems by Ted Hughes
BBC scripts by Ted Hughes, autograph & TS fragments
The calm by Ted Hughes, revised TS fragments of an unpublished play
TS drafts of 2 poems by Sylvia Plath
Untitled short story by Sylvia Plath, revised TS fragments.

Date of collection: Jan 1983.
Reference: The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972

(What I do know: A catalogue was produced by Jenny Stratford entitled, The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972. The catalogue reproduces a draft of Plath's poem "Insomniac". Copies are available here or a libraries worldwide.

According to the catalogue, these items are owned by the British Museum (now the British Library).

---------------------
Insomniac :
[in 'Cheltenham Festival prize poems' collection] /
Sylvia Plath
1961
4 autograph drafts & 2 TS drafts, numbered in sequence.
The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972:
Owned./ With a letter from Sylvia Plath, presenting the drafts, 1961./ Date of collection: Mar 1983.

(What I do know: For this collection, I found a reference to the six drafts of Insomiac here. The National Manuscript Collection for Contemporary Poets (NMCCP) sounds absolutely fascinating. It seems to be connected to the British Library, however, I did not find an entry for this item in the British Library Catalogue. This record also refers to The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972. However, that still tells us nothing, really, about where these important drafts are held.)

These items are held by the British Museum (now British Library). They were written up in The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972. A nice facsimile reprint of a manuscript draft of "Insomniac" is produced in The Arts Council book. Another catalogue appeared in 1967. This one is by Jenny Lewis, Poetry in the Making: Catalogue of an exhibition of poetry manuscripts in the British Museum.

---------------------

Poems /
Sylvia Plath
3 items, on 3 quarto sheets.
TS./ Owned./ Date of collection: Jan 1983

----------------------
Three women :[a verse dialogue] by Sylvia Plath : script for production by Douglas Cleverdon, Third Programme, 9th June 1968.
16 sheets.
Duplicated TS./ Owned./ First production, also by Douglas Cleverdon, was on 19th August 1962./ Date of collection: Jan 1983.

-----------------------------------------
Recordings of talks etc. by Ted Hughes.
Ted Hughes; Sylvia Plath
1961-1963
Owned./ Includes 'Poets in partnership', an interview of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath by Owen Leeming./ Date of collection: Mar 1987. (Two of a kind)

-----------------------------------------
Recordings of talks etc. by Dannie Abse.
Dannie Abse
1957-1982
Archival Material

Owned./ Includes: P.E.N. Club editors' meeting - Lecture on Sylvia Plath - Item from BBC Radio 4 'Bookshelf' series./ Date of collection: Mar 1987.

-----------------------------------------
Recordings of talks etc. by A. Alvarez.
A Alvarez
1963-1971
Archival Material
Owned./ Includes: Lecture on Sylvia Plath - Item from BBC Radio 4 'Now read on' series - 'Under pressure' [3 programmes: speakers include Lionel Trilling and W. H. Auden]./ Date of collection: Mar 1987.

1 comment :

Edward Mendelson said...

I suffered the same frustration with WorldCat while looking for material by a different author. I think the answer is that all those entries derive from the new Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters, at the University of Reading, found here:

http://vlsirsi.rdg.ac.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/iBGiBW8jUu/MAIN-LIB/49780012/60/31/X

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.

Interviews