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Showing posts from September, 2015

A bit of a professional: Sylvia Plath

The following is a guest blog post by Katie Mikulka, Smith College '16  (American Studies & Archives) . Originally published on the National Portrait Gallery's blog, facetoface, on 10 August 2015 , I am very pleased to re-post the piece here and hope that by doing so there builds excitement about the forthcoming 2017-2018 exhibit. Sylvia Plath's Royal typewriter Photograph courtesy of Smith College / Samuel Masinter. Perhaps one of the best known American poets of the 20th century, Sylvia Plath has captivated generation after generation of readers. But even the most dedicated of Plath fans might not know that the poet's career got an early start, at the age of only eight! On this day, August 10, in 1941, Sylvia Plath's first published poem was printed in a local Boston newspaper. She continued to publish work throughout high school, in popular magazines such as Seventeen , and while a student at Smith College. When asked in a 1962 radio interview how sh

Sylvia Plath's copy of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to work with Sylvia Plath's copy of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead which is held privately. Sylvia Plath's library is largely divided between three major collections: Emory University, Indiana University, and Smith College. For several years now I have maintained a reconstruction of Plath's library (if you will) via LibraryThing as a part of their Legacy Library project. This list includes books not only owned by Plath at the time of her death, but also books Plath mentioned in her letters and journals, as well as those that appear in papers she wrote and other archival documents. There is still work to be done in the project so check her catalog periodically. The three main collections can be looked at the following way: those at Indiana University were books that Plath left behind when she moved permanently to England in December 1959; those at Smith College were books Plath had with her in England at the time of her