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David Sedaris papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1515

Content Description

The collection contains drafts and writings from numerous publications by David Sedaris including Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty Someday, Naked, and Calypso, along with correspondence, artist books, diaries, personal papers and notebooks, photographs, press clippings, ephemera, and other papers by or relating to Sedaris' life and work.


  • 1964 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 32 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 33 (born digital): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 34-52: Restricted during the lifetime of David Sedaris. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The David Sedaris Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Inc. on the Sinclair Lewis Fund and the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2018.


Organized into seven series: I. Notebooks, 2004-2017. II. Writings, 1980s-2017. III. Personal Papers, 1964-1989. IV. Audiovisual Materials, 1990-2003. V. Electronic Media, 2007-2008. VI. Restricted Papers. VII. Diaries, circa 1977-2016.


37.33 Linear Feet (52 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

David Sedaris

David Sedaris (born 1956) is an American humorist, author, and essayist. He grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1987. His works include Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Calypso. Sedaris is also well-known for his many contributions to This American Life, a weekly radio show on National Public Radio.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the David Sedaris Papers
by Rosemary K. J. Davis
December 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • September 2020: Updated with Series VII, Diaries.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.