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Toi Derricotte papers

Call Number: JWJ MSS 207

Content Description

This collection contains writings, correspondence, journals, photographs, personal papers, teaching material, electronic media, audio recordings, videocassettes, and other material by or relating to poet, writer, and educator, Toi Derricotte. Material related to Cave Canem, the non-profit organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets, is also represented.


  • 1934 - 2015
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 2010


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 107, 108, 109, and 110 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 111 and 112 (born digital): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 113: (restricted): For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Toi Derricotte 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 James S. Jaffe Rare Books on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2016.


Organized into seven series: I. Writings, circa 1960s-2010s. II. Correspondence, circa 1960s-2010s. III. Professional papers, 1979-2015. IV. Personal papers, 1934-circa 2010s. V. Audiovisual material, 1967-2006. VI. Electronic media, circa 1990s-2000s. VII. Restricted papers, circa 1980s-2000s.

Related Materials

Cave Canem records (JWJ MSS 130). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.


62.2 Linear Feet (113 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte is an American poet, writer, educator, and co-founder of the Cave Canem Foundation. She was born in 1941 in Hamtramck, Michigan and received her B.A. from Wayne State University and an M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from New York University. Her published works include, Natural Birth (1983), Captivity (1989), Tender (1997), The Black Notebooks (1997), and The Undertaker’s Daughter (2011). In 1996, together with Cornelius Eady, Derricotte cofounded the Cave Canem Foundation, a national poetry organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.

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, 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.

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

Information included in the Content Description 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.

Folder titles enclosed in quotation marks indicate transcribed writing from original enclosures.

Guide to the Toi Derricotte papers
by Jessica Tai
April 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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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.