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Phillip Lopate papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1083

Scope and Contents

The Phillip Lopate papers consists of correspondence, writings, personal papers, teaching files, printed materials, and audiovisual and computer media, dating from circa 1951 to 2015. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with editors and publishers, notes, manuscripts, drafts, typescripts, proofs, and related materials that document his work as an essayist, literary critic, and author of short stories, poetry, biographies, and screenplays. Personal papers contain Lopate's personal diaries and journals, memo books, and notebooks, as well as interviews and news clippings about Lopate. Teaching files include Lopate's correspondence with other educators, student course evaluations, teaching diaries, and comics drawn by students at Public School 75 in Manhattan, New York. Printed materials contain publications authored or edited by Phillip Lopate, publications which feature his writing, and special edition publications. Computer and audiovisual media include interviews, lectures, and audio recordings on computer disks, optical media, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and film.


  • circa 1951-2015


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 82 (digital media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 83 (audiovisual media): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Phillip Lopate 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 Phillip Lopate and James S. Jaffe Rare Books LLC on the Sinclair Lewis Fund and the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2016.


The collection is organized into six series: I. Correspondence, circa 1958-2006 and undated. II. Writings, 1963-2009 and undated. III. Personal Papers, 1951-2000. IV. Teaching Materials, 1968-1975. V. Printed Materials, 1963-2015 and undated. VI. Computer and Audiovisual Media, 1934-2015 and undated.


43.5 Linear Feet (83 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The Phillip Lopate papers consists of correspondence, writings, personal papers, teaching files, printed materials, and audiovisual and computer media documenting Lopate's career as a writer, critic, and university instructor. Materials date from circa 1951 to 2015.

Phillip Lopate (1943-)

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943, Phillip Lopate is the author of works of fiction, poetry, personal and literary essays, and film criticism. He is also the editor of several anthologies. Lopate received a B.A. from Columbia College of Columbia University in New York City in 1964 and his Ph.D. in English Education from Union Graduate School, in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1979. He has received various fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. Lopate began his career as Project Director of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative in Manhattan, providing instruction to elementary school children in poetry and fiction writing, among other topics. After twelve years, he transitioned into higher education, holding teaching positions and professorships at institutions such as Hofstra University, Fordham University, New York University, and the University of Houston. He currently teaches nonfiction writing at Columbia’s School of the Arts. Lopate’s notable works include his memoir, Being With Children (1975), his essay collections Bachelorhood (1981), Getting Personal (2003), and The Rug Merchant (1987), a work of fiction.

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, indicated by brackets.

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 Phillip Lopate Papers
by Emily Komornik
February 2021
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

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.