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Eleanor Clark papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 315

Scope and Contents

The Eleanor Clark Papers consists of writings, correspondence, and personal papers documenting the life and work of the writer Eleanor Clark. Writings include work spanning over fifty years, from short stories and poems written and published while Clark was a undergraduate at Vassar in the early 1930s to the late fiction and non-fiction of the 1980s. The writings feature notes, drafts, proofs, and printed materials relating to Clark's published works of fiction and non-fiction, from drafts of what would become Baldur's Gate, dating from the mid 1930s, to drafts of her last novel, Camping Out (1986). In addition, there are drafts and printed versions of numerous published and unpublished shorter works, including short stories, essays, poems, plays, speeches, readings, and book reviews.

Correspondence in the collection consists chiefly of incoming letters from family, friends, writers, editors and publishers, and educational and cultural institutions. Larger correspondence files may be found for Clark's husband, Robert Penn Warren, her mother, her two children, Gabriel and Rosanna Warren, and Louis MacNeice, Katherine Anne Porter, and Muriel Rukeyser, among others. Other noteworthy correspondents include authors W.H. Auden, Saul Bellow, Hermann Broch, Albert Camus, John Cheever, Robert Fitzgerald, Elsa Morante, Eudora Welty, Glenway Wescott, and Thornton Wilder. There are also files of correspondence, including fan mail and letters from publishers, relating to published works.

Other materials include college papers, journals, and notebooks.


  • 1876 - 1996
  • Majority of material found within 1933 - 1986


Language of Materials

Chiefly in English; some materials in Italian and French.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted Fragile papers in boxes 52-53 may be consulted only with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies or photographic prints for reference use have been substituted in the main files.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm available through Access Services.

Conditions Governing Use

The Eleanor Clark 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

The Eleanor Clark Papers was acquired through purchase and gifts. The bulk of the collection was acquired through purchase from Eleanor Clark in 1988. Additional materials were added to the collection through gifts from the following: Eleanor Clark in 1994 and 1996; Rosanna Warren in 2005, 2007, and 2022; and Gabriel Warren in 2013.


The collection is organized into five series: I. Writings, 1915-1993. II. Correspondence, 1876-1988. III. Personal Papers, 1881-1988. IV. October 2013 acquisition, 1876-1988. V. May 2022 acquisition, 1881-1996.


43.93 Linear Feet ((66 boxes) + 2 broadside)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The Eleanor Clark Papers consists of writings, correspondence, and other materials documenting the life and work of the writer Eleanor Clark.

Eleanor Clark (1913-1996)

Eleanor Clark was the author of critically acclaimed novels and non-fictional works from the mid 1940s to mid 1980s, as well as short fiction, essays, poems, and plays. Novels included Bitter Box (1946), Baldur's Gate (1970), Gloria Mundi (1979), and Camping Out (1986). Non-fictional works included the travel narratives Rome and a Villa (1952) and Oysters of Locmariaquer (1965), which won the National Book Award, and the memoir Eyes, Etc. (1977).

Eleanor Clark was born July 6, 1913, in Los Angeles, California, raised in Roxbury, Connecticut, and educated at Vassar. She worked as a freelance writer, editor, and translator in the mid 1930s and as an editor for W.W. Norton & Company in New York from 1936 to 1939. Clark married Robert Penn Warren on December 7, 1952.

Summary information on Eleanor Clark is available in the standard print and online biographical resources.

Processing Information

The Eleanor Clark Papers contains material formerly classed as Uncat ZA MS 68, Uncat ZA MS 410, Uncat ZA MS 479, Uncat MSS 845, and Uncat ZA File 711.

Guide to the Eleanor Clark Papers
by Michael L. Forstrom
November 4, 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • Revised: September 2020: October 2013 acquisition
  • Revised: October 2023: May 2022 acquisition

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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


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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.