The Delmore Schwartz Papers document the life and work of the writer, editor, and teacher Delmore Schwartz. The papers consist of writings, notebooks, correspondence, professional and personal papers, photographs, drawings, clippings, personal effects, and printed material spanning the years 1906-1975, with the bulk of the material dating from the period 1926-1966.
The papers primarily document Schwartz's life as a writer, including drafts of poems, stories, essays, reviews, criticism, lectures, other writings, and writings of others. His erratic creative process is revealed through the drafts of writings: at times he was focused, working on holograph and typescript drafts of poems and stories methodically, and other times he filled pages with nearly illegible handwriting and overlapping sentence fragments. Among the writings of others is Schwartz's copy of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, of which every page contains his dense annotations. Schwartz's notebooks span two decades and document his increasingly troubled mind and frantic writings, containing a hybrid of writing drafts and personal diary entries.
The papers also include correspondence with friends and colleagues, revealing his intimate but often troubled friendships, professional relationships, and two marriages. Professional and personal papers of Schwartz relate to his divorces from Gertrude Buckman and Elizabeth Pollet, his lawsuit against Hilton Kramer, and his teaching and finances, and include drawings, clippings, and other papers. Clippings and other printed material contains published writings on Schwartz, but the bulk of it is articles of interest to Schwartz. The papers also contain photographs of Schwartz, his family and friends, and literary events.