Skip to main content

Alfred Corn papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 605

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, writings, photographs, audiovisual material, computer disks, and printed material, documenting aspects of Alfred Corn's work as a poet and writer as well as his relationships with other poets and writers.


  • 1948 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 14, 43 and 48 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 43A and 52 (computer disks): Original computer disks are restricted. Copies of electronic files are available through Access Services.

Conditions Governing Use

The Alfred Corn Papers are 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 Alfred Corn, 1991-2011, and Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 2007-2017.


Organized into fourteen groupings: I. July 1991 Acquisition, 1964-1988. II. September 1996 Acquisition, undated. III. April 1999 Acquisition, 1996-1998, undated. IV. April 1999 Acquisition, undated. V. November 2003 Acquisition, 1968-1989. VI. September 2004 Acquisition, 1969-2001. VII. September 2004 Acquisition, undated.VIII. September 2004 Acquisition, undated. IX. October 2007 Acquisition, 1994-2007. X. November 2010 Acquisition, 1948-2010. XI. August 2011 Acquisition, 1984-1990. XII. January 2012 Acquisition, 1989-1999. XIII. October 2015 Acquisition, 2007-2013; Series XIV. December 2017 Acquisition, 1994-2017.

Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time.

Researchers should note that material within each acquisition overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other acquisitions. For instance, correspondence and writings can be found in most, if not all, of the groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.

Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the library.


46 Linear Feet (65 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The collection consists of correspondence, writings, photographs, audiovisual material, and printed material, documenting aspects of Alfred Corn's work as a poet and writer as well as his relationships with other poets and writers.

Alfred Corn (1943-)

Alfred Corn was born in Bainbridge, Georgia, in 1943. He received his B.A. in French Literature from Emory University in 1965 and his M.A. in French Literature from Columbia University in 1967. His books of poetry include: All Roads at Once (1976), A Call in the Midst of the Crowd (1978), The Various Light (1980), Notes from a Child of Paradise (1984), The West Door (1988), Autobiographies (1992), Present (1997), and Contradictions (2002). His other published books include a novel, Part of His Story (1997), a collection of critical essays, The Metamorphoses of Metaphor (1989), a study of prosody, The Poem's Heartbeat (1997), and a work of art criticism, Aaron Rose Photographs (2001). Corn has also been a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and The Nation, and has written art criticism for Art in America and ARTnews magazines.

General note

This finding aid describes a collection that has been acquired by the library in discrete segments over time. The narrative sections of the finding aid provide information about the content and context of the collection. The Collection Contents section provides a general description and in some instances a box or folder listing of the various acquisitions of the collection. The Processing Notes section provides information about the way and extent to which the library has processed this collection. The Arrangement section provides information about how material within this collection is organized and tips on how to locate material across various acquisitions.

General note

This collection has multiple call numbers. To page materials, please submit the Uncat call number for the appropriate acquisition along with the desired box number.

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, and competing priorities. 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. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below and titled according to month and year of acquisition.

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 collection includes materials previously identified by the following call numbers: Uncat ZA MS 204, Uncat ZA MS 498, Uncat ZA MS 615, Uncat MSS 84, Uncat MSS 434, Uncat MSS 713, Uncat MSS 738, Uncat MSS 783, and Uncat MSS 979.

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 Alfred Corn Papers
by Beinecke staff
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.