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Coburn Britton papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 650

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, writings, and personal papers documenting the life and literary activities of American poet and publisher Coburn Britton. The correspondence features a nearly three-decade long exchange between Britton and Jack Sullivan, some of which was compiled and published as Letters from Jack: Sex & Hell in Backwoods Maine (1997). In addition, there are small groups of correspondence with others, including Glenway Wescott, Edward Dahlberg, and Lincoln Kirstein, dating chiefly from the 1970s, as well as approximately 150 postcards from graphic artist Willyum Rowe, with whom Britton collaborated on An ABeCedarium for Poets and Readers (1989). Many if not most of the postcards from Rowe are decorated, for example, with cutouts and stamps, providing a large group of postcard mail art from the period. Writings include printed versions of Britton's Second Seasons (1982), Lesser Goods and Other Poems (1987), and An ABeCedarium for Poets and Readers (1989), and drafts of the later Adrian Sonnets (1995) and shorter works. Others materials include photographs of family and friends, printed materials, and documents.

Dates

  • 1919 - 1997

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Coburn Britton 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

Gift of Elizabeth Harries, 2002.

Arrangement

Organized into one grouping by date of acquisition: June 2002 Acqusition.

Extent

3.91 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.britton

Overview

The collection contains correspondence, writings, and personal papers documenting the life and literary activities of American poet and publisher Coburn Britton. The correspondence features a nearly three-decade long exchange between Britton and Jack Sullivan, some of which was compiled and published as Letters from Jack: Sex & Hell in Manhattan and Backwoods Maine (2002). In addition, there are small groups of correspondence with others, including Glenway Wescott, Edward Dahlberg, and Lincoln Kirstein, dating chiefly from the 1970s, as well as approximately 150 postcards from graphic artist Willyum Rowe, with whom Britton collaborated on An ABeCedarium for Poets and Readers (1989). Many if not most of the postcards from Rowe are decorated, for example, with cutouts and stamps, providing a large group of postcard or mail art from the period. Writings include printed versions of Britton's Second Seasons (1982), Lesser Goods and Other Poems (1987), and An ABeCedarium for Poets and Readers (1989), and drafts of the later Adrian Sonnets (1995) and shorter works. Others materials include photographs of family and friends, printed materials, and documents.

Coburn Haskell Britton (1935-1997)

Coburn Britton was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Mr. and Mrs. Brigham Britton of Bratenahl, Ohio. He attended University School, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, Yale University, and Trinity College, Dublin, as a Fulbright scholar, before settling in New York City. Britton was an editor at Doubleday and Company and co-publisher of Horizon Press in the 1960s and then founder of the magazine Prose in 1970. After closing the magazine in 1974 he divided his time between writing poetry and tending to his farm in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Britton's works include Second Seasons (1982), Lesser Goods and Other Poems (1987), An ABeCedarium for Poets and Readers (1989), and Adrian Sonnets (1995). He died 26 November 1997 in Lebanon, New Jersey.

Biographical information taken from "Paid Notice: Deaths BRITTON, COBURN." New York Times 29 Nov. 1997. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and in some instances minimal organization.

As a rule, descriptive information found in the Collection Contents section is drawn in large part 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 finding aid may be updated to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Former call number: Uncat MSS 377.
Title
Guide to the Coburn Britton Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
2012-10-09
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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