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James Joyce collection

Call Number: GEN MSS 112

Scope and Contents

The James Joyce collection formed by Mr. John J. Slocum consists of letters to, by and about Joyce, manuscripts of his writings, clippings, photographs, printed books and pamphlets. The collection is described in A Bibliography of James Joyce by John J. Slocum and Herbert Cahoon, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1953. The Slocum Joyce collection was acquired by Yale in 1951. A part of it was given by Eileen and John J. Slocum; the remainder was given by Edwin J. Beinecke, '07, and Frederick W. Beinecke, '09S. No record was kept of which portion was given by which donor. Subsequent additions to the Joyce collection have been made by purchase, and by gift from John Hay Whitney, Mrs. Herbert Gorman, Herbert Cahoon, and other friends of the Library. The sources of these additions are noted in the register. The manuscript of "Exiles" is the gift of Mrs. Milton Erlanger.

Series I, Correspondence (1900-52), is organized into four subseries: Letters by James Joyce is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the recipient; Letters to James Joyce is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author of the letter; Letters about James Joyce is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author and then by the last name of the recipient; Letters About the Publication of Joyce's Works is arranged chronologically. (In the process of writing their bibliography, John Slocum and Herbert Cahoon corresponded with a number of Joyce's friends and relatives. This correspondence is listed in Series IV.) Throughout the list, "ALS" is used to cover all autograph, signed, material. No distinction is made between a postal card and a letter. "TLS" is used for all typed, signed, material. "P" indicates one side of a sheet; if the item is a postal card, "p" indicates one side of the card. Numbers from the Slocum and Cahoon Bibliography (e.g., S & C: E 17 b x) are given where applicable.

Series II, Writings (1903-55), is organized into the following subseries: Manuscripts, Typescripts and Proofs of works by James Joyce (Boxes 3-6) are arranged alphabetically by title. (Parts of works are entered under the title of the whole, e.g., "Anna Livia Plurabelle" is to be found under Finnegans Wake.); Musical Settings and Adaptations of works by James Joyce (Boxes 7-8) are arranged by Slocum Cahoon number; Manuscripts, Typescripts and Proofs of Works About James Joyce (Box 8) are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author and then alphabetically by title. (Similar material relating to the Slocum and Cahoon Bibliography may be found in Series IV.) Slocum and Cahoon numbers are noted where applicable. Dates are given only when the piece itself is dated. Publication dates are not noted.

Series III, Special Files (1884-1969), is organized into the following subseries: Clippings About James Joyce (Boxes 9-13); Clippings About Members of Joyce's Family (Box 13); Clippings About Works by James Joyce (Box 21); Clippings About Stage, Screen and Musical Adaptations of Works by James Joyce (Box 21); Clippings and Reviews of Works about James Joyce (Boxes 21-22); Lecture Programs, Menus and Recital Programs for Events in which James Joyce took part (Box 22); Programs and Prospecti for Lectures and Classes about James Joyce (Box 22); Photographs and Other Pictures of James Joyce and his family (Box 23); Clippings About Portraits of James Joyce (Box 23); Clippings About People Associated with James Joyce (Boxes 23-24); Clippings About Places Associated with James Joyce (Box 24): Legal documents, Miscellanea (Box 24).

In boxes 9-22, the Clippings are arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically. The Lecture programs, etc. (Box 22) are arranged alphabetically by the name of the sponsoring body. Photographs (Box 23) is arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically. Reference is made by page number to illustration published in Chester G. Anderson's James Joyce and his World, (New York Viking 1968). [Two original negatives accompanied this collection for prints in folders 448 and 449. These are stored separately.] Clippings About People Associated with Joyce, in Box 23, are arranged alphabetically by the name of the artist, by subject or by place. In Box 24, the Legal Miscellenea is arranged as prescriptions, diplomas and contracts, in that order.

Series IV, Slocum and Cahoon Material (1931-1966), is organized into five subseries: Correspondence (Boxes 25-29); Exhibitions in which Slocum Collection material appeared (Box 30); James Joyce Society material (Box 31); Notes and Miscellaneous Lists made for the Bibliography (Boxes 31-33); Publication details for the Bibliography (Box 34).

Correspondence contains letters to and by John Slocum, Herbert Cahoon, and R.F. Roberts in the preparation of A Bibliography of James Joyce. The letters are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the person corresponding with these three men. The last name of Slocum, Cahoon or Roberts is also given. Dates are given by year only, and the number of letters includes both letters by and letters to Slocum, Cahoon or Roberts. (e. g., "Abbott, Berenice 1947 1 Slocum" indicates that one letter passed between Berenice Abbott and Slocum in 1947.) Exhibition material (Box 30) includes correspondence about, and lists and photographs of exhibitions in which Slocum Collection material appeared. The Paris exhibition material is in Folder 1. Other exhibitions are arranged alphabetically by sponsoring body. Box 30 also contains bylaws, speeches, and correspondence (correspondence arranged as in Boxes 1-9) in that order. The Pubication Material in Box 34 contains correspondence, contracts, typescripts, and proofs, in that order.

Series V, Slocum and Cahoon Material (1967-1993), contains miscellaneous materials collected at the Beinecke Library after the collection was originally processed. It consists of three subseries each arranged alphabetically: Correspondence; Other Material; and Writings About Joyce.

Series VI, Material Removed From Cataloged Printed Items, contains materials which were removed from printed items when a group of Slocum and Cahoon was cataloged in 1998.


  • 1884-1993

Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in English. Some items in French and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted Fragile Papers are negatives in cold storage and may only be consulted with the permission of the appropriate curator. Photographic prints are available in the main file.

Conditions Governing Use

The James Joyce Collection 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

Acquired by gift and purchase from various sources, 1951-. For further information, please see Description of the Collection.

Associated Materials

Printed books have been cataloged separately.


24.7 Linear Feet (41 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The James Joyce Collection contains letters, manuscripts, musical settings and printed materials relating to the life and work of James Joyce, including correspondence and research materials used in the compilation of A Bibliography of James Joyce by Herbert Cahoon and John J. Slocum.

Processing Information

This finding aid, created before the advent of computer-generated files has been converted into a ASCII data file by means of scanning and Optical Character Recognition software. While attempts have been made to retain the complete information from the original document a number of format changes have been made to present the structure of this archive in accordance with current practice. Additional changes were made in 2021 to make the description compatible with current systems.

In August, 1998, a group of manuscript materials identified during the cataloging of the printed portion of the Joyce collection was incorporated into this register. These materials include: Box 6, folders 139a-b (printed pages, corrected of "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"); Box 6, folders 142a-p (Reviews and Articles), and the entirety of Series VI, Material removed from cataloged printed items.

Guide to the James Joyce Collection
by Beinecke Staff
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2010-02-10: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.
  • 2007-08-13: beinecke.joyce.xml converted for compliance with Yale EAD Best Practice Guidelines with brbl-migrate-01.xsl (mr2007-08-13).
  • 2007-07-26: PUBLIC "-//Yale University::Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library//TEXT (US::CtYBR::::[JAMES JOYCE COLLECTION ])//EN" "joyce.xml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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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.