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William S. Reese Collection of Robert Graves

Call Number: GEN MSS 1137

Scope and Contents

Papers relating to English author Robert Graves and his literary and social circle, collected by William S. Reese. The papers contain correspondence, 1916-1987 and undated, most autograph letters, signed, from Graves to correspondents including Desmond Flower, Dorothy and Ward Hutchinson, Violet and Walter McCormack, W. S. Merwin, Albert R. Mills, Frank Sanders, Siegfried Sassoon, Martin Secker, and other literary colleagues, friends, and family, with third-party correspondence about Graves, including letters from Beryl Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, and Laura (Riding) Jackson; autograph manuscript poems, 1920s-1960s; drafts, proofs, and correspondence relating to his novel An Ancient Castle, 1980-1981; a galley proof for Old Soldier Sahib, a memoir by Frank Richards, 1936; photographs of Graves, 1917-1934 and undated; a watercolor caricature of Graves by Sassoon, 1926; other correspondence and ephemera removed from books owned or inscribed by Graves, 1920s-1930s and undated; a storage box owned by a literary agent of Graves, undated; and exhibit labels for "Robert Graves: A Centennial Exhibition," curated by Reese at the Grolier Club, 1995.


  • 1916-1987
  • Majority of material found within 1920 - 1980


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The William S. Reese Collection of Robert Graves 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 William S. Reese (Yale 1977), 2002 and 2015; gift of James Arsenault in memory of William S. Reese; and purchased from William S. Reese on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2002-2010.


Organized into four groupings: September and November 2002 Acquisitions; September 2002 Acquisition Addition; March 2010 Acquisition; and Other Acquisitions.


2.89 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

Robert Graves (1895-1985)

Robert Graves, English poet and author.

William S. Reese (1955-)

William S. Reese (Yale 1977), rare book and manuscript collector and vendor; founded the William Reese Company, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1975.

Processing Information

Former call numbers: Uncat MSS 381, Uncat MSS 584, Uncat MSS 1235. In 2014, the collection received a baseline level of processing, including partial rehousing and minimal organization. The collection was reclassed under one call number, materials were organized by acquisition, and containers were renumbered in a single sequence. Most folder titles were based on information provided by the donor and vendor, while some were assigned by Library staff. Folder titles were not verified against contents.

Guide to the William S. Reese Collection of Robert Graves
by Karen Spicher
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.