Scope and Contents
Series I, Correspondence , mainly contains letters to Davie, although there are also some drafts of letters from him. The letters are from poets, literary critics, and publishers. The letters discuss the literary world, the academic environment, Davie's writing, and the writing of others. Correspondents include Michael J. Alexander, Massimo Bacigalupo, Martin Dodsworth, Reginald Gibbons, Thom Gunn, Eva Hesse, Angela Livingstone, Samuel Menashe, George Oppen, Robert Pinsky, Michael Schmidt, C. H. Sisson, and Clive Wilmer, among others. Some of the letters (for example, those from Janet Lewis) are also addressed to Doreen Davie. There are three files of correspondence regarding the Yeats International Summer School.
Series II, Writings , is organized into seven subseries: Articles, Books, Lectures, Poems, Reviews, Other Writings, and Writings of Others. The first subseries, Articles, contains holograph and typescript drafts, as well as printed versions, of articles by Davie. Topics range from poetry and literary criticism to memorials of other authors and comments on Davie's role in society. The second subseries, Books, contains research materials, drafts, and clipping of reviews for books by Davie. Included are drafts for Essex Poems, 1963-67, Kenneth Allott and the Thirties, The Psalms in English, Purity of Diction in English Verse, and Thomas Hardy and British Poetry, among others.
The third subseries, Lectures, contains holograph and typescript drafts of lectures that Davie gave on poetry and literary criticism from 1969 to 1992. Most of the lectures were given at universities; there are also two lectures from the Yeats International Summer School, and one lecture for radio. The fourth subseries, Poems, contains holograph and typescript drafts of poems by Davie. They are arranged alphabetically by title (there is one file of untitled poems); most are undated. There is also a scrapbook that contains clippings of poems published by Davie. Any poems that were arranged by Davie as a draft for a book of poetry are filed in the subseries, Books.
The fifth subseries, Reviews, contains reviews by Davie of books by other poets and literary critics. If the review has a title, it is filed under that title; if there is no title, it is filed under the last name of the author of the book being reviewed. Some of the reviews are holograph and typescript drafts; others are printed versions. The sixth subseries, Other Writings, contains six letters to editors of newspapers and journals; Davie's doctoral dissertation, "The English Idea of Russian Fiction Since 1828"; translations by Davie of poems by others; and editorials that Davie wrote for Poetry Nation Review from 1977 to 1981. The seventh subseries, Writings of Others, contains writings by other poets and literary critics, including Geoffrey Hill, Michael Schmidt, Charles Tomlinson, and Yvor Winters, among others. Some of the writings are typescript drafts; others are printed versions.
Series III, Journals and Notebooks , is arranged chronologically. The journals and notebooks are all written in Davie's hand in volumes; most were given volume numbers and were dated by Davie. Some of the volumes contain drafts of writings by Davie, such as poems and articles. Other volumes contain Davie's notes for his writings (for example, on Ezra Pound), as well as his notes on the writings of others. The series spans the years 1947 to 1995.
Series IV, Other Papers , is organized into two subseries: Personal Papers, and Subject Files. Personal Papers contains biographical material about Davie, including clippings, two interviews, an article he wrote for Contemporary Authors, and a photograph of members of the Davie family. There is also some information about a photography exhibition in 1985 by Doreen Davie. Subject Files contains a few files of clippings, notes, and printed versions of articles, mainly about literary people. There are also files about the Poetry International conference in 1967, and the Yeats International Summer School. (Correspondence for the latter is located in Series I, box 8, folders 366-368).
- 1926 - 2005
- Majority of material found within 1970 - 1990
Conditions Governing Access
Box 30 (correspondence from Charles Tomlinson): Restricted during the lifetime of Charles Tomlinson.
Boxes 31-32: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Box 45 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
June 2013 Acquisition: purchased from Anthony Garnett on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2013.
24.68 Linear Feet ((45 boxes) + 5 broadside folders)
Language of Materials
Donald Davie (1922-1995)
- Alexander, Michael J.
- Bacigalupo, Massimo, 1947-
- Critics -- England
- Critics -- England -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Davie, Donald, 1922-1995
- Dodsworth, Martin
- Gibbons, Reginald, 1947-
- Gunn, Thom, 1929-
- Hesse, Eva, 1936-1970
- Lewis, Janet, 1899-1998
- Livingstone, Angela, 1934-
- Menashe, Samuel, 1925-2011
- Oppen, George, 1908-1984
- Pinsky, Robert, 1940-
- Poets -- England
- Poets, English -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Schmidt, Michael, 1947-
- Sisson, C. H. (Charles Hubert), 1914-2003
- Wilmer, Clive, 1945-
- Yeats International Summer School
- Guide to the Donald Davie Papers
- Under Revision
- by Miriam B. Spectre
- September 1998
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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