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Irish Poetry and Literature Resources


Below is a catalogue of some of the most significant collections the Rose Library holds related to Irish writers across fiction, theatre, publishing, and criticism, including various collections acquired at different times concerning the same author.


Samuel Beckett collection, 1955-1996, .5 linear feet

The Samuel Beckett collection contains handbills, playbills, programs, ticket stubs, articles and artwork spanning the years 1955-1996. Many of the items are from United Kingdom production's of Beckett's dramatic work.


Maeve Brennan papers, 1948-1981, 2.75 linear feet 

The collection consists of some papers of Maeve Brennan from 1948-1981 including personal papers, writings by Brennan and others, and printed material. Personal papers contain correspondence, financial records, notebooks, and photographs. Correspondence is primarily of a personal nature and includes letters from Howard Moss and Ray A. Roberts, as well as Christmas cards and letters from other friends and associates. Financial records in the collectiondocument Brennan's tax problems in the middle 1960s, in addition to regular expenses from the same period. The bulk of the collection consists of drafts of Brennan's short stories, along with proofs from her publications in The New Yorker and drafts of her novella, The Visitor. Many folders include evidence of Brennan's drafting process, from handwritten or typed notes and ideas to fully drafted versions of stories. Drafts include extensive revisions, either in Brennan's hand or typed and taped over the original text. There are a few writings by others, which were sent to Brennan for her review. Printed material contains Brennan's publications in The New Yorker, New York City restaurant menus, event fliers, programs, and other items primarily relating to New York City. The collection is non-comprehensive and there are significant gaps since most of Brennan's personal belongings were lost, destroyed, given away, or stolen during her later life.


Edna O'Brien papers, circa 1939-2000, 50 linear feet 

The collection consists of the literary and personal papers of Irish born author Edna O'Brien from 1939-2000. The bulk of the collection consists of drafts of O'Brien's writings including drafts of her novels, poetry, and short stories. Also present are extensive files of personal and literary correspondence including letters from Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, John Osborne, Woody Allen, Robert Graves, Ted Hughes, Saul Bellow, Jacqueline Onassis, Quentin Bell, Sir Ian McKellen, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, and John Major. The collection also includes writings by others (including Harold Pinter), subject files, collected printed material either by or about O'Brien, audiovisual material, and ephemera.


Cuala Press collection, 1908-1969, .25 linear feet

The collection consists of material concerning Cuala Press. The majority of the collection contains hand colored greeting cards printed at the Cuala Press from ca. 1908-1969. The cards are illustrated, embellished with text, and numbered. The collection also includes a letter from George Russell to a Yeats family member concerning the publication of a number of poems.


Seamus Deane papers 1960-2016, 9.75 linear feet 

The collection consists of the papers of Irish poet and educator Seamus Deane. It contains correspondence, writings by Deane and others, journals, printed material, and financial records. Writings by Deane include drafts of his novel Reading in the Dark; essays on Irish literature, politics, and history; short pieces on Irish and other writers; drafts of poems, many of which are unpublished or uncollected; and notebooks, which include reading notesand drafts of prose and poetry. Writings by others include works by Brian Friel, Colum McCann, and Thomas Kilroy. The collection also contains materials relating to Seamus Heaney's work, particularly a draft of his 1975 poetry collection North. Significant correspondents include Denis Donoghue, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kinsella, Michael and Evelyn Longley, Medbh McGuckian, Derek Mahon, and Tom Paulin.


Martha Dow Fehsenfeld collection of Samuel Beckett letters, 1946-1982, .5 linear

The collection consists of letters written to Samuel Beckett, with response in his own hand, from 1946-1982. These letters are of primary concern to his writings and the production of his plays. Beckett gave the letters to Martha Dow Fehsenfeld.

The majority of the correspondence is between Beckett and a variety of editors, publishers, literary agents, producers, and directors in Germany, France, Great Britain, the United States and Canada. Becketttypically drafted his replies on the back or in the margins of the original letters and many incoming letters in this collection feature such annotations. Beckett's notes are often lengthy and address significant questions regarding his plays, their performances, and his publications. Correspondents represented in the collection include John Barber, Kitty Black, Spencer Curtis Brown, Rosica Colin, Margaret McLaren, and Siegfried Unseld among others.


R.F. Foster papers, 1966-2014, 45.25 linear feet 

The collection consists of the papers of Irish scholar, Robert F. Foster, from 1966-2014, including correspondence, writings by both Foster and others, and printed material, including documents relating to the Irish Troubles. There is a significant amount of material relating to Foster’s biography of William Butler Yeats, including correspondence with publishers and annotated drafts of manuscripts, particularly The Apprentice Mage and The Arch Poet. Printed material includes newspaper, magazine clippings, and articles.


John Wilson Foster papers, 1965-2018, 36 linear feet

The collection consists of the papers of John Wilson Foster from 1973-2003. The papers include writings, correspondence, photographs, printed material, and writings by others. Writings by Foster include drafts of his critical work in addition to some original poetry. Also included are correspondence from and writings by many Irish writers, such as Seamus Heaney, Benedict Kiely, Philip Hobsbaum, Ciaran Carson, Gerald Dawe, Michael Longley, James Simmons, and others. The collection also includes correspondence and printed material relating to several conferences and summer programs, in addition to the publication of the Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature (Foster served as a contributing editor for this publication). Additions consist of additional writings by Foster and subject files he compiled while researching his numerous books. Subject files concern the literature, culture, and politics of Ireland and Northern Ireland; the natural history of Northern Ireland; the Passenger Pigeon; and the Titanic. Additions also include some audiovisual material.


Brian Friel collection, 1966-1991, .5 linear feet

The Brian Friel collection documents Friel’s work from 1966 to 1991. The collection includes a single typescript of The Loves of Cass McGuire, numerous articles about Friel and reviews of his plays, theater programs and promotional posters, an undated photograph of Friel, and an original cartoon of Friel by Martyn Turner for The Irish Times. In addition, the collection includes printed material relating to the Field Day Theatre Company and PublishingHouse.


Maud Gonne collection, circa 1870-1978, 2.5 linear feet

This collection includes letters, interviews, research materials, and photographs related to Maud Gonne. Included are ten letters by Maud Gonne written between 1902 and 1950 in which she discusses her marriage to Major John MacBride, her feelings for W.B. Yeats, and other subjects. Also present are four letters from her father, Thomas Gonne, written while serving in India. Among the photographs included in this collection are twelve photographs ofMaud Gonne dating from her childhood through old age; other family members represented in photographs include her sister, Kathleen, and her husband, John MacBride.

The collection also includes extensive research files compiled by Professor Conrad Balliet in the course of his research into Maud Gonne, Olivia Shakespear, and W.B. Yeats. These files contain genealogical records collected by Professor Balliet, consisting of copies of birth, baptism, marriage, and death certificates for a number of Gonne and MacBride family members. Finally, the collection also includes a number of interviews conducted by Professor Balliet in the 1970s with family members and friends of Maud Gonne.


Gregory family papers, 1770-1956, 25 linear feet 

The Gregory family papers contain correspondence, manuscript and printed documents, financial records, printed material and original literary works dating from 1770 to 1956. The collection is divided into seven series. The series and subseries descriptions may be found at the beginning of each series within the collection. Series 1 contains the papers of Robert Gregory (1727-1810). These largely reflect his affiliation with the East India Companyduring the 1770's and 1780's. Series 2 contain the papers of William Gregory (1762-1840). These include official correspondence from 1799 to 1835 regarding his tenure as Civil-Undersecretary for Ireland.

Series 3 contains the papers of Robert Gregory (1790-1847) and Elizabeth O'Hara Gregory (1799-1875). These are mostly financial papers concerning both the Gregory and O'Hara families. Letters from W.H. Gregory to Elizabeth Gregory are contained in Series 4. Series 4 comprise the papers of Sir William Henry Gregory (1817-1892). These include correspondence from 1833-1892, drafts of his speeches in Parliament, financial and personal papers, and printed material.

Series 5 contain the papers of Lady Augusta Gregory. These include correspondence with family members, general correspondence, manuscript and typescripts of her writings, financial papers, and printed material from the 1880's to the 1930's. Series 6 contains the papers of William Robert Gregory (1881-1918) and Margaret Gregory. These include some correspondence and financial papers. Series 7 contains miscellaneous family materials.


John Moore Bram Stoker collection, 1707-2018 [bulk 1878-1980], 15.5 linear feet 

The collection consists of material acquired by John Moore documenting the life and works of Bram Stoker from 1707-2020. It includes letters; Bram Stoker writings and Lyceum Theatre business records; photographs, artwork, and audiovisual material; printed material; memorabilia; Dracula derivatives and Stoker scholarship; and papers of John Moore documenting his collecting activities. Letters in the collection contain missives from Stoker; his wife, Florence; his brother, Tom; his close friend, Hall Caine; Lyceum Theatre actors, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry; and other members of Stoker's social and professional circles. Bram Stoker writings and Lyceum Theatre business records include typescripts of writings by Stoker as well as a ledger of returns from a run of Othello at the Lyceum Theatre in 1881. Photographs depict Stoker, Irving, Terry, and Cain, as well as numerous Stoker family members. Printed material includes numerous playbills and programs for theatrical adaptations of Dracula and productions of plays at the Lyceum Theatre (London, England) starring Irvin and Terry. There are also numerous film posters, lobby cards, and pressbooks promoting film adaptations of Dracula and subsequent films featuring the Dracula character, as well as other Hammer (England) and Universal (United States) horror films, along with memorabilia and audiovisual material relating to film and television versions of Dracula.

Note: Some items from this collection can be viewed digitally, including a handwritten manuscript of Lady of the Shroud vol 1 and vol 2.


John Reilly Samuel Beckett audiovisual material, circa 1965-1993, 2 linear feet

The collection consists of 431 sound and video recordings of John Reilly's footage for documentaries with his organization, Global Village Video about Irish author Samuel Beckett. The recordings are the raw material for Reilly's works Waiting for Beckett and Peephole Art-Samuel Beckett. Included in these recordings are Beckett's plays: Endwords, Eh Joe, Krapp's Last Tape, Its Beginning to its End, and Waiting for Godot performed at San Quentin prison(California). There are interviews with actors and other notables such as Chris O'Neill, Walter Asmus, Bill Irwin, Steve Martin, John Miksak, Raymond Federman, and Edward Albee, as well as Beckett biographer Hames Knowlson. The collection also contains transcripts of some of the video and audio recordings as well as scripts for the documentaries.


Irish literary miscellany collection, circa 1943-1998, .5 linear feet

The Irish literary miscellany collection is composed of individual items or small groups of items from various sources that do not relate directly to any of the division's other Irish literary collections. Materials include correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, theatre programs, and Belfast Group worksheets.