Guide to the Robert Creeley Ephemera

EPH 5009


Collection Summary

Title: Robert Creeley ephemera
Dates: 1951-2005
Collection No.: EPH 5009
Creator: Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005
Extent: 7 containers plus 1 (F4) storage drawer plus 1 rolled storage item; 8.8 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A collection of non-book material, much of it printed ephemera, acquired with the University's purchase of the 6000-volume personal library of the American poet Robert Creeley. The collection includes printed mailings and other announcements, periodical issues, broadsides, and posters, as well as photographs, photocopied texts of various kinds, and a small manuscript component.

Selected Search Terms

Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005 -- Correspondence
Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005 -- Criticism and interpretation
American Literature -- 20th Century
American Poetry -- 20th Century
Poets, American

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Robert Creeley Ephemera, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The materials included in the present finding aid were acquired with the University's purchase of the personal library of Robert Creeley, from Granary Books of New York in 2010-12. Arranged and described 2012, by Joel Duncan. Finding aid 2012, by Joel Duncan.

Biographical Note

The American poet Robert White Creeley was born in Arlington, Massachusetts in 1926, and attended Harvard University before receiving his B.A. from Black Mountain College in 1955. He went on to receive his M.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1960. Creeley began teaching at Albuquerque Academy in the late 1950s, and in 1967 joined the English faculty at the University of Buffalo. He stayed there until 2003, when he took a post at Brown University.

Creeley edited The Black Mountain Review (1954-1957), and developed a lasting relationship with Charles Olson, as well as other major poets of his generation. Creeley and Olson's complete correspondence fills ten volumes published by Black Sparrow Press. Creeley is primarily known as a poet, publishing thirty volumes of verse since 1952. His Collected Poems (1982, 2006) are published in two volumes by the University of California Press. His Collected Prose (2001) is published by Dalkey Archive Press.

Creeley married three times, first to Ann MacKinnon, with whom he had four children (one dying at birth). He met his second wife, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, while teaching in New Mexico. They had three daughters together. After twenty years they divorced, in 1976, the same year Creeley met his third wife, Penelope Highton, while travelling in New Zealand. They had two children together. Creeley died in 2005 in Odessa, Texas, of complications resulting from lung disease.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes some 240 non-book items acquired with the purchase of Creeley's 6000-volume personal library (2010-12). Much of the collection is printed ephemera, most notably fliers and other announcements, periodical issues, pamphlets, broadsides, and posters. There are also photocopies of typescripts and other texts, photographic prints, and some manuscripts, mostly in the form of incoming correspondence. Much of the printed matter was received by Creeley through the mails, sometimes with an attendent letter or note. Among the letters are examples written by the poet Basil Bunting and the painter R. B. Kitaj. The collection of broadsides is extensive, and includes works by Creeley and other notable authors; many bear signatures. There is also a large 1968/69 calendar of broadsides by Ian Hamilton Finlay, with Creeley's notations for campus visits and protests. The photographs include first-generation prints as well as reprints, with signed photos by Allen Ginsberg and Elsa Dorfman. The miscellaneous series contains some of the collection's most notable items, including signed posters by the artist Jess and original artwork by other important figures, including Kitaj.

It is important to note that ephemera found inserted in Creeley's books are not included in this finding aid. Such items (which proved numerous) are described in the individual catalog records of the books, and are now housed as an independent collection (Robert Creeley Book Inserts, Ephemera 5005).

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in eight series, as follows:1) Correspondence; 2) Miscellaneous Typed and Printed Texts; 3) Announcements; 4) Magazines, Journals, and Pamphlets; 5) Broadsides; 6) Posters; 7) Photographs; 8) Miscellaneous.

Related Material

Creeley's personal library of more than 6000 volumes, with attendant ephemera, is held in the Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame. Items are searchable in the Libraries' online catalog. Ephemera found inserted in Creeley's books are mentioned in the catalog records, and are housed apart from the books as Robert Creeley Book Inserts, Ephemera 5005.

Creeley's papers, including his working manuscripts and personal and business correspondence, are held in the Department of Special Collections, Green Library, Stanford University (Robert Creeley Papers, M0062).

Container List