Rare Books and Manuscripts
The Department of Special Collections at Washington University's Olin Library houses most of the materials reproduced on this site and described below. These selections represent only a fraction of the manuscripts and rare books held by the University Libraries. For more information on the holdings in Special Collections see their homepage at http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/.
The Samuel Beckett holdings at Special Collections constitute one of the three richest collections of Beckett materials in the world; the Beckett collection includes manuscripts, typescripts, annotated books, letters and photographs. This site draws especially on two notebooks that Beckett used while composing Le dépeupleur, including four French rough drafts of the text.
Anon. The Debate Between the Body and the Soul
The Debate Between the Body and the Soul survives in seven manuscripts: Bodleian Library Laud Misc. 108, Bodleian Library MS Eng. Poet. a. 1 (Vernon), Bodleian Library Digby 102, British Library MS Royal 18.A.x, British Library Additional 22283 (Simeon), British Library Additional 37787, and National Library of Scotland Advocates 19.2.1 (Auchinleck).
The Department of Special Collections at Olin Library holds facsimile copies of the Vernon and Auchinleck manuscripts. Laud Misc. 108 was acquired through Interlibrary Loan from Texas Tech University for the purposes of this project.
More information on the manuscript holdings of the [check link to make sure it specifies the MS departments] Bodleian Library at Oxford University and the National Library of Scotland are available through their websites.
Washington University holds almost all of the materials toward
the publication of Robert Duncan's fine press volume of 1966, A
Book of Resemblances. Among the Duncan holdings are his correspondence
with the publishers at Auerhahn Press, a small press that attempted
(and subsequently failed) to publish A Book of Resemblances
in 1962, and with Henry Wenning, a rare books dealer who acted as
agent for Duncan and his life-partner, Jess Collins, in their dealings
in 1966 with Meridian-Gravure, the firm that actually published
the book. This site draws not only on these unique portions of the
collection, but also reproduces several pages from the final Meridian
The materials for "Lost in Translation" are just a tiny fraction of Washington University's holdings, for the James Merrill Papers is one of Special Collections most distinguished collections. The Merrill Papers include materials from every period of his life and offer a wealth of research opportunities.
Edmund Spenser's Complaints
The site that treats Spenser as a translator and as a reviser of his own translations is based on Edmund Spenser's Complaints, held by Washington University's Department of Special Collections, and on the copy of Jan der Noot's Theatre for Voluptuous Worldlings held by the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene
The images from the 1590 First Edition of Books I-III of The Faerie Queene and from the 1596 First Edition of Books IV-VI of The Faerie Queene were taken from copies in the Early Modern Literature Collection, one of the main subsections of the collection of rare printed books housed in Special Collections.
Washington University holds over 5000 items related to the life and writings of May Swenson, including drafts and publishing correspondence for her numerous volumes of poetry. The Swenson Papers also contains over 268 letters between Swenson and Elizabeth Bishop. Only a small portion of this correspondence is represented on this site.