LZ Manuscripts & Papers

The LZ Collection at the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas is the primary repository for LZ’s manuscripts and papers, as LZ intended. He began sending material to the HRC in late 1962 in an arrangement that involved the publication of Bottom: on Shakespeare in a deluxe edition by the University of Texas. At least eight substantial batches of materials would be sent over over the years, with the final group sent by CZ in 1979 after LZ’s death. CZ also sent her own materials, both her various collaborative projects as well as her very extensive bibliographical work on LZ. The collection has been further augmented by papers and letters from others, particularly those held by Lorine Niedecker. From the time of his marriage in 1939, LZ was quite meticulous in preserving his working papers and notebooks and the collection is remarkably complete. Earlier work is generally well represented in surviving manuscripts and typescripts, but spottier in terms of notes and rough drafts and as far as one can tell he did not start using working notebooks until the 1950s, after completing “A”-12. Additional manuscripts and typescripts, usually copies sent out to friends and/or for publication can be found in various other collections

Letters can be found scattered all over.

Below, following the HRC listing, is a list with short descriptions of holdings elsewhere that is surely incomplete. Those interested can consult the Archivegrid, which is an expanding list of archive holdings and links.


University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

The major repository of LZ’s papers; aside from the online inventory, see Booth and Henderson for descriptive catalogues.

            Holograph and typescript manuscripts and correspondence make up the bulk of the Louis Zukofsky Collection (1910-1985). The collection is organized into five series: I. Works, 1921-1978 (17.5 boxes), II. Letters, 1930-1968 (3.5 boxes), III. Recipient, 1924-1977 (9.5 boxes), IV. Miscellaneous, 1910-1985 (6.5 boxes), and V. Subject Files, 1936-1975 (7 boxes).

            The Works Series covers Zukofsky’s writing career thoroughly between 1921 and 1968, including the “A” series of poems from “A”-1 to “A”-21/Rudens, typescripts and galley proofs for all three versions of All: The Collected Poems, and various individual poems, short stories, and radio scripts. Of particular interest in this series are the working notebooks in which Zukofsky and his wife translated Catullus. The Latin text runs on the left-hand page while the English is written on the right. The same method was used by Zukofsky in editing “A”-14 and “A”-15 with one version of the poem written on the left-hand page and an edited version on the right. Individual poems, as well as the major titles, are listed in the Index of Works in this guide.

            The Letters Series is relatively small but does contain a large collection of letters from Zukofsky to fellow poets Cid Corman, Lorine Niedecker and Carl Rakosi. Most of the letters in this series are personal, however some communications with publishers and organizations are present. The Recipient Series is much larger and contains substantial numbers of letters to Zukofsky from Basil Bunting, Cid Corman, Guy Davenport, Hayden Carruth, Robert Creeley, Hugh Kenner, Marianne Moore, Samuel Newberry, Lorine Niedecker, Ezra Pound, Mary Ellen Solt, Jonathan Williams, and William Carlos Williams.

            The Miscellaneous Series is composed largely of works by other authors and correspondence between other people about Zukofsky. There are three theses, several reviews of Zukofsky’s publications, works by Lorine Niedecker, a series of holograph poems by Whittaker Chambers in a travel diary, and a quantity of envelopes and folders. Also included are a few newspaper clippings, notes on the publication of Zukofsky’s works and an honorary degree from Bard College.

            The Subject Files Series contains more holographs and typescripts of Zukofsky’s later work, including “A”-22 through “A”-24; Little, for Careengers; Autobiography, and the French translation for First Half of “A”-9. Material for “A”-24 is particularly complete, ranging from holograph notes in a spiral notebook to the typescript scores for individual characters and including production notes. Celia Zukofsky’s listing of Zukofsky’s works, titled A Bibliography, is also found here, along with the correspondence which lead to its publication. Correspondence regarding Catullus and Arise, Arise! is also included, as is the correspondence between Zukofsky and about a dozen institutions where he gave readings.

Elsewhere in the Ransom Center are an extensive collection of newspaper clippings and other printed materials covering the publication and criticism of Zukofsky’s work (Vertical Files), 17 sound recordings (Manuscript Sound Recordings Index), some video footage, a series of collages and drawings by and of Zukofsky in the Art Collection, a few photographs in the Literary Files of the Photography Collection, and a wallet that belonged to Zukofsky in the Personal Effects Collection.

University of California, San Diego, Geisel Library, Mandeville Special Collections Library
A collection of poems, some set to music composed by Celia Thaew Zukofsky: “A”-9, first half, with explanatory preface; Paris [“A”-10]; Anew 3; “Happier, happier, now”; “Motet”; “To my wash-stand”; “When in winter spring?” Also two versions of the essay “Charles Reznikoff: Sincerity and Objectification,” one in Zukofsky’s hand and the other a typographical transcription by Kathryn Shevelow.
Correspondence to and/or from John Taggart, David & Rose Ignatow, George Oppen, Carl Rakosi, Charles Reznikoff, June Oppen Degnan, Jerome Rothenberg, Paul Blackburn, Donald Allen.

Columbia University Library, Rare Book & Manuscript Library
LZ’s MA thesis: Henry Adams: detached mind and the growth of a poet (1924). Correspondence with Goliard Press, Kulchur magazine, Gael Turnbull, Jeni Couzyn, George Economou.

University of Durham, Basil Bunting Poetry Centre
The Bunting Archive includes significant LZ materials: typescripts of “A”-8 (various passages), First Half of “A”-9, “A”-9 (second half), Arise, Arise, “‘Further Than’—,” “Song 23” (“The Immediate Aim”), “‘Mantis’” and “‘Mantis,’ An Interpretation,” “Modern Times,” “Thanks to the Dictionary,” “Song 28” (“Specifically a writer of music”), “Trio for Workers” (“A madrigal for 3 voices”), apparently the only surviving typescript of A Worker’s Anthology; 6 letters and a postcard to Bunting; 6 letters to Karl Drerup; typescript (7 pages) of poems by Robert Allison Evans, almost certainly forwarded to Bunting by LZ. For a detailed description of the holdings, including LZ materials, go here.

University of Indiana, Lilly Library
Poetry archive after 1961; letters to René Taupin and drafts of both “A” (unique rough drafts of “A” 5 & -6) and short poems from the period 1928-1944; further correspondence with D.G. Bridson, Cid Corman, Leroi Jones, Henry Rago, Mary Ellen Solt, William Carlos Williams and Oscar Williams.

Kansas State University Library, University Archives & Manuscripts
The Louis Zukofsky Papers (1928-1969) include correspondence (particularly with René Taupin), printed material and typescripts.

New York Public Library, Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection
Uncatalogued Manuscript Holdings: includes some “A” materials, poems, photos and a few letters.

Washington University in St. Louis Library, Manuscript Collection
Misc. items from Trigram Press Archive: Correspondence, typescript and proof concerning publication of Catullus Fragmenta (1969) by Turret Books. A few letters to or from Robert Creeley, Babette Deutsch, George Marion O’Donnell, Henry Wenning and Perspective Magazine.

Bellarmine College, Thomas Merton Center
Correspondence to and from Thomas Merton.

University of California, Berkeley, The Bancroft Library
Correspondence with League of American Writers and SF State College Poetry Center.

UCLA Library, Special Collections, Young Research Library
Correspondence and some manuscripts in the papers of Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Payne and Joglars magazine.

University of Chicago, Regenstein Library, Harriet Monroe Modern Poetry Collection
Correspondence with Poetry magazine 1912-1961

University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Correspondence with Pagany magazine 1929-1932.

Kent State University, Special Collections
This collection contains correspondence between Louis Zukofsky and Will Petersen and Hank Chapin (55 items).

New York University, Fales Library & Special Collections
Various correspondence in the Avant Garde Collection, primarily related to little magazines: Caterpillar, Lines, Maps (John Taggart Archive), Outburst—also further correspondence in the Theodore Enslin Papers.

Princeton University Library, Rare Books Special Collections
Letters to and from Samuel Putnam in relation to the New Review (1930-1932).

Simon Fraser University, Library Special Collections and Rare Books
Letters to Walter Lowenfels, Cid Corman and Robin Blaser.

Stanford University Libraries, Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives
Correspondence with Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Nathaniel Tarn, Denise Levertov.

SUNY Buffalo Libraries, Poetry Collection
Correspondence to William Carlos Williams, as well as with Jargon Society.

Texas Christian University Library, Special Collections
Correspondence with David Oliphan 1966-1969.

Yale University, Beinecke Library
Correspondence to or from Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Henry Seidel Canby, Sister Mary Bernetta Quinn, Harry Roskolenko, William Rose Benet, Basil Davenport, Norman MacLeod, Dorothy Norman, T.C. Wilson, Furioso, Hound & Horn and Golden Goose. Misc. manuscripts/typescripts. A significant portion of these materials, particularly the correspondence with Pound and Williams, has been digitalized and is viewable online. 

Zurich James Joyce Foundation, Jahnke Bequest
Typescript of “Scenario and Continuity” film script adapted from Ulysses by Jerry Reisman and LZ.