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MS Am 2077.1

New Directions Publishing Corp. Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books, 1937-1997: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 2077.1
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: New Directions Publishing Corp.
Title: Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books,
Date(s): 1937-1997
Quantity: 92 linear feet (482 boxes, 181 volumes)
Language of materials: Includes materials in English and Spanish.
Abstract: Manuscripts, galley proofs and page proofs of books published by New Directions, 1937-1997.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

*44L-1-7, *44LM-1F-8F, *44N-1-20F, *44NM-1F-16F, *45L-1-3, *45N-1F-17F, *45NM-1F-20F, *46N-1F-7F, *46NM-1F-4F, *48NM-1-7, *49NM-1, *51M-183F-190F, *53-1917-1945, *53M-174F-182F, *54-331-356, *54M-27F-45F, *54M-307-324, *55-429-433, *55M-210-222, *55M-298, *56-696-702, *56-1730-1732, *56M-77-79, *57-1063-1076, *57M-236F-238F, *57M-266, *59-1724-1728, *60-1080-1096, *60M-140-151, *61-6-40, *61M-52-67, *62M-310, *63-1059-1086F, *63M-187-195, *65M-221, *67M-171, *70M-39, *70M-129, *75M-69, *75M-79, *76M-77, *78M-69, *81M-11, *82M-104, *83M-89, *84M-49, *85M-60, *85M-61, *85M-67, *85M-73, *87M-112, *88M-70, *90M-61, *91M-72, *92M-45, *93M-78, *93M-156, *95M-56, *96M-3, *96M-5, *96M-6, *96M-25, *96M-44, *97M-49, *98M-65, *99M-50, *2000M-2. Deposited by Mr. James Laughlin, IV; received: 1944-1997. Pre-1965 material was bequeathed in 1997. Material for books published 1965-1997 is deposited by New Directions Publishing Corp.

Processing Information:

Processed by: J.F. Coakley; with the assistance of Jackie Dean, Mary Hammer, Vicki Denby, Jermaine Hollins, Michael Newton, and Meghan Keil.

Conditions Governing Access:

Most of the items in this collection (items prefixed by b, pf, or oversize pf in the finding aid below) are housed offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval of these items requires advance notice. Readers should ask the Public Services staff at Houghton Library for retrieval policies and times.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Manuscripts and Proofs of New Directions Books, 1937-1997 (MS Am 2077.1). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

The Library has other papers of James Laughlin and the New Directions Publishing Corp. These all have call numbers beginning Ms Am 2077.
For another set of corrected galley proofs of Ezra Pound's Drafts and fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII see the James Laughlin Collection (RARE Ms. 39.1) at the John Hay Library of Brown University.
For another set of corrected galley proofs of Ezra Pound's Redondillas, or something of that sort see the James Laughlin Collection (RARE Ms. 39.2) at the John Hay Library of Brown University.


The manuscripts and proofs are arranged alphabetically by the name of the author of the publication (or the title, if there is no author). Within one author, the arrangement is alphabetically by title. Within one title, the items are arranged to follow the production of the book: first manuscripts, then galley proofs, then page proofs, index and jacket copy, etc. One writer's foreword to another writer's book will be found under the author of the book.

Scope and Contents

Each publication of the New Directions Publishing Corp. left a deposit of unedited and edited manuscripts, galley proofs, page proofs, and various other materials (such as original photographs or drawings for illustrations) in the New York editorial office. The office deposited such items in Houghton Library from time to time beginning in 1944. Until ca. 1960 these deposits were irregular and did not cover either all publications or all the manuscripts and proofs for any one publication. From 1960, however, the collection is fairly complete until its cut-off date of 1997 (the death of James Laughlin).
The "manuscripts" are usually typescripts or else previously published material in photocopy. Usually there is a "setting copy", that is, a manuscript marked up by an editor for typesetting. Sometimes there are also earlier or unedited manuscripts. The galley and page proofs typically are in threes: one for the author (or translator or editor), one for a ND reader, and one "master" on which changes from both were recorded. Often there are further sets or partial sets of proofs incorporating corrections. In the last decade of the collection, the galley-proof stage was usually skipped.
In addition to the bulk of the collection from the New York office of New Directions, some material has been included from James Laughlin's home office. This can be identified by the accession number *97M-49.


Most of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See use restrictions below for additional information.

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