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MS Am 2780

Selig, Richard, 1929-1957. Richard Selig additional papers, ca. 1952-2009: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Am 2780
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Selig, Richard, 1929-1957.
Title: Richard Selig additional papers, ca.1952-2009.
Date(s): 1952-2009.
Quantity: 1 collection (3 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Abstract: Compositions (chiefly copies) of and correspondence concerning American poet Richard Selig, with material concerning his wife, Irish singer and harpist, Mary O'Hara.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2011M-52. Gift of Mary O'Hara and Padraig O'Toole; received: 2011 October 21.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Melanie Wisner.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to most of this material. Partially Restricted: item (118), audiocassette, requires reformatting for access.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation:

Richard Selig Additional Papers, ca. 1952-2009 (MS Am 2780). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Selig was an American poet. Educated at the University of Washington, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College (University of Oxford) from 1953-1956. Returning to the U.S. in 1956, he worked in the public relations department of Western Electric Company. Selig died of Hodgkin's disease 14 October 1957 in New York (N.Y.). A volume of his poems was published posthumously in 1962 by the Dolmen Press, Dublin (and made available online by Mary O'Hara).
Mary O'Hara is an Irish soprano and harpist from County Sligo, Ireland. She was introduced to Richard Selig by Irish poet Thomas Kinsella and married Selig in 1956. She moved to America with him; he died 15 months after their marriage. O'Hara continued to tour and record for four years. In 1962, she became a nun at Stanbrook Abbey where she lived for 12 years. O'Hara returned to her singing career in 1974; she retired from performing in 1994. She remarried in 1985, to Pádraig O'Toole; they spent six years in Tanzania where Dr. O'Toole taught and then returned to live in Berkshire, England, on the Aran Islands, Ireland, and in Spain.


Organized in six series:

Scope and Contents

Includes typescript copies of Selig's poems, prose poems, and short stories, correspondence concerning Selig, printed material, photographs, and an audiocassette of Selig reading his poems in 1952. Also includes a few compositions by others and material concerning Mary O'Hara, Selig's wife and a noted Irish singer and harpist.


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

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