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MS Am 2916

Killorin, Joseph, 1926-, collector. Joseph Killorin collection of papers by and about Conrad Aiken, circa 1880-1990: PRELIMINARY BOX LIST.

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 2916
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Killorin, Joseph, 1926-, collector.
Title: Joseph Killorin collection of papers by and about Conrad Aiken, circa 1880-1990.
Date(s): 1880-1990.
Quantity: 12 linear feet (13 boxes)
Abstract: Preliminary box list only for Joseph Killorin's collection of papers by and about Conrad Aiken, Aiken's family, and selected friends and associates of Aiken.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2012M-143. Purchased with funds from the Amy Lowell fund; received: 2013 May 1.

Processing Information:

Accessioned by: Melanie Wisner

Conditions Governing 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.

Biographical / Historical

Conrad Potter Aiken (1889-1973) was an American novelist and poet whose work included poetry, short stories, novels, a play and an autobiographical novel, Ushant.
Aiken was the son of wealthy, socially prominent New Englanders who had moved to Savannah, Georgia, where his father became a respected physician and brain surgeon. In 1901, Aiken's father killed Aiken's mother and committed suicide; Aiken was subsequently raised by his aunt in Massachusetts, attending Middlesex School in Concord (Mass.) and then Harvard University. At Harvard, he edited the Advocate with T. S. Eliot who became a lifelong friend. Aiken was influenced in his early poetry by his teacher, the philosopher George Santayana.
While living in England from 1921 until the outbreak of WWII, Aiken was mentor to the English author Malcolm Lowry. Aiken wrote or edited over 50 books; in 1950 he was named Poet Laureate of the United States.
Aiken was married first to Jessie McDonald from 1912–1929; second to Clarissa Lorenz in 1930; and third to Mary Hoover, a noted painter, in 1937.
Joseph Killorin was a friend of Aiken's who also edited a selection of Aiken's letters (1978).


Minimally processed. Arrangement is as received and materials are not fully cataloged. Readers should note that when fully processed, the order of materials may change.

Scope and Contents

Includes compositions, correspondence, drawings, photographs, and a bronze death mask of Aiken by Arnold Geissbuhler (friend and neighbor in Brewster).
Includes material by and about Gordon Bassett, Edward Burra, Malcolm Lowry, George (Jake) Wilbur, Aiken's third wife, Mary Augusta Hoover Aiken, and other family members.


The bulk of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

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