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MS Am 2934

Elliott, Richard. Richard Elliott papers, ca. 1924-1972: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b, pf
Call No.: MS Am 2934
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Elliott, Richard.
Title: Richard Elliott papers, ca.
Date(s): 1924-1972.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 box, 1 pf folder (.4 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, biographical material, and other papers of American writer and librarian, Richard Elliott.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2005M-41. Purchased with funds from the Douglass Roby fund for the HCL; received: 2006 March 31.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Melanie Wisner.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Richard Elliott Papers, ca. 1924-1972 (MS Am 2934). Houghton Library, Harvard University

Related Materials

The Houghton Library holds papers of John Ashbery and Jane Freilicher.

Separated Materials

A copy of Charles Ingle's novel, The Waters of the End (Lippincott, 1953) inscribed by the author to Richard Elliott, removed for separate cataloging.
An unsigned, unnumbered copy of Elliott's A Song and a Diary for A (Adventures in Poetry, New York (N.Y.), 1973), sent to him by Larry Fagin, removed for separate cataloging.

Biographical / Historical

Richard James Elliott (1907-1974) was born in Windsor (N.Y.) where his parents owned the Windsor Whip Company. He studied piano at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and attended Dartmouth College (B.A. in English, 1930) and the University of Pennsylvania (M.A. 1931). He subsequently taught at St. Andrew's in Tennessee where he befriended the reknowned teacher, Father James Harold Flye.
Unhappy in teaching, Elliott took a post at the Brooklyn Public Library in 1937. He lived on Water Street in Brooklyn, earning a library science degree from Columbia University and associating with artists, writers, and musicians (many identified with the New York School), among them his neighbors, the writer and composer, Paul Bowles, and the set designer, Oliver Smith.
Elliott moved back to the family home in Windsor in 1947 to work on a novel, taking a position at the Harpur College Library. The publisher Alfred A. Knopf accepted a first draft of the novel but rejected the final version. Elliott published "9 Elaborations for 26 Characters" in Locus Solus (no. V, 1962) and a few other works, including a small volume of surrealist stories (A Song and a Diary for A) published shortly before his death. He remained in the historic family home; his health deteriorating after retirement in 1969, Elliott died in 1974.


Organized in three series:

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised chiefly of correspondence with parents and friends, notably, poet John Ashbery; composer and author, Paul Bowles; and Father James Harold Flye. Other formats present include a drypoint (print), passport, photographs, printed ephemera, and a will.

Container List