HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

The Robert Frost Collection

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Donated to the University by Paul C. Richards in honor of his parents, the Frost Collection, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive, contains literary manuscripts, notebooks, letters, books, proof copies, journals, Christmas cards and many types of memorabilia.

Manuscript versions of more than sixty poems (some unpublished) highlight the Collection, which also includes two holograph notebooks from different periods in the poet’s career. The first manuscript dates from 1911–1912 and contains essays, notes and observations on the philosophy of teaching; the second is dated 1950 and contains published and unpublished prose and poetry, including a draft of “A Cabin in the Clearing.” There are over one hundred Frost letters, which reflect all the phases of his professional life. The earliest were written during his years of obscurity in England, and include two from 1913 which describe his relationship with Ezra Pound. Later letters are written to a variety of poets, editors, and collectors.

Among the pictorial material are more than thirty photographs of the poet (many inscribed by Frost), ten photographs of the various homes and farms where he lived throughout his career, lithographs, sketches, paintings, busts and twenty-three original woodcuts by J. J. Lankes, Illustrating Frost's poems.

The book collection preserves nearly all of Frost’s published books in all variant formats. For example, there is North of Boston in the first edition (published in London in 1914) in all six binding variants, the American issue of the first edition in both its binding variants; and all subsequent American printings, every copy with a manuscript poem or presentation inscription by the author.

There are also more than one hundred and fifty books which include contributions by Frost, and a similar number of magazines, brochures and newspapers which contain work by or about him. The Collection brings together all but one of the Frost Christmas cards, each with a separate poem, which were privately printed for the author by the Spiral Press.

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