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Cambridge University Library


The Manuscripts Department holds many collections of papers relating to modern and contemporary poets associated with Cambridge, whether through links to the University, the city or the region. Examples include the papers of Siegfried Sassoon, Anne Stevenson, George Gömöri, John Mole and Joanne Limburg. We continue actively to collect papers of literary authors of all kinds having such connections.

In 2011 it was decided that a particular focus for the Department's collecting activities should be papers of poets associated with the so-called 'Cambridge School', a term of disputed legitimacy which, when accepted, is often taken to denote both a component of the British Poetry Revival of the 1960s and ‘70s and a nexus of late-modernist writers. There are no firm definitions, but poets frequently associated with the term are among those published in The English intelligencer in the late 1960s, by the Grosseteste Press from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, and in the Carcanet anthology A various art edited by Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville (1987), together with others of a younger generation. The Department has been assisted in this project by some of the poets concerned, notably J. H. Prynne and Peter Riley, and and by the writer and editor Ian Brinton.

A summary of the collections so far accessioned in the course of the project is provided below:

MS Add.9985: Papers of Andrew Crozier

MS Add. 10000: Papers of Michael Grant

MS Add. 10013: Papers of Peter Riley

MS Add. 10019: Papers of John James

MS Add. 10020: Andrew Crozier: Were there

MS Add. 10021: Letters from Andrew Crozier

MS Add. 10022: Anthony Barnett, Quiet facts

MS Add. 10023: David Chaloner, Today backwards

MS Add. 10024: David Chaloner, Hotel Zingo

MS Add. 10033: Poems and correspondence of Tom Raworth

MS Add. 10034: Poems and correspondence of Peter Robinson

MS Add. 10038: Papers of John Riley

MS Add. 10056: Papers of Anthony Barnett

MS Add. 10063: Papers of W. G. Shepherd

MS Add. 10064: Papers of John Welch and the archive of the Many Press

MS Add. 10087: Papers of Denise Riley

MS Add. 10088: Correspondence from J. H. Prynne to Ian Friend

MS Add. 10144: Papers of J. H. Prynne

MS Add. 10154: Papers of Jeremy Hilton

MS Add. 10173: Correspondence of Michael Haslam

MS Add. 10176: Papers of Peter Hughes and the archive of the Oystercatcher Press

Cataloguing work on these collections is ongoing and in many cases where there is no ArchiveSearch record, offline handlists exist which can facilitate scholarly access. In some cases the nature of the material (e.g. personal correspondence), or the size and lack of order of the collections, preclude access for the time being. Those interested in the collections listed above, or in receiving bulletins on the progress of the project, should contact John Wells (01223 333055;