- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
Unidentified Envelope, undated
Collection Description & Creator Information
This collection documents the life and activities of Sylvia Beach (1887-1962), the American author, publisher, and owner of Shakespeare & Company, the Paris bookshop that was a meeting-point for French, English, Irish and American writers during the 1920's and 1930's. The collection consists largely of files relating to Shakespeare & Company; Beach's writings and translations, in particular her memoir Shakespeare & Company ; and files relating to the circle of artists and writers surrounding her throughout her life. Included are family, personal, and business correspondence; business records of Shakespeare & Company; personal and family records; manuscripts and artwork by members of her circle; photographs; and memorabilia.
The rich correspondence series consists of correspondence from and to Sylvia Beach and includes artists such as Hilda Doolittle, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Robert McAlmon, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Allen Tate, Alice B. Toklas, Marianne Moore, Katherine Anne Porter, Richard Wright, George Antheil, Harriet Weaver, Gordon Craig, Arthur Symons, Ford Madox Ford, Frank Harris, Norman Douglas, Ivy Litvinoff, Richard Aldington, Stuart Gilbert, Cyril Connolly, D. H. Lawrence, Stephen Spender, Dorothy Richardson, to name but a few.
The collection also contains the files of Shakespeare & Company, Sylvia Beach's bookshop in Paris. Consisting largely of the shop's business records, the series notably contains the files of Shakespeare & Company's lending library, including member records and their readings. Of special interest is the material relating to Beach's publication of James Joyce, most importantly Joyce's Ulysses .
Also present is an extensive series of photographs documenting the different facets and relationships central to Beach's life, including family, friends, members of her artistic circle, and her life in Paris. They include snapshots as well as formal portraits, many of them captioned, and a number of them by noted photographers such as Gisèle Freund and Man Ray.
The collection further includes materials relating to Sylvia Beach's own writings and translations; artworks and literary manuscripts collected by her both for their artistic value and out of her interest in the artists; files relating to her personal life and files created by and relating to members of her family; and memorabilia.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Individual items that were originally acquired as part of the Sylvia Beach Papers are now curated by the Graphic Arts division, including the Shakespeare & Company shop sign painted by Marie Monnier-Bécat; a portrait of Sylvia Beach in oil by Paul-Émile Bécat, signed, Paris, 1923; and a full-length portrait of Adrienne Monnier in oil by Paul-Émile Bécat, Paris 1921;
In addition, two items that remain part of the Sylvia Beach Papers are: an oak cabinet and a bust of William Shakespeare executed in colored Staffordshireware.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
- Conditions Governing Use
May not be published in whole or in part without permission of the Executors of the Harriet Weaver Estate.
- Credit this material:
Unidentified Envelope; Sylvia Beach Papers, C0108, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box 146