Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Coxe, Louis Osborne, 1918-
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Louis O. Coxe Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
14 boxes and 5.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-14


Louis O. Coxe (Princeton Class of 1940) was a noted twentieth-century poet, playwright, and critic. The collection contains autograph and typescript versions of Coxe's poetry and sixteen of Coxe's notebooks. Also included are materials for the play Billy Budd, such as notes, drafts, worksheets, galley proofs, and production notes.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection contains over sixty autograph and typescript manuscripts of verse by Coxe (Princeton Class of 1940), as well as sixteen of the poet's notebooks. One of the notebooks consists of verse written in the years 1943-1944 during Coxe's naval service, most of which appear in the volume The Sea Faring. Manuscripts for The Strait and Other Poems (early version of the published collection The Last Hero and Other Poems) and the play Uniform of Flesh (early version of Billy Budd, co-authored with Robert Chapman) are included. There are several additional folders of Billy Budd material, including notes, drafts, worksheets, and galley proofs, as well as papers related to the play's production and publication (contracts, financial statements, programs, etc.).

Additional accessions include thirteen letters to Augustus Sherrill Whiton, Jr., Princeton Class of 1940, dating from 1941 to 1943, including 3 manuscript poems; one letter to Hamilton and Janet Cottier, dated Dec. 2, 1977; five letters (1965-1967) from Donald Davidson; and a typescript copy of The Sea Faring and Other Poems with printer's marks.


This is an unprocessed collection. The additions (AM 1992-73) remain in their original arrangement.

Collection Creator Biography:

Coxe, Louis Osborne, 1918-

Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, Louis O. Coxe was an American poet. A 1940 graduate of Princeton University, Coxe taught English for brief periods at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at Bowdoin College (1956), where he remained until his death.

Collection History


Mostly gifts of author, along with 2 folders of material gifted by Prof. Willard Thorp, 7 copies of poems gifted by Samuel H. Monk, and 3 cartons of material purchased from Edith Coxe in 1992.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This is an unprocessed collection. The contents list provided is a preliminary inventory for the additions (AM 1992-73).

Biography written by Alyxandra Cullen, '09.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Louis O. Coxe Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-14

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