Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Holmes, Theodore, 1928-1971
Theodore Holmes Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1949-1976 (mostly 1951-1971)
24 boxes
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-24


Consists primarily of published and unpublished poetry manuscripts, as well as correspondence with various publishers, of American poet Theodore Holmes (Princeton Class of 1951).

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of the papers of Holmes. Included are autograph and typed manuscripts of poems published in Holmes' books of poetry, The Harvest and the Scythe (1957), Ship on the Beach (1964), An Upland Pasture (1966), and Poems from Donegal (published posthumously, 1973). Also present are manuscripts for three unpublished novels, The Prostitute, The Other World, and The Lost Treasure; a volume of poetry, Once Over Lightly; and many manuscripts for published and unpublished poetry, short stories, critical essays, reviews, and translations of the works of Rilke, Homer, Montale, and Ungaretti. There is a selected group of correspondence of Holmes with various publishers, letters to the Irish Times, Carlos Baker, John Addison (also of the Class of 1951), Vanderbilt University, and Holmes' wife and family. There is also family correspondence after Holmes' death concerning the publication of his works.

Collection Creator Biography:

Holmes, Theodore, 1928-1971

Poet Theodore Holmes (Princeton Class of 1951) was an undergraduate biology major who later switched to literature and poetry as his avocation and occupation. He published his first book of poetry, The Harvest and the Scythe, in 1957, subsequently becoming the Kenyon Review fellow in poetry for 1958. He spent several summers at Yaddo, an artists' colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., during the early 1960s. Holmes lectured at Harvard, 1960-1963, received a Fulbright Fellowship to Oxford, 1963-1964, where he met and married Barbara Whitehead, then returned to the States in 1964, teaching in Maine and New York before finally settling in Falcarragh, County Donegal, Ireland, where he died in 1971.

Collection History


The papers were the gift of Barbara Whitehead Holmes in March 1996 .

Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Taub, with related correspondence and some typescript poems of Holmes, were the gift of Sonia Taub in November 2008 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2002. Finding aid written in 2002.

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:

Theodore Holmes Papers; 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 (scamss): Box 1-24