Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Houston, Peyton (1910-1994)
Peyton Houston Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1925-1994 (mostly 1950-1990)
60 boxes and 2 items
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-60


Peyton Houston (Princeton Class of 1932) worked with the New York investment company Equity Corporation for forty years, while pursuing a career in poetry and freelance writing on the side. His papers include some of his poetry notebooks and drafts and manuscripts of his published works. The collection also contains his correspondence with family and friends, writers and publishers, and photocopied correspondence with Peter Yates. Some drafts of Yates' work and some personal memorabilia of Houston's complete the collection.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the papers of Houston. His papers include many poetry notebooks spanning the years 1932 to 1994, drafts of several of his published volumes of poetry, such as Sonnet Variations (1962), For the Remarkable Animals (1970), and The Importance of the Unicorn(1992), and manuscripts of other poetical and prose works including chapters for an unpublished novel, Thomas Fantasy. There is correspondence (1925-1994) with his family, friends, writers, publishers, and organizations in which he had an interest, including Mildred Chase, the Greenwich Symphony, the Hill School, Peyton Harrison Hoge, his mother, Mary S. Houston, Dolores Kendrick, the New York Center for Visual History, for which Houston served on various committees, the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University, where Houston was involved in encouraging the interest in poetry at the University, and Jonathan Williams of the Jargon Society.

Collection Creator Biography:


A member of the Princeton Class of 1932, Peyton Houston was a businessman who pursued a second career as a poet and freelance writer. Houston spent forty years as vice-president of the Equity Corporation, a New York investment company and through mergers and acquisitions transformed the company into Wheelabrator-Frye, Inc., a leading company dealing with environmental systems. Concurrent with his business career Houston maintained a lifelong interest in poetry and writing.

Publications by Houston: Sonnet Variations (Highlands, N.C.: J. Williams, 1962), The Changes, Orders, Becomings (Winston-Salem, N.C.: Jargon Society, 1990), For the Remarkable Animals (Providence, R.I.: Burning Deck, 1970), The Importance of the Unicorn ( Lawrenceville, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992), Arguments of Idea (Penland, N.C.: Jargon Society, 1980)

Collection History


Bequest of the author via Dobson Parrish.


No appraisal information is available.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Peyton Houston 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:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-60