Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Sitwell, Edith (1887-1964)
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Edith Sitwell Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1932-1964 (mostly 1959-1962)
3 boxes and 1.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-3


Consists primarily of correspondence (1959-1962) of English poet Edith Sitwell.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of letters received by Sitwell from 177 different correspondents, ranging from 1932 to 1964, but mostly between 1959 to 1961 when Sitwell lived in London at the Sesame Imperial & Pioneer Club. The correspondents include many friends, publishers, literary and business associates, family members and admirers. Various subjects discussed in the letters include family, social, and business news, and literary topics; and there are many get well wishes for Sitwell during an illness and after an accident. Some of the correspondents are Sylvia Beach, Bryher, Cyril Connolly, George Cukor, David Higham Associates, Alec Guinness, David Horner, John Lehmann, Ned O'Gorman, William Plomer, Georgia, Osbert,and Sacheverell Sitwell, Stephen Spender, Felix Topolski, and Beryl de Zoete.

Sitwell's writings in the collection include typescripts for a book review of John Brinnin's Dylan Thomas in America (1956), essays on various topics, such as "Charity," "Ezra Pound," and "On Genius," a few poems, and transcripts of radio and television interviews. Also present are financial papers, including bills and accounts presented to Sitwell from publishers, book stores, clubs, wine merchants, nurses, and other agents or businesses. Papers of others include a typescript of Henry Cecil's Portrait of a Judge and Other Stories (1964), and poems by Lilian Barnes, Tom Driberg, Thom Gunn, David Bulwer Lutyens, and Sacheverell Sitwell. There are also several of Sotheby's catalogs listing Sitwell items for auction and a large file of clippings about Sitwell and other topics.

Collection Creator Biography:


Edith Sitwell was an English poet and eccentric.

Collection History


Purchased at a Sotheby auction in 1998.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Barbara Volz in 1998. Finding aid written by Barbara Volz in 1998.

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:

Edith Sitwell 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 1-3