Contents and Arrangement

Operation Shylock, Notes, 1990 September-1991 May

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of 85 pages of primarily handwritten notes on yellow lined paper that represent nine months early in the process of composition of Operation Shylock. These notes illuminate Roth's preliminary planning stages, and include high- and low-level outlines, character notes for George Ziad and other characters, scene summaries, a reading list on dreams and hallucinations, and other ideas in gestation. The notes are covered in marginalia, circles, and stars, with various colors and types of ink on each page. Tucked within these notes are two computer printout pages containing the text of "Am I Reading the Papers Correctly?" ( New York Times, January 28, 1988), an opinion piece by Woody Allen that is referenced in the novel.


Arranged chronologically.

Collection History


No materials were removed from the collection during 2018 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in August 2018. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in August 2018, repurposing some description provided by the dealer. In December 2021, some folders were physically rearranged to facilitate the administration of access restrictions. These materials (Boxes B-001208 and B-001754) were closed until January 1, 2023, and the restriction has since been lifted.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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 at The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

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:

Operation Shylock, Notes; Benjamin Taylor Collection of Philip Roth Materials, C1609, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
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Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001208

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Related Materials

The bulk of Philip Roth's personal papers are held by the Library of Congress: Philip Roth papers, 1938-2001 (MSS22491)

Bailey, Blake, 1963-
Miller, Ross
Roth, Philip, 1933-2018