Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Paul Merchant Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
0.6 linear feet and 2 boxes
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-001819
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1
English Greek, Modern


Consists of Merchant's manuscript drafts, correspondence, photographs, inscribed books, and other materials relating to the Greek poet Helenē Vakalo (1921-2001), and his English translation of Genealogia. The collection also contains writings by Giannēs Ritsos, Kimon Friar, and materials of other authors and publishers.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Content Description

Consists of Vakalo's autograph and typescript manuscripts of "Geneaologia" in Greek; Merchant's typescript drafts of the English translation with annotations; correspondence: Helene Vakalo to Paul Merchant (1967-1978); Vakalo with William Moelwyn Merchant (1971-1972) concerning the Rougemount Press edition "Genealogy"; Merchant's correspondence with Giannēs Ritsos, Kimon Friar, and Peter Dent, as well as some editorial correspondence; typescript of the talk "The Importance of Translation from Greek"; related materials regarding the honorary doctorate Ritsos awarded from the University of Birmingham in 1978, together with a single-poem memento of the occasion inscribed to Merchand by Ritsos and a photo with Ritsos; an offprint inscribed by Ritsos including manuscript alterations on pages 11 and 16 (1966); two books inscribed to Merchand by Vakalo and a few photographs of Helene and George Vakalo, slides and photo negatives; one recording of Ritsos reading and two recordings of the BBC Radio 3 Program. There are also two notebooks/diaries from Merchant's time in Athens, Greece from 1966-1967.

Collection Creator Biography:

Merchant, Paul

Paul Merchant is a poet, editor, and translator. He edited Modern Poetry In Translation 4 (1968), which included the first selection of Ritsos published in England. He is also the translator of Eleni Vakalo's Genealogy (1971). He taught for many years at Warwick University before becoming William Stafford Archivist at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon. His collection of poems Bone from a Stag's Heart was a 1988 British Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His fourth collection of poems, Some Business of Affinity (2006), was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award. His recent translations from Yannis Ritsos are Monochords (Trask House Press 2007), and Twelve Poems about Cavafy (Tavern Books, 2010). (Entry from Oregon Poetic Voices

Collection History


Gift of Paul Merchant in July 2019 (AM 2020-10).


No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kalliopi Balatsouka in August 2019. Finding aid written by Kalliopi Balatsouka in November 2019.

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 Special Collections 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."

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:

Paul Merchant 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:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-001819
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1