Contents and Arrangement

Correspondence, 1936-2019 (mostly 1968-2019)

12 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of business and personal correspondence with poets, writers, editors, and publishers such as Molly Keane, Sally Phipps, Dervla Murphy, Thomas Kinsella, Seamus Heaney, John McGahern, Jennifer Johnston, Terence de Vere White, Geraldine Kennedy, Carlo Gebler, Michael Longley, James Simmons, Padraic Fiacc, Gerald Dawe, Medbh McGuckian, John Montague, Robert Greacen, Desmond O'Grady, Dennis O'Driscoll, Seán Dunne, Theo Dorgan, William Wall (Liam deBhal), Patrick Galvin, Joan McBreen, Harry Clifton, Paul Durcan, Peter Fallon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Gerard Smyth, Paula Meehan, Paul Engle, August Kleinzahler, and Peter Jay; as well as politicians, public figures, and scholars including Lady Clementine Beit of Russborough House, Sir Adrian FitzGerald, Princess Grace de Monaco, Brigadier D.H. FitzGerald, the Countess Michalowski, Sir Richard Keane, W.E.D. Allen, Michael D. Higgins, William V. Shannon, Eugene J. McCarthy, Gerald Y. Goldberg, and John Bernstein. McCarthy's correspondence from the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, contains a number of letters from other emerging Irish poets of the time. While some correspondents have been indicated at the file-level, researchers should note that correspondence from the same person may be found in multiple folders.


Correspondence is arranged in rough chronological order, based on the existing arrangement of the materials when they arrived at the library. Several files of correspondence arranged by individual were maintained and appear at the end of the chronological run. Additional loose correspondence with no existing order was integrated into this loose chronological arrangement scheme by the processing archivist.

Collection History


During 2019 processing, two folders containing student records were discarded, and printed books were separated and transferred to the library's general collections. No other materials were removed from the collection beyond routine appraisal practices.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in November-December 2019, with assistance from Alia Wood '20. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in November-December 2019.

Portions of the collection were cleaned for mold during 2019 processing. Folders that were cleaned are marked with blue labels.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research, with the exception of several files related to Aosdána which have been temporarily restricted at the request of the collection creator.

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:

Correspondence; Thomas McCarthy Papers, C1641, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Boxes B-001434 to B-001445