Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

OʼConnor, Joseph, 1963-
Joseph O'Connor Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1981-2020 (mostly 1989-2020)
23.2 linear feet, 18 boxes, 25.4 GB, and 762 digital files
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-18


Joseph O'Connor is an Irish novelist, screenwriter, playwright, journalist, broadcaster, poet, and professor of creative writing. The collection consists of drafts, research, publicity, and recordings related to O'Connor's books and plays for radio, screen, and stage; as well as notebooks and diaries, correspondence, business and publicity files, and photographs.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of personal papers of the Irish author Joseph O'Connor, largely documenting his career from the 1990s through 2020. The most significant portion of the collection comprises research materials, drafts, proofs, notes, press clippings, publicity, reviews, posters, recordings, and other documentation related to O'Connor's books and plays for radio, screen, and stage, in both paper-based and born-digital formats. There are also literary notebooks and personal diaries, correspondence (predominantly email), business files, photographs, and a small group of writings by others.


As little original order was discernible in the physical portion of the collection, materials were roughly sorted by genre/type. Digital materials remain in O'Connor's original arrangement.

Collection Creator Biography:


Joseph O'Connor is an Irish novelist, screenwriter, playwright, journalist, broadcaster, poet, and professor of creative writing. Born in Dublin in 1963, O'Connor studied at University College Dublin, Oxford University, and the University of Leeds. He lived in London and New York before returning to Dublin in the 1990s. As of 2020, he is the author of nine novels, including Cowboys and Indians (1991), Desperadoes (1994), The Salesman (1998), Inishowen (2001), Star of the Sea (2002), Redemption Falls (2007), Ghost Light (2010), The Thrill of It All (2014), and Shadowplay (2019). He has also written numerous nonfiction works, screenplays, short stories, stage and radio plays, spoken word pieces, and radio diaries. He is a regular contributor to Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) and has worked as a concept developer and lyrics writer for Heartbeat of Home (2013), an international dance show, as well as adapted Daphne Du Maurier's novel My Cousin Rachel for the stage (2012). O'Connor teaches creative writing and was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick in 2014. He has also been the Harman Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Baruch College, City University of New York, and founded the Frank McCourt Creative Writing Summer School at New York University. O'Connor has received a number of major literary awards, including the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature, the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France's Prix Millepages, Italy's Premio Acerbi, and an American Library Association Award, among others. He is a member of the Irish artists' association Aosdána. O'Connor is married to Anne-Marie Casey, a novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and TV producer, with whom he has two children.

Collection History


Purchased from Kenny's Bookshop & Art Gallery in 2020 (AM 2021-6).


Printed books were removed from the collection during 2022 processing and transferred to the Rare Book Division or the Library's General Collection; duplicates were discarded. Commercial audiovisual media were also removed and transferred to the Mendel Music Library. No other materials were removed from the collection during 2022 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.


Processing of this collection was sponsored by the Delafield fund.

Processing Information

Baseline processing of the paper-based portion of the collection was completed by Kelly Bolding in January 2022. Physical materials were roughly sorted by book project or genre/type and housed into archival folders and boxes, but no efforts were made to further arrange materials below this level. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in January-March 2022, incorporating some description provided by the dealer. Born-digital materials received as a file transfer were acquired directly from O'Connor by Kelly Bolding in October 2020 and processed by Amy Vo in September 2021. Born-digital materials received on physical media were processed by Kelly Bolding in January-March 2022; at this time, files could not be extracted from disk007 due to damage.

The born-digital materials in this collection have been processed according to Princeton University Library's Born-Digital Processing Workflows. For more information on the workflow, please read our full Born-Digital Processing Information Note.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research, with the exception of diaries from 2012 and later, which are closed until ten years after the date of creation.

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.

This collection contains digital files, which may require specific software or hardware for access. Refer to our Tips on Accessing Born-Digital Content for information on how to render these file formats.

Credit this material:

Joseph O'Connor 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 1-18