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Sir Joseph Gold literary manuscript collection

Identifier: MSS 0658

Scope and Content Note

The Sir Joseph Gold literary manuscript collection comprises 1.6 linear feet of correspondence, manuscripts, publishing files, and publications of mid-twentieth century British and American poets, publishers, and scholars.

The collection includes material from notable figures representing several nationalities and literary schools; it contains a particularly significant amount of material by and about Black Mountain poets Ed Dorn (1929-1999) and John Wieners (1934-2002), as well as British poets Barry MacSweeney (1948-2000) and George MacBeth (1932-1992). The collection also includes typescripts by Beat poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti (born 1919) and Philip Whalen (1923-2002).

The collection was compiled by Sir Joseph Gold and contains materials that demonstrate his process as a collector. Many items throughout the collection are accompanied by documentation of the item's purchase and acquisition, and the correspondence in the collection also references prior and future purchases.

The Sir Joseph Gold literary manuscript collection is arranged in three series: I. Correspondence; II. Manuscripts and notebooks; and III. Publishing files and publications. Series I. contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of mid-twentieth century British and American poets, publishers, and scholars. Many of the letters are accompanied by enclosed manuscript material; topics among the literary correspondents include current projects, public readings, and publications. There is a significant amount of correspondence from Ed Dorn to John Wieners; between British poets George MacBeth and Michael Horovitz (born 1935); and both incoming and outgoing correspondence of British poet Barry MacSweeney (1948-2000). Also included is correspondence to Pound Press editor Peter Russell (1921-2003) from Ezra Pound's (1885-1972) friends and family members, including Omar Pound (1926-2010) and Olga Rudge (1885-1986), all of it related to or concerning Ezra Pound's activities between 1949 and 1950. Series I. also includes individual pieces of correspondence from Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), American poets Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) and Theodore Roethke (1908-1963), and British critic Bertrand Russell (1872-1970).

Series II. contains manuscripts and poetry notebooks, dating mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. The poetry notebooks of Goan writer Dom Moraes (1938-2004) and Barry MacSweeney, contain personal notes, sketches, and drafts of letters, in addition to handwritten poems. The work of MacSweeney is heavily represented in this series, which includes seven of his poetry notebooks and several manuscripts and typescripts. Series II. also contains signed manuscripts and typescripts of individual poems by authors such as Anthony Hecht (1923-2004), Elizabeth Jennings (1926-2001), Donald Justice (1925-2004), and David Wevill (born 1937), as well as an extensively corrected typescript of Un Regard sur le Monde, the French translation of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Pictures of the Gone World (1955).

Series III. contains copies of publications as well as materials toward their production, including correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and proofs. Publications found in Series III. include several hand-produced poetry books by Barry MacSweeney, poetry books of Tony Connor (born 1930), Roy Fisher (born 1930), Bertrand Russell, and Philip Whalen. Also included are six issues of The New English Weekly (London) dated 1933-1940. Publishing files are included for publications-in-process such as the Poetry Book Society's Bulletin number 56 (1968) as well as its 1967 Christmas supplement, Twelve Poets, which was edited by Charles Osborne (born 1927). There are also publishing files for early (1960-61) issues of the SUNY Buffalo literary magazine Audit, then under the editorship of founder Ralph Maud (born 1928). In addition to publication files for periodicals, Series III. also includes two typescripts for Braincandy, a collection of Whalen's poetry that was ultimately never published after Whalen withdrew it from Poet's Press in 1967 due to slow publication.


  • Creation: 1904-1972
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1949-1972


Language of Materials

Materials in English and French.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

British attorney and author Sir Joseph Gold (1912-2000) was a respected collector of modern first editions of British and American writers and poets.

Among the authors that interested Gold most were Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), American poet and critic Ezra Pound (1885-1972), British playwright Harold Pinter (1930-2008), English poet Ted Hughes (1930-1998), and especially Irish author Samuel Beckett (1906-1989).

Gold spent the majority of his career working for the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s legal department. He joined the IMF in 1946 as a counselor and served in several senior positions before becoming General Counsel and Director of the IMF's Legal Department in 1960. A prolific scholar on financial law, Gold published over twenty volumes of work on the interpretation of the IMF's Articles of Agreement and other legal aspects of the Fund. He retired in 1979, but served as Senior Counsel until shortly before his death. In 1980, Joseph Gold was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions as an international civil servant.

Gold also served as a legal lecturer at several universities, including Southern Methodist University, University of Michigan, and Columbia School of Law. Gold's scholarly work was well respected by the legal and academic communities, and he served on the editorial board of several legal journals.

The Complete Marquis Who's WhoTM. Marquis Who's Who, 2001. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan.: The Gale Group, 2001 (accessed November 2012).Joseph Gold obituary, International Monetary Fund, (accessed November 2012).


1.6 linear foot (3 boxes)

1 oversize removal


British attorney and author Sir Joseph Gold (1912-2000) was a collector of modern first editions of British and American writers and poets. The Sir Joseph Gold literary manuscript collection comprises correspondence, manuscripts, publishing files, and publications of mid-twentieth century British and American poets, publishers, and scholars.


Gift of Richard Gold, April 2006.

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 0138, John Wieners papers

MSS 0446, Sir Joseph Gold collection related to Samuel Beckett

MSS 0472, Sir Joseph Gold political and miscellaneous ephemeral collection related to Samuel Beckett

MSS 0481, Robert A. Wilson collection

MSS 0555, Robert A. Wilson John Wieners collection

Materials Cataloged Separately

The collection includes a signed and numbered copy of Sightings I-IX & Red Easy a Color, poems by Jerome Rothenberg with ten prints by Ian Tyson, which has been cataloged separately with imprints in Special Collections.

Shelving Summary

  1. Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
  2. Box 2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
  3. Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
  4. Removals: Shelved in MAD MSS oversize mapcases

OCLC Number


Processed and encoded by Elyse Brown, November 2012.

Finding aid for Sir Joseph Gold literary manuscript collection
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2012 November 9
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA