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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 3371

Aileen Ward papers


Research files and correspondence of John Keats and William Blake scholar, Aileen Ward.


  • Creation: circa 1902-1994


Physical Description

Some material, particularly in boxes 5, 6, and 8, shows minor evidence of damage from rodents.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

This collection is shelved offsite. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


20 linear feet (23 boxes)

Collection includes Aileen Ward's research materials chiefly for her William Blake but also her John Keats biographies; some of her school papers; family, personal, and professional correspondence; letters to Jean Garrigue; contracts for Blake and Keats books; color slides; black and white and color photographs; diaries and travel journals; and floppy disks and one laptop computer.

Biographical / Historical

Aileen Ward (1919-2016) was the American author of a biography of John Keats, John Keats, the Making of a Poet, for which she won a National Book Award in 1964 and the Duff Cooper Prize in 1963. She edited Selected Poems of Jean Garrigue, published in 1992. At the time of her death, she had been working on a biography of William Blake for nearly 50 years. She was a professor of English literature at various American universities. She lived for many years with her partner, poet Nancy Cardozo (1919–2014), the author of a biography of Maud Gonne as well as of poetry and short stories.


Arranged in order provided by the creator and the donor; collection was reboxed by library staff.

Custodial History

The collection was created by the author, Aileen Ward, and upon her death was the gift of her nephew, Alex Ward, Aileen Ward Estate Trustee.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Alex Ward, 2021 July.

Processing Information

This collection was processed to a basic level with minimal rehousing, organization, and preservation. (Melanie Wisner, 2021)



Ward, Aileen. Aileen papers, circa 1902-1994 (MS Am 3371): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2021 September 14
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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