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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2077.1

Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books

Manuscripts, galley proofs and page proofs of books published by New Directions, 1937-2019.


  • 1937-2019


Language of Materials

Includes materials in English and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

Most of this collection is housed offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval of these items requires advance notice. Readers should ask the Public Services staff at Houghton Library for retrieval policies and times.
Conditions Governing Access There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


95.75 linear feet (485 boxes, 181 volumes)

Each publication of the New Directions Publishing Corp. left a deposit of unedited and edited manuscripts, galley proofs, page proofs, and various other materials (such as original photographs or drawings for illustrations) in the New York editorial office. The office deposited such items in Houghton Library from time to time beginning in 1944. Until ca. 1960 these deposits were irregular and did not cover either all publications or all the manuscripts and proofs for any one publication. From 1960, however, the collection is fairly complete until its cut-off date of 1997 (the death of James Laughlin).

The "manuscripts" are usually typescripts or else previously published material in photocopy. Usually there is a "setting copy", that is, a manuscript marked up by an editor for typesetting. Sometimes there are also earlier or unedited manuscripts. The galley and page proofs typically are in threes: one for the author (or translator or editor), one for a ND reader, and one "master" on which changes from both were recorded. Often there are further sets or partial sets of proofs incorporating corrections. In the last decade of the collection, the galley-proof stage was usually skipped.

In addition to the bulk of the collection from the New York office of New Directions, some material has been included from James Laughlin's home office. This can be identified by the accession number *97M-49.


The manuscripts and proofs are arranged alphabetically by the name of the author of the publication (or the title, if there is no author). Within one author, the arrangement is alphabetically by title. Within one title, the items are arranged to follow the production of the book: first manuscripts, then galley proofs, then page proofs, index and jacket copy, etc. One writer's foreword to another writer's book will be found under the author of the book.

Additions to this collection are listed by accession number (i.e., by date of receipt), then by author, then by title.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository


Immediate Source of Acquisition

*44L-1-7, *44LM-1F-8F, *44N-1-20F, *44NM-1F-16F, *45L-1-3, *45N-1F-17F, *45NM-1F-20F, *46N-1F-7F, *46NM-1F-4F, *48NM-1-7, *49NM-1, *51M-183F-190F, *53-1917-1945, *53M-174F-182F, *54-331-356, *54M-27F-45F, *54M-307-324, *55-429-433, *55M-210-222, *55M-298, *56-696-702, *56-1730-1732, *56M-77-79, *57-1063-1076, *57M-236F-238F, *57M-266, *59-1724-1728, *60-1080-1096, *60M-140-151, *61-6-40, *61M-52-67, *62M-310, *63-1059-1086F, *63M-187-195, *65M-221, *67M-171, *70M-39, *70M-129, *75M-69, *75M-79, *76M-77, *78M-69, *81M-11, *82M-104, *83M-89, *84M-49, *85M-60, *85M-61, *85M-67, *85M-73, *87M-112, *88M-70, *90M-61, *91M-72, *92M-45, *93M-78, *93M-156, *95M-56, *96M-3, *96M-5, *96M-6, *96M-25, *96M-44, *97M-49, *98M-65, *99M-50, *2000M-2. Deposited by Mr. James Laughlin, IV; received: 1944-1997. Pre-1965 material was bequeathed in 1997. Material for books published 1965-1997 is deposited by New Directions Publishing Corp.

2019M-83. Gift of Benjamin Moser, 2019 March.

2019M-97. Gift of New Directions Publishing, 2019 April.

Related Materials

The Library has other papers of James Laughlin and the New Directions Publishing Corp. These all have call numbers beginning MS Am 2077.

For another set of corrected galley proofs of Ezra Pound's Drafts and fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII see the James Laughlin Collection (RARE Ms. 39.1) at the John Hay Library of Brown University.

For another set of corrected galley proofs of Ezra Pound's Redondillas, or something of that sort see the James Laughlin Collection (RARE Ms. 39.2) at the John Hay Library of Brown University.

General note

Most of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See use restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: J.F. Coakley; with the assistance of Jackie Dean, Mary Hammer, Vicki Denby, Jermaine Hollins, Michael Newton, and Meghan Keil.
Link to catalog
New Directions Publishing. Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books, 1937-2019 (MS Am 2077.1): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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