Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
The majority of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.
Conditions Governing Use
15 linear feet (39 boxes (including 1 portfolio box))
I. Correspondence: Most TSE and "Other correspondence" has been grouped into this series by the repository. Scrapbooks in other series have been left intact, and some still contain postcards and letters. The "Other correspondence" is primarily concerned with the assembling and donation of the collection.
II. Compositions: Most original compositions have been grouped here (by the repository) having been removed from other series in the collection. There are very few materials by TSE. "Other compositions" include writings by family members, especially Charlotte Eliot, Henry Ware Eliot, Jr., and Theresa Garrett Eliot.
III. Biographical and genealogical miscellany: This series contains sub-series groupings of manuscript materials, memorabilia, and printed ephemera relating to TSE, other individuals, and families. Some of these groups were established by the Eliot family and some established in the repository. The TSE sub-series includes report cards, clippings, Harvard College miscellany, financial records, a lease, theatrical programs, Vivienne Eliot miscellany, postcards, palm readings, Valerie Eliot miscellany, a bookplate, and other materials. The "family name" sub-series includes miscellany on the Chauncy family, Cranch family, Eliot family, and others. The sub-series by "Individual name" is mainly Eliot family members, such as Charlotte Eliot (1843-1929), Henry Ware Eliot (1843-1919), Henry Ware Eliot (1879-1947), Theresa Garrett Eliot (1884-1981), William Greenleaf Eliot (1811-1887), but does include others.
IV. Images: Includes approximately 600 images. All format types of images found in this collection were gathered and arranged into five sub-series: TSE, family name, individuals, buildings and locations, and images concerning TSE's writings. The series includes: photographs, cartes-de-visite, cabinet photographs, negatives, photograph albums, a film, a glass negative, photostats, drawings, and scrapbooks that primarily contain photographs. Images contained in news clippings were not moved to this series. Photographs are from TSE's childhood through his late adult years, and document all aspects of his life. Series includes photographs of TSE's immediate family, some ancestors, buildings and locations important in his life, and images from various productions of his plays, especially Murder in the cathedral.
V. Materials concerning the collection: Includes the typescript of the original index to this collection, compiled by Henry Ware Eliot, Jr. and Theresa Garrett Eliot, and the "Guest book" containing signatures of some readers of the collection from 1937-1969.
VI. Printed materials on TSE: This final series comprises the largest bulk of the collection, and is composed mostly of news clippings, especially reviews, concerning TSE's life and work. The description and arrangement was left in the order in which it was set-up by the Eliot family. It also contains ephemera such as theater programs, invitations, tickets, posters, obituaries, and many other items, some of which have autograph annotations by TSE, HWE, Jr., or TGE.
Biographical / Historical
Some of the major dates in the life of T.S. Eliot:
- 1888 September 26 - born in St. Louis, Missouri.
- 1898-1905 - attended Smith Academy, St. Louis.
- 1905-1906 - attended Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts.
- 1906-1910 - at Harvard College (AB 1909; AM 1910; class of 1910).
- 1910-1911 - at Sorbonne, Paris for postgraduate year.
- 1911-1912 - at Harvard University, Graduate School of Philosophy and Indic Philology.
- 1912-1913 - Assistant in Philosophy, Harvard University.
- 1914-1915 - Traveling Fellowship in Philosophy. Went first to Marburg, Germany, where he was caught in the outbreak of WWI. Went to England, where he studied at Merton College, Oxford.
- 1915 June 26 - Marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood.
- 1915-1916 - taught at London's Highgate Junior School and Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe.
- 1917 - literary editor for The Egoist.
- 1917 - 1925 - worked for Lloyds Bank in Colonial and Foreign Department.
- 1917 - published Prufrock and other observations.
- 1917 - published Ezra Pound: his metric and his poetry.
- 1920 - published Ara Vos Prec.
- 1920 - published The sacred wood.
- 1921 - London correspondent for The dial.
- 1921 - Suffered breakdown and rested at Margate and Lausanne.
- 1922 - published The waste land.
- 1922 - 1939 - edited The Criterion.
- 1922 - correspondent for Revue Française.
- 1924 - published Homage to John Dryden.
- 1925 - published Poems, 1909-1925.
- 1925 - became director at Faber & Gwyer (later became Faber and Faber).
- 1926 - delivered Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge.
- 1926- published Journey of the Magi (one of "Ariel poems.")
- 1927 - received into the Church of England and becomes British citizen.
- 1928 - published For Lancelot Andrewes.
- 1929 - published Animula (one of "Ariel poems.")
- 1929 - published Dante.
- 1930 - published Ash-Wednesday.
- 1930 - published Marine (one of "Ariel poems.")
- 1931 - published Triumphal march.
- 1931 - published Thoughts after Lambeth.
- 1932 - published Selected essays.
- 1932 - play performed Sweeney Agonistes.
- 1932 - published After strange gods.
- 1932 - 1933 assumed the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard. Lectures published as The use of poetry and the use of criticism.
- 1934 - play performed The rock.
- 1934 - published Elizabethan essays.
- 1935 - play performed Murder in the cathedral.
- 1935 - published Essays ancient and modern.
- 1936 - published Collected poems, 1909-1935. Included Burnt Norton.
- 1938 - Boutwell lecturer at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
- 1938 - published A song for Simeon (one of "Ariel poems.")
- 1939 - Vivienne Eliot committed to Northumberland House.
- 1939 - play performed The family reunion.
- 1939 - published Old Possum's book of practical cats.
- 1939 - published The idea of a Christian society.
- 1940 - published East Coker.
- 1941 - published Burnt Norton.
- 1941 - published The Dry Salvages.
- 1941- published Later poems, 1925-1935.
- 1942 - published Little Gidding.
- 1943 - published Four quartets.
- 1947 January 22 - death of Vivienne Eliot.
- 1948 - published Notes towards the definition of culture.
- 1948 - awarded Nobel Prize for Literature and Order of Merit.
- 1949 - play performed The cocktail party.
- 1952 - published The complete poems and plays, 1909-1950.
- 1953 - play performed The confidential clerk.
- 1957 January - married Esmé Valerie Fletcher.
- 1957 - published On poetry and poets.
- 1958 - play performed The elder statesman.
- 1960 - received Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
- 1962 - published Collected plays.
- 1962 - published George Herbert.
- 1963 - published Collected poems, 1909-1962.
- 1964 - published Knowledge and experience in the philosophy of E.H. Bradley.
- 1964 - received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- 1965 January 4 - died of emphysema at his home at 3 Kensington Court Gardens, London, at 5:35 pm; ashes interred in St. Michael's Church, East Coker, Somerset; memorial stone in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.
- Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1888-1965; known as T. S. Eliot=TSE.
- William Greenleaf Eliot, 1811-1887, paternal grandfather.
- Henry Ware Eliot, 1843-1919; father= HWE, Sr.
- Charlotte Champe Stearns Eliot, 1843-1929; mother=CE.
- Susan H. Hinkley; sister of CE, aunt of TSE.
- Ada Eliot Sheffield, 1869-1943; sister=AES.
- Alfred Dwight Sheffield, b. 1871-; brother-in-law, husband of AES; brother-in-law of TSE.
- Margaret Dawes Eliot, 1871-1956; sister=MDE.
- Marian Cushing Eliot, 1877-1963; sister=MCE.
- Henry Ware Eliot, 1879-1947; brother=HWE, Jr.
- Theresa Ann Garrett Eliot, 1884-1981; wife of HWE, Jr.; sister-in-law of TSE =TGE.
- Charlotte Eliot Smith, 1874-1926; sister=CES.
- George Lawrence Smith; brother-in-law, husband of CES.
- Theodora Sterling Eliot, 1885-1886; sister (died in infancy).
- Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot, 1888-1947; first wife.
- Esmé Valerie Fletcher Eliot, 1926-; second wife=known as Valerie Eliot.
- I. Correspondence
- ___A. TSE correspondence
- ___B. Other correspondence
- II. Compositions
- ___A. TSE compositions
- ___B. Other compositions
- III. Biographical and genealogical miscellany
- ___A. TSE biographical miscellany
- ___B. Genealogical and biographical miscellany by family name
- ___C. Genealogical and biographical miscellany by individual name
- IV. Images
- ___A. TSE images
- ___B. Images by family name (people and objects)
- ___C. Images by individual name (people and objects)
- ___D. Images of buildings, locations, etc...
- ___E. Images concerning TSE's writings
- V. Materials concerning the collection
- VI. Printed materials on TSE
- ___A. Articles on TSE by subject
- ___B. Reviews and other materials on TSE's works in general
- ___C. Reviews and other materials on TSE's early works, 1917-1934
- ___D. Reviews and other materials on Murder in the cathedral, 1935
- ___E. Reviews and other materials on TSE's later works, 1936-1948
- ___F. Reviews and other materials on The cocktail party, 1949
- ___G. Reviews and other materials on The confidential clerk, 1953
- ___H. Articles and ephemera on TSE's lectures in the United States
- ___I. Articles and ephemera on TSE's lectures outside of the United States
- ___J. Articles and ephemera on TSE's awards
- ___K. Articles, reviews, and ephemera on recordings of TSE's poetry
- ___L. Articles and ephemera on interviews with and personal stories on TSE
- ___M. Scrapbooks of clippings concerning TSE
- ___N. Miscellaneous clippings and posters, 1920-1964
- ___O. Obituaries and clippings after TSE's death, 1965-1994
Immediate Source of Acquisition
No accession number. Original gift to Houghton Library by Henry Ware Eliot Jr. and Theresa Garrett Eliot; received: 1951.
Items (1) - (184), (186) - (221), (223) - (302) shelved at Houghton. Item (185) in Vault. Items (303) - (450) at Harvard Depository. Item (222) at Harvard Depository in cold storage.
The original arrangement and index to this collection was created by Henry Ware Eliot Jr. and his wife, Theresa Garrett Eliot, brother and sister-in-law of T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot. The collection was partially redescribed and resorted in 2007 August-November; then entirely rehoused. The original index was turned into digital-text and used as the basis for the new description of the collection. When possible, the original descriptive text, written by the Eliot family, has been preserved.
It is not Houghton's usual practice to item-describe news clippings, but the Eliot family did so in their original index, so we have retained their unedited item description under series VI: "Printed materials."
- Eliot, Henry Ware, 1879-1947, collector. Henry Ware Eliot T. S. Eliot collection,1881-1994: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
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