Department of Special Collections
Washington University Libraries
Washington University in St. Louis

Finding-Aid for the Robert Duncan Papers (WTU00037)

Finding aid prepared by:
Special Collections Staff

Summary Information
Title: Robert Duncan. Papers,
Creator: Duncan , Robert , 1919-
Inclusive dates: 1955-1971.
Extent: ca. 345 items
Call number: WTU-MSS-12903958
Language: English
Repository: Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63130

Access and Use:
Source of Collection:

Purchased from Herbert Howarth. 1969.

Access Restrictions:


Use Restriction:


Users of the collections must read and abide by the Rules for the use of manuscript collection materials.

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish manuscript collection materials form.

All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.

Copyright to significant portions of the collection held by Robert Duncan

Processing Information:

Processed by Washington University Department Special Collections Staff August, 1969EAD encoded finding-aid complete March, 2001


Robert Duncan is one of the most important American poets to emerge since World War II. A seminal figure in what has come to be known as the Black Mountain Group of poets, Duncan also figured prominently in the San Francisco Bay Area movement in the 1950's and 1960's.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Scope and Contents Note

The highlight of the Duncan Papers is his correspondence with author Leroi Jones, which spans the years 1962-1964. The letters discuss many issues contemporary to that time: Black dada, current publishing, and other authors, such as Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Diane DiPrima. The remainder of the collection consists of material toward several of Duncan's books. Of particular interest is the correspondence and material toward A Book of Resemblances: Poems 1950-1953 , which demonstrates the painstaking attention to detail with which Duncan approaches his books. A significant group of more than 160 of Duncan's Letters is housed in the Robert Creeley Papers.

Subject Terms

  • Jones, LeRoi
  • Baraka, Amiri
  • Wenning, Henry
  • McClure, Michael, 1932-
  • Collins, Jess
Contents List
box-folder   1/1-7  
I. Correspondence. [series]: (ca. 107 items.)   
Scope: Consists of correspondence including correspondence between Leroi Jones and Robert Duncan dating from 1962-1964. Also has correspondence from 1965-1967 amongst Duncan, Jess Collins, Hanry Wenning, and representatives of Meredin Gravure Co. on publication of Duncan's A Book of Resemblances, discussing estimates, schedules, printing detials sal of this and other Duncan books and papers, personal affairs.

box-folder   2/8-19  
II. Drafts [series]: (31 items.)   
Scope: Consists of proof materials related to Duncan's Book of Resemblances and correspondence related to the materials.