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The William E. Stafford Archives, 1930-2012

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Stafford, William, 1914-1993
Title
The William E. Stafford Archives
Dates
1930-2012 (inclusive)
Quantity
130 linear feet (approx.)
Collection Number
OLPb037STA
Summary
William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. This collection includes all of Stafford's personal materials relating to his writing and teaching career.
Repository
Lewis & Clark College, Special Collections and Archives
Lewis & Clark College Special Collections and Archives
Aubrey R. Watzek Library
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland, OR
97219
Telephone: 503-768-7254
Fax: 503-768-7282
archives@lclark.edu
Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions and is open for research.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. Among his many credentials, Stafford served as consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress, and received the National Book Award for his poetry collection Traveling through the Dark (1963). During his lifetime, Stafford wrote over sixty books of poetry that still resonate with both scholars and general readers. Stafford’s perspectives on peace, the environment, and education serve as some of the most articulate and engaging dialogues by a modern American writer about three of the most important issues of the second half of the twentieth century with lasting impacts on future generations. Howard Zinn, one America’s most iconic modern historians, was keenly aware of Stafford’s insight into modern American culture. Zinn claimed, “William Stafford’s prose and poetry, wise and eloquent, speak directly to the violence of our time, and to our hope for a different world” (from cover of Every War Has Two Losers).

The William Stafford Archives, donated to Lewis & Clark College by the Stafford family in 2008, contain the private papers, publications, photographs, recordings, and teaching materials of the poet William Stafford. The Lewis & Clark College Special Collections actively add to this collection by acquiring unique Stafford related materials.

Stafford wrote every day of his life from 1950 to 1993. These 20,000 pages of daily writings form a complete record of the poet’s mostly early morning meditations, including poem drafts, dream records, aphorisms, and other visits to the unconscious, recorded on separate sheets of yellow or white paper or when traveling, often in spiral-bound reporters’ steno pads. The archive also includes typescripts of poems submitted for publication and for use in readings. Stafford listed where he submitted each poem, and whether it was accepted for publication on the typescript. Each of his published collections, large and small, is represented by its gathering of documentary copies (typescripts), called by Stafford a “put-together.” Unpublished poems, poems published in journals, and reading copies of published poems were also gathered, in a virtually complete record from 1937 to 1993, totaling about 7,000 items. The collection also includes copies of all known Stafford books and translations. Stafford saved correspondence received, with an indication of the date of reply, and sometimes a copy of the reply, from the early 1960s to August 1993. Estimated at 100,000 sheets, the collected correspondence contains some full exchanges of correspondence initiated by WS. One such exchange is the correspondence with Marvin Bell on their sequence Segues. In addition to many photographs of and relating to William Stafford, the archive includes an estimated 20,000 photographs and negatives taken and developed by Stafford of fellow poets, family, friends, and Lewis & Clark College faculty. The archive provides documentation of Stafford's teaching career, including more than one thousand index cards, some dating from research at Iowa, others from later. These were much used in preparing for classes, workshops, and lectures. The files also contain scattered notes for workshops and lectures. The archive also includes course syllabi, and faculty documents relating to Stafford's teaching years at Lewis & Clark College.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Stafford Archives includes personal manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, photographic negatives and prints, audio and video recordings, publications, teaching materials, artifacts, calendars, and materials relating to Stafford's life as a pacifist.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, broadcast, or quote from materials in the Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections requires written permission of the Head of Archives & Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

The William Stafford Archives, Lewis & Clark College Aubrey Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections, Portland, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1: Drafts, 1937-1993Return to Top

67 boxes, (32 cubic feet)

Includes handwritten and typed drafts.

Arranged in 6 sub-series: 1) Daily Writings; 2) Travel Journals; 3) Documentary Copies; 4) Prose; 5) Writings for Public Presentations; 6) Stafford's Translations of Other Authors.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Daily Writings (view detailed finding aid)
35 boxes (15 cubic feet)
Includes Stafford's daily handwritten creative writings drafts, as well as his typed intermediary drafts, many of which were revised to become documentary copies of poems.
Arranged chronologically.
1950-1993
Sub-Series 2: Travel Journals (view detailed finding aid)
2 boxes (1 cubic foot)
Includes Stafford's handwritten journals that served as Stafford's daily writings while he was traveling. Many of the drafts in this collection were revised as documentary copies.
Arranged chronologically.
1952-1992
Sub-Series 3: Documentary Copies (view detailed finding aid)
17 boxes (5 cubic feet) : ;
Includes Stafford's typed revisions of his poems that were used to track publication submissions, rejections, and acceptances for publication.
Arranged in Stafford's original order, which varied depended on time period and type of poetry. See detailed finding aid for more information.
1937-1993
Sub-Series 4: Prose (view detailed finding aid)
8 boxes (4 cubic feet)
Includes drafts of: interviews and questionnaires; book reviews; stories; public presentations; and essays.
Arranged by prose type and chronologically within each grouping.
1937-2000
Sub-Series 5: Writings for Public Readings and Workshops (view detailed finding aid)
3 cubic feet (6 boxes)
Includes Stafford's typed texts for readings and workshops.
Arranged in boxes by type of material: 1) Copies of Poems for Readings; 2) Lecture Notes; 3) Notes for Workshops, Lectures, & Readings; 4-6) Possible Poems for Publication, Abandoned Poems, Submission Lists, and Workshop Materials. Arranged in Stafford's original order within boxes.
1960-1993
Sub-Series 6: Stafford's Translations of Other Authors (view detailed finding aid)
2 boxes (1 cubic foot)
Handwritten, typed, and published versions of translations of poems by other authors, along with with correspondence about the projects.
Arranged chronologically.
1962-1992

Series 2: Professional Engagements, 1959-1993Return to Top

7 boxes, (3 cubic feet)

Includes materials documenting Stafford's professional engagements related to poetry.

Arranged in 2 sub-series: 1) Appointment Books; 2) Promotional Materials and Conference Programs.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Appointment Books (view detailed finding aid)
1.5 cubic feet (4 boxes)
Includes Stafford's annual appointment books with his handwritten notes detailing daily activities and travels.
Arranged chronologically.
1959-1993
Sub-Series 2: Promotional Materials and Conference Programs (view detailed finding aid)
3 boxes (1.5 cubic feet)
Includes printed leaflets, handbills, posters, and brochures documenting Stafford's engagements as a reader and workshop instructor.
Arranged chronologically.
1950-1993

Series 3: Correspondence, 1958-1993Return to Top

106 Boxes

Includes all of Stafford's incoming correspondence and some carbon copies of outgoing correspondence.

Arranged in 3 sub-series: 1) General Correspondence; 2) Correspondence with Publishers; 3) Civilian Public Service Correspondence; 4) Manuscripts Sent to William Stafford by Other Authors; 5) Condolence Letters.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: General Correspondence (view detailed finding aid)
80 boxes
Includes incoming correspondence and some carbon copies of outgoing correspondence.
Arranged in rough chronological with some subject groupings as organized by Stafford.
1958-1993
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence with Publishers (view detailed finding aid)
25 boxes
Includes incoming correspondence and some carbon copies of outgoing correspondence. Includes correspondence from the Estate of William Stafford relating to posthumous publications.
Grouped by publication and arranged in chronological order by publication.
1958-2010
Sub-Series 3: Civilian Public Service Correspondence (view detailed finding aid)
1 box (.3 cubic feet)
Photocopies of incoming and outgoing letters.
Arranged in topical and date order.
1930s-1947
Sub-Series 4: Manuscripts Sent to William Stafford by Other Authors (view detailed finding aid)
1 box (1.5 cubic feet)
Typescripts of manuscripts by other authors sent to Stafford in the solictation of reviews or publicity statements.
Arranged in alphabetical order by author's last name.
1968-1992
Sub-Series 5: Condolence Letters (view detailed finding aid)
6 box (3 cubic feet)
Typescripts of manuscripts by other authors sent to Stafford in the solictation of reviews or publicity statements.
Arranged in alphabetical order by author's last name.
1993

Series 4: Photographs, 1880-1993Return to Top

13 boxes, (8 cubic feet)

Includes negatives and photographic prints.

Arranged in 4 sub-series: 1) Negatives of Photographs by William Stafford; 2) Prints of Photographs by William Stafford; 3) Stafford Family Photographs; 4) Photographs of William Stafford.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Negatives of Photographs by William Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
16,000 negatives (approx.) (4 three-ring binders)
Includes negatives created by Stafford in his darkroom for photographs of family, friends, colleagues, and poets encountered during his travels.
Arranged in chronological order by year and by film roll number and individual frame number within each year.
1966-1993
Sub-Series 2: Prints of Photographs by William Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
7 boxes (4 cubic feet)
Includes the prints made by Stafford in his darkroom. Stafford usually sent the best prints to the image subjects. This sub-series includes the copies Stafford kept for himself.
Arranged alphebetically by photograph subject.
1960-1993
Sub-Series 3: Stafford Family Photographs (view detailed finding aid)
3 boxes (1.5 cubic feet)
Includes historic photographs of Stafford's ancestors, some in tin-type, images relating to Stafford's years as a conscientious objector, prints of images taken by Stafford of his wife, children, and other family members, and photos taken during his travels.
Arranged in mixed chronological order and by subject order.
1880-1993
Sub-Series 4: Photographs of William Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
2 boxes (1 cubic foot)
Photographs of Stafford, some self-portraits, but most taken by other photographers.
Arranged in rough chronological order.
1920-1993

Series 5: Audio / Video, 1950-2012Return to Top

7.3 cubic feet, (14 boxes)

Includes video recordings, audio recordings, and musical settings.

Arranged in 4 sub-series: 1) Video Footage of William Stafford; 2) Audio Recordings of William Stafford; 3) Musical Settings to William Stafford Poetry; 4) Audio and Video Recordings of Others Reading Stafford's Poems.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Video Footage of William Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
4 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Includes film reels, VHS recordings, BETA recordings, and digital footage of Stafford reading his poetry.
Arranged in chronological order.
1966-2011
Sub-Series 2: Audio Recordings of William Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
2.5 cubic feet (7 boxes)
Includes casette, DAT, and CD recordings.
Arranged by format, place of recording, and date.
1963-1993
Sub-Series 3: Musical Settings to William Stafford Poetry (view detailed finding aid)
1.5 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Includes sheet music, reel to reel, and compact discs.
Arranged in chronologically by date of creation.
1950-2012
Sub-Series 4: Audio Recordings of Others Reading Stafford's Poems (view detailed finding aid)
.3 cubic feet (1 boxes)
Includes casette, DAT, and CD recordings.
Arranged in chronologically by date of creation.
1976-2009

Series 6: Teaching Materials, 1950-1993Return to Top

3 boxes, (1.5 cubic feet)

Includes course syllabi and teaching notecards.

Arranged in 2 sub-series: 1) Syllabi and Handouts; 2) Teaching Notecards.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Syllabi and Handouts (view detailed finding aid)
2 boxes (1 cubic foot)
Includes syllabi and handouts for courses at Lewis & Clark College and workshops across the world.
Arranged in chronological order.
1950-1978
Sub-Series 2: Teaching Notecards (view detailed finding aid)
1 boxes (.5 cubic feet) (904 cards)
Handwritten and typed notecards.
Arranged in Stofford's original subject order.
1950-1993

Series 7: Artifacts, 19??-199?Return to Top

: ;

Description Dates
196?-19??

Series 8: Publications, 1938/2012Return to Top

3,100 items (approx.)

Includes books, periodicals, and broadsides featuring Stafford's writings and criticism about Stafford. The James Pirie Bibliography of Stafford serves as an itemized index to the materials in this series.

Arranged in the following sub-series: 1) Books by Stafford in English; 2) Books with Contributions by Stafford; 3) Serial Publications Featuring Stafford; 4) Broadsides Featuring Stafford; 5) Translations of Stafford's Writings; 6) Criticism of Stafford; 7) One-of-a-Kind Art Books.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Books by Stafford in English (view detailed finding aid)
12 linear feet
Includes books with Stafford as a primary author published in English.
All of the books listed in this finding aid are listed chronologically and shelved according to Library of Congress classification numbers.
1946-2012
Sub-Series 2: Books with Contributions by Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
825 books
Includes Stafford's contributions to serial publications.
All of the books in this sub-series are described in detail in section F of William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography (2012) by James Pirie. The books are also catalogued in the Watzek Library online catalog. The books are shelved according to call number order.
1947-2012
Sub-Series 3: Periodicals with contributions by Stafford in English (view detailed finding aid)
1,900 items
Includes .
All of the periodicals in this sub-series are described in detail in section E of William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography (2012) by James Pirie. They are housed alphabetically by serial title.
1938-2012
Sub-Series 4: Broadsides Featuring Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
220 items
Includes broadsides, bookmarks, and leaflets printed on a single sheet.
Housed and arranged by size, title, and date. All of the published translations in this sub-series are described in detail (with poem titles and pagination) in the translations appendix of William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography (2012) by James Pirie.
1959-2012
Sub-Series 5: Translations of Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
1.5 cubic feet (3 boxes )
Includes published translations of Stafford's writings in serial and book form.
Items in this subseries are arranged alphabetically by language and chronologically with language. All of the published translations in this sub-series are described in detail (with poem titles and pagination) in the translations appendix of William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography (2012) by James Pirie.
1970-2011
Sub-Series 6: Criticism of Stafford (view detailed finding aid)
500 items (approx.)
Includes theses, serial publications, and books.
All of the published translations in this sub-series are described in detail in Section H of William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography (2012) by James Pirie. The items are listed and housed chronologically by publication date.
1957-1911
Sub-Series 7: One-of-a-Kind Art Books (view detailed finding aid)
1 item
Art books.
Arranged chronologically.
2011

Series 9: Pacifism, 1939-2006Return to Top

1.5 cubic feet, (3 boxes)

Includes serial publications and books collected by Stafford related to Pacifism, and subject files assembled by the William Stafford Archives that inclues research materials related to the Civilian Public Service program and Stafford's experiences as a conscientious objector.

Arranged in the following sub-series: 1) Pacifism Publications; 2) Civilian Public Service Subject Files.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Pacifism Publications (view detailed finding aid)
1 cubic foot (2 boxes)
Includes books and serials relating to pacifism collected by Stafford, most during World War II.
All of the books listed in this finding aid are listed chronologically by publication date.
1939-1968
Sub-Series 2: Civilian Public Service Subject Files (view detailed finding aid)
.5 cubic feet (1 boxes)
Includes subject files assembled by the William Stafford archivist including correspondence, copies, and documents.
Grouped by subject.
1942-2006

Series 10: William Stafford Biographical, 1950-2012Return to Top

2 boxes, (1 cubic foot)

Includes biographical materials about William Stafford

Arranged in two sub-series: 1) Clippings; 2) General Biographical.
Description Dates
Sub-Series 1: Biographical Clippings (view detailed finding aid)
.5 cubic feet (1 box)
Includes news clippings with biographical content about William Stafford.
Arranged chronologically.
1950-2011
Sub-Series 2: General Biographical (view detailed finding aid)
.5 cubic feet (1 box)
Includes copies, correspondence, and other assembled biographical content about William Stafford.
Arranged chronologically.
1950-2012

Series 11: Stafford Archives Administrative Files (view detailed finding aid), 1998-2012Return to Top

10 cubic feet

Includes subject files about William Stafford and the William Stafford Archives assembled by the Stafford archivist.

Arranged in a single topical series.