Research

Major Collections

Major collections of Lorine Niedecker material are held by the Hoard Historical Museum and the Dwight Folder Public Library (in her home town of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin), and additional Niedecker-related material can be found in the Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin, Indiana University (in Bloomington), SUNY-Buffalo, Boston University, and the New York Public Library.

Niedecker Papers at the Hoard Historical Museum & Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

The largest collection of extant material related to Lorine Niedecker is owned and held by the Hoard Historical Museum and the Dwight Foster Public Library in Niedecker’s hometown of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The Hoard Historical Museum has installed a permanent exhibit dedicated to Niedecker in an upstairs room, and reseachers are able to consult the Niedecker material owned by the Hoard museum upon request in the museum’s Knox Research Library during normal business hours.

Visitors are also welcome to use the Lorine Niedecker room at the Dwight Foster Public Library during ordinary hours of operation, though researchers are advised to schedule their research visit in advance, as the library’s archive is maintained by volunteers.

Finding Aid

The Friends of Lorine Niedecker have created a “virtual bookshelf” of the books held at the Dwight Foster Public library. This collection includes most of the surviving books from Niedecker’s personal library (her “immortal cupboard” as she described it in letters). The searchable database also includes bibliographic information for these books as well as the notes and marginalia found in each of the surviving books, compiled by Tom Montag in 2003 and 2004, a description of which can be found some way down this post from his blog. It also includes citations for theses, dissertations, monographs and periodical articles. Where possible we link to the actual document.

There is no publicly available finding aid for the Niedecker-related collection owned by the Hoard museum, though this material can be accessed at the Knox Research Library upon request. Digital copies of much of this material are now available online, however.

Online Availability

Much of the material held by the Hoard Museum and the Dwight Foster Public Library was digitized by University of Wisconsin-Digital Collections in 2007 with support from a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant and is available on the UWDCC’s website as the “Historical Fort Atkinson” collection. This online collection includes 125 individually catalogued documents, 80 photographs, and roughly 20 audio/video recordings.

Niedecker Letters at UT-Austin

Hundreds of letters exchanged between Lorine Niedecker and Louis Zukofsky are included in the Zukofsky collection held by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center [HRHRC] in Austin, Texas. Many of the letters from Niedecker to Zukofsky in this collection were published by Jenny Penberthy in her Niedecker and the Correspondence with Zukofsky 1931-1970.

Finding Aid

The Zukofsky collection at the HRHRC has a very detailed and usable online finding aid. More detailed descriptions of their holdings can be found in two print sources: Marcella Booth’s A Catalogue of the Louis Zukofsky Manuscript Collection (UT-Austin Press, 1975) and Cathy Henderson’s “Supplement to Marcella Booth’s A Catalogue of the Louis Zukofsky Manuscript Collection“, published in The Library Chronicle in 1987.

The Cid Corman Papers at Indiana University

Consists of the papers of poet, translator and editor Cid Corman, 1924-2004. The Correspondents/Authors series contains chiefly correspondence, but writings by authors other than Corman are also present. The Writings series contains Corman’s journals and memoirs, poetry, prose, translations, and worksheets. The series on Origin pertains to the publication of the magazine. The Photographs series includes three photographs of Corman taken by poet Allen Ginsberg, as well as a number of photographs of Corman and his wife Shizumi. Most of the photographs, however, are snapshots of friends and colleagues, and a few were taken at Corman’s dessert shop. Among the items in the Miscellaneous series are hundreds of clippings, reflecting Corman’s many interests from art and astronomy to medicine and the Noh theatre.

This collection contains 8 folders of correspondence between Niedecker and Corman, photographs of Niedecker and her cabin, and several more documents related to Niedecker, Corman, and their long, friendly relationship.

Finding Aid

Archives Online at Indiana University maintains a detailed finding aid for their Corman manuscripts collection.

Niedecker-related Collections in the Poetry Collection at SUNY-Buffalo

The Jargon Society Collection

A number of letters from Lorine Niedecker are included in the Jargon Society Collection, 1950-2008, held in SUNY-Buffalo’s Poetry Collection. The Jargon Society was a small press founded by Jonathan Williams and David Ruff in 1951 and operated for more than 50 years by Williams.
The Jargon Society Collection features an extensive collection of materials relating to the long and influential life of the press, including numerous manuscripts and correspondence from such American and English poets as Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Irving Layton, Kenneth Patchen, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Lorine Niedecker, Louis Zukofsky, and many others; production materials, financial records, and posters for Jargon’s books; the manuscripts and personal papers of Jonathan Williams; and a large number of photographs of Williams and other poets dating back to the 1940s and including scenes from Black Mountain College.

This collection contains more than 50 letters and postcards from Niedecker to Williams written between 1956-1970.

Finding Aid

The University at Buffalo libraries maintain a detailed finding aid for the Jargon Society collection.

The Kenneth Cox Collection

A number of letters exchanged between Lorine Niedecker and the English literary critic Kenneth Cox are included in the Kenneth Cox Collection, 1965-2005.

Kenneth Cox (1916–2005) was a British literary critic and essayist. In particular, Cox admired and wrote extensively about Ezra Pound and Lorine Niedecker, with whom he had a warm friendship. His essays and reviews appeared regularly in Agenda and the Australian magazine Scripsi, as well as in Cambridge QuarterlyPN Review, and Montemora, and his only full-length book, Collected Studies in the Use of English (Agenda Editions), was published in 2001. He also translated from multiple languages, including Italian, Scottish Gaelic, and French, as well as wrote essays in French. The Kenneth Cox Collection, 1965-2005, consists of manuscript material and correspondence, primarily Cox’s notes, research, and drafts. It was organized by Cox with Jenny Penberthy, from whom the Poetry Collection acquired the files.[ref]”Collection Overview” from the SUNY-Buffalo finding aid.[/ref]

Finding Aid

The University at Buffalo libraries maintain a detailed finding aid for the Kenneth Cox collection.

The Truck Collection

SUNY-Buffalo is also home to the Truck Collection, a collection of materials related to the little magazine Truck, edited by David Wilk, which published an important issue dedicated to Niedecker in 1975.

Finding Aid

A very minimal finding aid for the Truck Collection is available from the SUNY-Buffalo library.

Niedecker Letters at the NYPL

More than a hundred letters from Lorine Niedecker to Cid Corman (dated from September 6, 1960 to November 2, 1970) are contained in the New York Public Library’s Berg Collection. Niedecker’s side of the correspondence was collected and annotated by Lisa Pater Faranda and published in Between Your House and Mine”: The Letters of Lorine Niedecker to Cid Corman, 1960 to 1970.

Finding Aid

detailed description of this correspondence is maintained by the NYPL.

Niedecker Collection at Boston University

Several of Niedecker’s manuscripts are included in the Niedecker Collection at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.