MERRILL, JAMES, 1926-1995.
James Ingram Merrill collection, 1923-2000

Emory University

Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Merrill, James, 1926-1995.
Title: James Ingram Merrill collection, 1923-2000
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1001
Extent:1 linear ft. (1 box) and AV Masters: 1 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Collection of materials relating to American poet James Ingram Merrill.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

James Merrill papers, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University and James Ingram Merrill papers, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.


Purchase, 2004, with subsequent additions.


[after identification of item(s)], James Ingram Merrill collection, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Elizabeth Russey, March 27, 2006.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

James Ingram Merrill (1926-1995), American author and poet, was born in New York City on March 3, 1926 to Charles Merrill and Hellen Ingram Merrill. Merrill attended Amherst College, graduating in 1947 after serving briefly in the United States Army during World War II. Following graduation, Merrill taught at Bard College for a year before turning to writing and publishing. His 1966 collection of poems, Nights and Days, won the National Book Award. He earned numerous awards for his poetry, including the Bollingen Prize for Braving the Elements (1972), the Pulitzer Prize for Divine Comedies (1976), and a second National Book Award for Mirabell (1978). Merrill died of AIDS on February 6, 1995.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains materials relating to James Ingram Merrill from 1923-2000. It includes correspondence, drafts of writings, photographs, tributes, and audiovisual material. Correspondence, photographs, and other papers collected by Hellen [Ingram Merrill] Plummer, James Merrill's mother, form the majority of the collection. Her correspondence contains letters and drafts of poetry written by James Merrill. The correspondence of Charles Crawford, a family friend, also contains correspondence from Merrill. The remainder of the collection includes correspondence of James Merrill to other individuals, a few scattered drafts of poems, memorial service programs, and video and sound recordings of Merrill reading his poetry and tribute services following his death.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by subject.

Container List

James Merrill
Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence, 1972-1974
1 2 Memorials and tributes, 1995
1 3 Writings, "Christmas Tree," undated
1 4 Writings, poetry drafts, undated
Charles Crawford
1 5 Correspondence, 1986-2000
Hellen [Ingram Merrill] Plummer
1 6 Correspondence, 1946-1996
1 7 Correspondence, undated
1 8 World War II collected materials
1 9 Writings, 1923 and undated
1 10 James and Charles Merrill, 1926
1 11 James Merrill, 1926
1 12 James Merrill and Dorothy Racusta[?], 1927
1 13 James Merrill as a young boy, [1930?]
1 14 James Merrill, 1954
1 15 James Merrill portrait, 1971
1 16 James Merrill snapshots
1 17 Hellen Plummer snapshots
1 18 Family photographs and snapshots
1 19 Unidentified framed miniatures
Audiovisual material
AV1 - Jimmy Merrill, April 19, 1977 [original: audio cassette]
AV1 - James Merrill, APL poetry reading, October 13, 1980 [original: audio cassette]
AV1 - James Merrill, 1990 Lanier Poetry Reading, University of Georgia, October 24, 1990 [original: audio cassette]
AV1 - Hellen Plummer Birthday Party 1993 [original: VHS recording]
AV1 - Estella Magowan, Carnegie Hall, November 9, 1993 [original: VHS recording]
AV1 - Voices from Sandover, Poetry Works, May 1, 1995 [original: VHS recording]
AV1 - James Merrill memorial, May 13, 1995 [original: VHS recording]
AV1 - Merrill dedication, Anniston Public Library, Alabama, November 3, 1996 [original: VHS recording]