Vassar College is the principal repository of the Bishop papers, but a number of libraries hold significant collections, particularly of Bishop's letters. Arrangements to visit a collection are made through the curator of the collection, whose name is listed at the end of each entry.

Permission to quote from Bishop material in a library collection must in general be obtained from the curator of the collection and from Alice Methfessel, Bishop's literary executor. Copyright law pertains to unpublished material as well as to published works.

The Elizabeth Bishop Papers consist of correspondence, personal papers, working papers, notebooks, diaries, and memorabilia as well as a substantial amount of material by and about her friends and colleagues. Among the collection are over 3,500 pages of drafts of poems and prose, including the only extant typescript of her 1939 poem, "Pleasure Seas."

One will find within the Bishop Papers over 200 letters from Marianne Moore written between 1935 and 1969 discussing their work and mutual friends; and more than 200 letters from Robert Lowell written between 1947 and 1976 discussing his work and that of Bishop's. Other correspondents include:

The collection contains more than 900 letters from Elizabeth Bishop to James Merrill (58 letters, 32 postcards, 1951-1979), Pearl Kazin Bell (93 letters and postcards, 1949-1968), Loren MacIver and Lloyd Frankenberg (127 letters, 120 postcards, 1942-1979), Anny Baumann (112 letters, 27 postcards, 1947-1979), [Aunt] Grace Bowers (173 letters, 88 postcards, 1950-1977), and other friends and relatives. There are also photographs, slides, and watercolors by Elizabeth Bishop, as well as her diplomas, academic hoods, citations, and Brazilian oil lamp.

For more information about the Bishop Papers at Vassar, contact the Special Collections Department by phone (845)437-5799, fax (845)437-5864, or e-mail

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