Auden Collection: Provenance
Swarthmore College's Auden Collection was established through donations from Auden himself (most notably, the gift of a manuscript notebook from the 1930s), the gathering of material "evidence" of his tenure here (a typewriter and correspondence with faculty members), and the varied and sometimes amusing traces the poet-professor left behind on campus and in the library (articles in the Swarthmore College newspaper and annotated copies of a few of his own works).
In addition to housing unique artifacts from Auden's time at the college, the collection consists of approximately 500 items, including many first editions of books, pamphlets, and broadsides, as well as secondary literature and sound recordings. For access to this collection, or to explore other special collections in the Rare Book Room, please contact the Circulation Desk.
We wish to thank the College Bulletin for allowing us to make several of its articles available for this exhibit; Kate Carter of the Digital Initiatives & Scholarship Department for her scanning and web design assistance; and Susanna Morikawa of the Friends Historical Library for her advice about digitizing archival materials.
Many thanks also to the Estate of W. H. Auden for generously granting permission to reproduce images of Auden's typescript and handwritten Romanticism chart, the revisions to The Ascent of F6, his letter to the library, and his Vocation and Society speech.
Bibliography and Suggestions for Further Reading
Auden, W.H. Collected Poems. Ed. Edward Mendelson. New York: Random House, 1976.
---. The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays. New York: Random House, 1962.
Callan, Edward. Auden: A Carnival of Intellect. New York: Oxford, 1983.
Carpenter, Humphrey. W.H. Auden, A Biography. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981.
Erffa, Eleanor Follansbee von. "Auden at Swarthmore." National Theatre Conference Bulletin 7 (1945): 27-32. (Von Erffa was the wife of Helmut von Erffa, a professor of fine arts at Swarthmore. This article pertains to the staging of The Ascent of F6 in the spring of 1945, and to Auden's extensive participation in the production.)
Lewars, Kenneth. "Auden's Swarthmore Chart." Connecticut Review 1 (1968): 44-56. (Lewars ('44) was a student in Auden's Romanticism seminar in 1943. In this article, he places Auden's "Swarthmore chart" in the context of the poet's philosophical and theological thought and of "The Sea and the Mirror," a commentary on The Tempest that Auden was working on around the time he composed the chart.)
Mandelbaum, Maurice. "Swarthmore." W.H. Auden: A Tribute. Ed. Stephen Spender. New York: Macmillan, 1975. 119-23.
Mendelson, Edward. Later Auden. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1999.
Osborne, Charles. W.H. Auden: The Life of a Poet. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979.
Spears, Monroe K. "W.H. Auden at Swarthmore." Swarthmore College Bulletin (March 1962): 1-6. (This article is available as a PDF.)