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   Ted Berrigan Papers, 1961-1975.

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ted Berrigan Papers, 1961-1975; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

A second generation New York School poet, Ted Berrigan’s life and work was heavily influenced by the Beat poets whom he greatly admired. This collection of personal letters and journals allows insight into the poet’s thought processes and inspirations.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#0113
Bib ID:4079232 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Berrigan, Ted.
Title:Ted Berrigan Papers, 1961-1975.
Physical description:1.26 linear ft (3 document boxes)
Language(s): Material is in English
Access: This collection is located on-site. This collection has no restrictions.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series:

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Description

Scope and Content

The Ted Berrigan collection is divided into two distinct series. The first consists of letters from him to his first wife Sandy during her time in a mental institution in Miami in 1962. Her parents had her committed and had Ted run out of town after learning of their marriage. Most of these letters are typed, but a few are handwritten. Berrigan includes drawings, photographs, and a few newspaper/magazine clippings. The letters describe his work and travels during the two months they are apart as well as his efforts to convince her parents to change their minds. Most of the letters are dated, and there are several envelopes with postmarks.

The second part of the collection consists of thirteen of Berrigan's journals dating from January 1961 to March 1975. The journals include both professional and personal aspects of Berrigan's life. He writes of relationships, including his tumultuous marriage to Sandy and his second marriage to Alice Notley. He writes of the influence of other poets and artists, specifically Frank O'Hara and Andy Warhol, both of whom he met. Many of the entries include his poetry and lists of his daily activities. Also included are numerous lists of poems/poets, books, and films of interest to Berrigan. There are many photographs, newspaper/magazine clippings, letters, and drawings (several of which are by Joe Brainard) affixed to the pages of the journals. Friends Dick Gallup, Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard, and Robert Creeley are mentioned frequently. In several of the later volumes, he begins writing from both sides of the journal, leaving several of the middle pages blank.

Series II: Journals, 1961-1975

Each of the thirteen journals cover a range of time from three months to three years within a single volume. A few of the volumes overlap in year covered. Also included in this series is a folder of miscellaneous clippings and letters which were removed from the first two volumes of the journals, 1961 and 1962.

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Using the Collection

RBML

Access Restrictions

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ted Berrigan Papers, 1961-1975; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Material-- At Columbia

Kulchur Foundation Records

Related Material-- Other Repositories

Ted berrigan Papers, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center of the University of Connecticut

C: A Journal of Poetry Archive, Fales Library and Special Collections of New York University

Joe Brainard Archive, Mandeville Special Collections Library of the University of California, San Diego

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

697736 (1978); 297 - 1982 Cataloged 04/05/89 Christina Hilton Fenn

Papers processed by Christina N. Manzella, Pratt SILS 2011, in July 2010.

Finding aid written by Christina N. Manzella, Pratt SILS 2011, in July 2010.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion September 29, 2010 Finding aid written in English.
    2010-09-29 xml documeent instance created by Carrie Hintz

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Diaries.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Poems.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
American poetry--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Berrigan, Sandra.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bohemianism.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Brainard, Joe, 1942-1994.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Poets.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Ted Berrigan, born Edmund Joseph Michael Berrigan, Jr. in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1934, was a member of the second generation of the New York School of Poets. After a year at Providence College, Berrigan enlisted in the army. He served in Korea, and, upon his return, enrolled at the University of Tulsa where he received his bachelor's degree in English in 1959 and his master's in 1962.

Considering himself a late Beat poet, Berrigan drew inspiration from American Expressionism. He also embraced the Beat lifestyle, hitchhiking across the United States and experimenting with drugs. His work is most often compared to that of Frank O'Hara, a poet whom he greatly admired and mentioned in his earlier journals.

In 1962, Berrigan met and married Sandra Alpers who was eight years his junior and considered a minor in her home state of Florida. Sandy, as he called her, spent the first two months of their marriage in a mental institution in Miami where her parents had her committed because of the marriage. The two went on to have two children, David and Kate, before separating in 1965, due in large part to Berrigan's infidelities. In 1972 he married poet Alice Notley, and they had two sons, Anselm and Edmund.

Berrigan published his most significant work, The Sonnets, in 1964. That same year he, along with Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard, founded C: A Journal of Poetry. Berrigan also met with success in the classroom, gaining student followings at the various schools where he taught courses in poetry.

Berrigan was in poor health and essentially homebound his final few years after decades of drug use and diet pill abuse. Ted Berrigan died in July 1983 at the age of 48.

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