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   Edward W. Said Papers 1940s-2006

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edward W. Said Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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

Summary Information

Abstract

Edward W. Said was an academic, literary critic, musician, and political activist for the Palestinian cause in the United States. The collection includes appointment books, audiovisual materials, clippings, correspondence, course materials, drafts, journals, notes, research materials, reviews, printed materials and publications.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1524
Bib ID:5483040 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Said, Edward W.
Title:Edward W. Said Papers 1940s-2006
Physical description:185.75 linear feet (184 record cartons, 3 document boxes, and 2 flat boxes)
Language(s): Material is in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Greek, Japanese, Urdu, Hebrew, and Flemish.
Access: Most material has no restrictions. Files including sensitive material, such as student grades, have restrictions as noted in the finding aid. If you would like to use audiovisual materials in Series VI, please contact the library in advance of your visit to discuss access options. The following boxes are located off-site: 183-187. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into six series and several subseries:

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Description

Description

Edward W. Said was an academic, literary critic, musician, and political activist for the Palestinian cause in the United States. The collection includes appointment books, audiovisual materials, clippings, correspondence, course materials, drafts, journals, notes, research materials, reviews, printed materials and publications.

A large portion of the papers consists of correspondence, primarily filed in Series I: Correspondence. The correspondence includes alphabetical and chronological correspondence files, as well as a card file index created by Said. The correspondents include Said’s professional colleagues, political activists, and members of the public and the news media.

The papers also include clippings, manuscripts, and drafts of Said’s writings, which included articles, books and book chapters, lectures, op-eds, program notes, reviews, and other works. The files also include related correspondence, reviews, and responses from readers.

Series III: Academics contains administrative materials, course materials, notes, and research materials. This material primarily relates to Said’s appointment at Columbia University, although he also held visiting appointments elsewhere. There is some overlap between Series III and Series V, due in part to the number of processors that worked on the collection over time, and the large component of general research material contained in the papers. Series V contains general subject and research files. These primarily related to Said’s work as an activist, and there is also a substantial amount of research material related to the Middle East filed in this series.

Series IV: Personal and Professional Files contains business cards, rolodexes, biographical notes, and other personal materials, as well as files related to public appearances, events, and organizations. There is some overlap with Series III, which includes some materials related to academic conferences.

Series VI contains audiovisual materials, which consists primarily of video of appearances, conferences, and interviews featuring Said.

Series I: Correspondence, 1965-2003 Undated

This series contains Said’s professional correspondence from dating 1966 until his death in September 2003. These letters pertain to Said’s relationships and activities within the professional world of English and Comparative Literature; his friendships with a wide range of scholars, activists, writers, and public figures; his advocacy on behalf of the Palestinian cause and role as an observer of the Middle East peace process; and his extensive activity as a public intellectual delivering lectures and writing on behalf of publications around the world. The correspondents include Said’s professional colleagues, political activists, and members of the public and the news media. The first four boxes contain a card file index created by Said.

The correspondence in this series reflects Said’s original arrangement by month and year, in most cases, and into specifically named files in other cases. Two boxes containing more correspondence from the 1960s through 2000 were labeled by Said as “Unorganized.” Eight folders with additional correspondence from 1975-1977 were kept separately by Said and are not part of the card file index. They were labeled “Additional Unorganized’ during processing.

Other correspondence, related to arrangements for lectures and seminars, constitutes a separate subseries, Subseries I.2: Lectures—Logistics, reflecting Said’s original arrangement of his papers. These files sometimes contain drafts or final versions of the lecture, some of which can also be found in the Writings series.

Series II: Writings, 1963-2006 Undated

This series contains writings by and about Edward W. Said. It includes book manuscripts, articles, and lectures as well research notes and editorial correspondence. The material is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries II.1: Book Manuscripts and Drafts, 1963-2006

This subseries contains manuscripts of Said’s books, including On Late Style , which was published posthumously. Also included is editorial correspondence and letters from readers. Most of the drafts have handwritten notes. Of particular interest are the handwritten manuscript of Said’s memoir Out of Place and the set of photographs taken by Jean Mohr and used for After the Last Sky .

Subseries II.2: Articles, 1967-2003

Included here are articles, op-eds, and reviews published by Said in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. Folders generally include edited drafts, research materials, correspondence with the editor, and the issue in which the article was published. In other cases, only clippings or issues of the magazine containing the published versions of the pieces are in the folders.

In the case of articles for the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat , most folders have the text written by Said in English and the Arabic version as published by Al-Hayat . Some folders also include the English version from Al-Ahram Weekly and translations into other languages, if the article was also published in French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.

This subseries also includes examples of program notes written by Said for music performances.

Subseries II.3: Lectures, 1969-2002

This subseries contains the texts of lectures delivered by Said in different contexts, from academic conferences and talks to United Nations hearings. Folders include edited drafts and some correspondence.

Subseries II.4: Drafts, 1964-2003

This series contains drafts which were filed separately from any published versions, or drafts for which there are no clear published versions. Many drafts include handwritten notes.

Subseries II. 5: Writings about Edward W. Said, 1970s-2004

This subseries includes writings about Said, as well as published interviews with him.

Series III: Academics, 1949-2003

This series contains materials relating to Edward W. Said’s academic life, with much of the series pertaining to his professorship in the Comparative Literature Department of Columbia University. It contains lecture notes and syllabi, administrative correspondence, research notes and articles, and appointment books.

There is some overlap between Series III, Series IV, and Series V, due in part to the number of processors that worked on the collection over time, and the large component of general research material contained in the papers.

Subseries III.1: Course Notes and Materials, 1954-2003

This subseries includes Said’s class notes and teaching files. The class notes consist of Said’s notes on classes that he took as a student. His teaching files consist of teaching notes, course syllabi, lecture notes, and some correspondence with students and administrators. Grade books and folders including student grades have been restricted.

Subseries III.2: Administration, 1968-2004

This subseries includes administrative and departmental correspondence, appointment books, phone messages, and letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation for students and faculty for tenure review have been restricted. There is also some information on administrative committees, professional memberships, conference and other events in this subseries.

Subseries III.3: Research, 1949-2000

This subseries largely contains photocopies and offprints of academic articles, book chapters, and other research material. It also includes some research notes.

Series IV: Personal and Professional Files, 1957-2003

Subseries IV.1 Personal and Biographical Files, 1957-2003

This subseries contains business cards, diaries, journals, rolodexes, programs, and receipts, as well as biographical notes and résumés.

Subseries IV.2 Public Appearances, Events, and Organizations, 1968-2001 Undated

This subseries contains files related to appearances, conferences, and professional organizations.

There is some overlap between this subseries and Series III, which contains some materials related to academic conferences.

Series V: Subject Files, 1950s-2004

This series contains subject and research files; many of these materials relate to Said’s work as an activist. There is a substantial amount of research material related to the Middle East, as well as material related to Said’s interests in music.

There is some overlap between Series III, Series IV, and Series V, due in part to the number of processors that worked on the collection over time, and the large component of general research material contained in the papers.

Subseries V.1: Subject Files, 1959-2003 undated

This subseries contains general subject files on various persons and topics.

Subseries V.2 Research and Printed Materials, 1950s-2004

This subseries contains research materials; most are related to Israel, Palestine, or the Middle East. There are also some materials related to music.

There is some overlap between Series III, Series IV, and Series V, due in part to the number of processors that worked on the collection over time, and the large component of general research material contained in the papers.

Series VI: Audiovisual Materials, 1990s, undated

This subseries contains audiocassettes, audio reels, and videotapes. These are primarily of appearances, conferences, and interviews featuring Said.

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Using the Collection

Partially Offsite

Access Restrictions

Most material has no restrictions. Files including sensitive material, such as student grades, have restrictions as noted in the finding aid.

If you would like to use audiovisual materials in Series VI, please contact the library in advance of your visit to discuss access options.

 The following boxes are located off-site: 183-187. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

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); Edward W. Said Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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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

Papers processed 2007-2017 by Casiana Ionita (Columbia University, GSAS 2013), Simon Taylor (Columbia University, GSAS 2014), Asheesh Siddique (Columbia University, GSAS 2017), Kristy Riggs (Columbia University, GSAS 2012), Darragh Martin (Columbia University, GSAS 2013), Mary Freeman (Columbia University, GSAS 2018), and Catherine C. Ricciardi. Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi in November 2017, incorporating series descriptions written by the GSAS students.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion September 25, 2014 Finding aid written in English.
    2014-09-25 File created.
    2017-02-07 xml document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2017-11-03 xml document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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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.

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Columbia University.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Said, Edward W.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biogrpahical Note

Edward W. Said was an academic, literary critic, musician, and political activist for the Palestinian cause in the United States.

Said was born in Jerusalem in 1935, and was raised in Jerusalem and in Cairo. Said came to the United States in 1951, attending the Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. He went on to attend both Princeton (B.A. 1957) and Harvard (M.A. 1960; Ph.D. 1964).

In 1963, Said began teaching at Columbia University, where he was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature.

Said was the author of many books, including Orientalism (1978); The Question of Palestine (1979); Covering Islam (1980); The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983); Culture and Imperialism (1993); Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process (1996); and Out of Place: A Memoir (1999). Outside of his academic work, Said wrote a regular column for Al-Hayat and Al-Ahram , and was a contributor to newspapers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Said was also the music critic for The Nation for many years, and co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002) with Daniel Barenboim.

Said died in 2003 in New York City.

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