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University receives $143,100 grant to process Grove Press archive

January 06, 2011

Pamela Whiteley McLaughlin
(315) 443-9788

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has awarded a $143,100 grant to Syracuse University to support the processing of the archive of avant-garde publisher, Grove Press, housed in Syracuse University Library’s Special Collections Research Center.

Considered to be the literary engine behind the sexual revolution in America, the Grove Press archive spans the years 1953-1985 and is comprised of manuscript drafts, correspondence and photographs, as well as editorial, film and publicity files for Grove and its landmark literary magazine “The Evergreen Review.” Included are extensive legal records and clippings files relating to the obscenity trials sparked by the publication of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and “Tropic of Cancer.” The collection includes 2,500 print titles, many of them first editions in excellent condition.

While Grove was based in New York City, its list of titles, authors and subjects was international in scope. Subjects and genres range from Victorian erotica and literary modernism, to post-colonial Latin America and Africa. Grove’s author list included such luminaries as Samuel Beckett, Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras, Robert Frank, D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Pablo Neruda, Frank O’Hara, Charles Olson, Harold Pinter and Gilbert Sorrentino. It was the first to publish many writers of the “Beat” generation, including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka and William Burroughs.

The Grove Press archive holds individual documents of extraordinary value; for example, it contains Malcolm X’s 1964 handwritten letter to Alex Haley detailing his softening views on race. It also offers opportunities for deeper, more sustained research. In addition to attracting scholars of changing sexual mores, it will also draw those studying the Vietnam War, counterculture, race relations in America and post-colonial revolution. Those interested in the Grove collection will include scholars of history, English, American studies, African American studies, Latin American studies, writing and rhetoric, as well as legal and business history.

For more information on the Grove Press archive, contact Sean Quimby at

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