Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Bridson mss., 1934-1980, consist of correspondence and writings of Douglas Geoffrey Bridson, 1910-1980, producer and author. Bridson began his career in 1933 as a free-lance radio writer and joined the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1935 as Feature Programmes Assistant in the North Region. He then moved to London in 1941 to become Overseas Features Editor, Assistant Head of Features following the War, and Programme Editor for Arts, Sciences, and Documentaries (Sound), from 1964-1967. In this latter position, Bridson was referred to as "the cultural boss of the BBC." D.G. Bridson retired from the BBC in May 1969, after more than 35 years and 800 broadcasts that carried his name.

The collection has been organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Miscellaneous; IV. Diaries; V. Press Clippings. An inventory is available.

The correspondents in the collection are chiefly writers whom Bridson recorded for broadcast during his career. They include: Conrad Potter Aiken, Mary (Hoover) Aiken, Wystan Hugh Auden, Michael Ayrton, Joseph Bard, Agnes Bedford, Douglas Geoffrey Bridson, Christine Brooke-Rose, Basil Bunting, Norman Cameron, Norman Cameron, Norman Lewis Corwin, Edward Estlin Cummings, Nancy Clara Cunard, Lawrence George Durrell, Clifford Dyment, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Refik Erduran, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Roberto Gerhard, Louis Golding, Robert Graves, Walter Greenwood, Christopher Murray Grieve, Donald Hall, Gerald William Lankester Harding, Christopher Hibbert, James Hilton, Langston Hughes, Emyr Owen Humphreys, Laura (Riding) Jackson, Gwyn Jones, Milton Allen Kaplan, Hugh Kenner, James Laughlin, Anne (Hoskyns) Lewis, Wyndham Lewis, Alan Lomax, Archibald MacLeish, Herbert Marshall, Sheri Martinelli, Harry Monroe Meacham, Walter Michel, Henry Miller, Arch Oboler, Brigit (Morrison-Scott) Patmore, Hugh Gordon Porteus, Dorothy (Shakespear) Pound, Ezra Loomis Pound, Omar Shakespear Pound, James Bennett Pritchard, Mary de Rachewiltz, Walter de Rachewiltz, Kenneth Rexroth, Ivor Armstrong Richards, Olga Rudge, John Strugnell, John Lincoln Sweeney, Roland de Vaux, Robert Penn Warren, John Hall Wheelock, William Carlos Williams, Sir Donald Wolfit, Louis Zukofsky. Bridson provided a brief description of his relationship with each individual. These typed notes have been gathered into a single file and placed at the end of the correspondence series.

Writings include original radio scripts by D.G. Bridson, Norman Cameron, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Kenneth Rexroth, as well as Bridson's manuscript for his autobiography Prospero and Ariel: The Rise and Fall of Radio (London: Victor Gollancz, 1971).

A group of 186 "Listener reports" (later called: Audience research reports) for programs written or produced by Bridson, 1944-1969, a typescript chronological list of all Bridson's productions, Bridson's daily desk diaries, 1950-1980, and five scrapbook volumes of press clippings, 1934-1972, complete the collection.

Purchase. 1977, 1981, 1988

Collection size: 657 items

Related manuscripts: Bridson mss. II

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.