Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Plath mss. IV, 1953-1966, consist mostly of letters and manuscripts of poet Sylvia Plath, 1932-1963, and poet Ted Hughes, 1930-1998. The correspondence includes four letters from Plath to Myron Lotz: three when Plath was at Smith College and one written much later in 1960. The Jan. 1953 letter concerning her skiing accident has three drawings appended. Also present is a series of letters written by Plath and Hughes to their friends Kathy and Marvin Kane all written in 1962 and one letter to "Elizabeth" discussing the Kane's visit to them written that same year. There is also 1960-1961 correspondence between Hughes and Olive Higgins Prouty concerning Hughes's book Lupercal, and one letter from Aurelia Schober Plath to Higgins written in 1966.

Writings include drafts of Plath's poems "Widow" and "Sow," and a set of instructions to the nanny "Frieda's Schedule." On the verso of these are handwritten drafts of untitled poems by Hughes. Also present is "Notes on the poems in Lupercal," written by Hughes and the subject of the correspondence between Hughes and Prouty. Completing the collection are three photographs: a formal portrait of Plath and two candid shots of Hughes.

A binder holds items written by Plath as a child, a list from an unknown date, and a letter written by Plath from Mar. 1955.

An inventory is available.

Also see the Guide to the Sylvia Plath Materials in the Lilly Library.

Acquired: 1997

Collection size: 58 items

Related manuscripts: Plath mss. X, Plath mss., Plath mss. II, Plath mss. III, Plath mss. V, Plath mss. XI, Plath mss. VI, Plath mss. VII, Plath mss. VIII, Plath mss. IX

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.