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John Ciardi Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Ciardi, John, 1916-1986.
Title: John Ciardi Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1957
Quantity: 1 linear ft.
Abstract: American poet and author. Collection contains correspondence, subject files and published material.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

John Anthony Ciardi (1916-1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. He is best known for his poetry, including a well-received translation of Dante's Divine Comedy and several volumes of children's poetry; other works include Person to Person, You Know Who, In the Stoneworks, and How Does a Poem Mean?

Born in Boston, Ciardi attended Tufts College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1938; D. Lit, 1960) and the University of Michigan (M.A., 1939).

Ciardi taught at Harvard College and Rutgers University, and was poetry editor of the Saturday Review from 1956 to 1972. He received several awards for his poetry, including the Prix de Rome of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1956 and honorary degrees from Wayne University, Ursinus College and Kalamazoo College. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Ciardi Papers contain correspondence and published material. All papers are dated 1957.

Correspondence consists of letters to the Saturday Review about Ciardi's review of The Unicorn and Other Poems, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Letters are arranged alphabetically, with incoming and outgoing together.

Subject files contains lists of letters, instructions and a scoreboard.

Published material includes articles by and about Ciardi.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Ciardi, John, 1916-1986.


Authors, American -- 20th century.
Poets, American -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Ciardi Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Ciardi, 1964.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: circa 1965
Revision history: 12 May 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 A-L (29 folders)
Box 2 M-Z (25 folders)
Subject files
Box 2 Ciardi scoreboard
Box 2 Instructions to typist
Box 2 List of published letters
Box 2 List of unpublished letters
Published material
Box 2 Articles about
Box 2 Articles by, "The reviewers duty to damn"

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