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Approach Archives

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: Approach magazine
Date: 11 May 1968

Biographical History

APPROACH was an American literary magazine that flourished between 1947 and 1962. It published both prose and poetry, and counted among its authors Robert Bly, Charles Bukowski, Daniel Hoffman, Lachlan MacDonald, Thomas Merton, Howard Nemerov, and many more.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The APPROACH Archives contains editorial files, books, magazines and miscellaneous material. The donor's original organization has been retained. This Scope and Content section has been written by Special Collections Research Center, but all folder titles and descriptions in the "Inventory" section below are taken directly from the donor's extensive and detailed finding aid.

APPROACH files contains issue files, correspondence and miscellany. Issue files consists of one file for each of the 64 issues of the magazine; each file may contain a wide range of material including letters from authors, permissions, copyright information, financial material, drafts of prose or poems, receipts, notices, precis, reports, subscriber names and addresses, and so on. Correspondence is subdivided into correspondence with contributing authors and correspondence with others (would-be contributors, readers, the general public). Miscellaneous files at the end of this series include advertising rates, unfinished articles, inventories, lists of nominees for prizes, circulars and rejections from other magazines, correspondence with bookstores and libraries, policies, submissions, and assorted other material.

Books consists of -- to use Approach's own words -- "Published works of our contributors, plus those books judged important for understanding the period from 1947-1967." The first section consists of prose and poetry by authors including Robert Bly, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Albert Fowler and Thomas Merton, among others. The second section consists of references works such as "indices, bound volumes of out-of-print little magazines of the preceding generation, histories of little magazines, general works of reference and anthologies." Two vanity press items complete this series.

Magazines consists of issues of publications with which Approach had an exchange agreeement, and a selection of publications which wished to exchange with Approach but which Approach rejected. Most of the former have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging and may be located via the Classic Catalog. The latter range from college English publications and University press organs to publications from correctional institutions and religious organizations; most are American but there are also a few from Britain, Canada and Spain.

Miscellaneous items consists of back issues and reprints of issues of Approach, indexes to the publication, three books of expenses and receipts, and notebooks of subscriber names and addresses. There are also three copies of Berdyaev "On Suicide."

Arrangement of the Collection

The APPROACH files retain the original organization, structure and file names as received. Issue files are in chronological order by issue number. Correspondence is in alphabetical order by correspondent name. Books are in alphabetical order by author while magazines are in alphabetical order by title. Miscellaneous items are in no particular order.


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.

Related Material

Many of the books, serials, journals and periodicals that comprised the original donation have been transferred to Rare Books or to the circulating collection for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

Subject Headings


Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973.
Bly, Robert.
Brooks, Helen Morgan.
Bukowski, Charles.
Carruth, Hayden, 1921-2008.
Everson, William, 1912-1994.
Foley, Helen.
Fowler, Albert Vann, 1904-
Kreymborg, Alfred, 1883-1966.
Landstrom, Elsie H.
Lewis, C. S. (Clive Staples), 1898-1963.
MacDonald, Lachlan P.
McCandless, John H.
McDonald, Frank.
Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968.
Murphy, Carol R.
Nemerov, Howard.
O'Connor, Flannery.
Savory, Teo.
Swallow, Alan, 1915-1966.

Corporate Bodies



American literature -- 20th century -- Periodicals.
American literature -- History and criticism -- Periodicals.
American poetry -- 20th century -- Periodicals.
Literature, Modern -- 20th century -- Periodicals.
Poetry, Modern -- 20th century -- Periodicals.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Magazines (periodicals)
Manuscripts for publication.
Reviews (documents)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Approach Archives,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Albert and Helen Fowler, 1968.

Table of Contents




Miscellaneous items