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Rabindranath Tagore Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861-1941.
Title: Rabindranath Tagore Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1916-1940
Quantity: 5 items (SC)
Abstract: Papers of the Bengali author, playwright, poet. 4 items of outgoing correspondence to Miss Andrews, James B. Pond, Henry Woodd Nevinson, and Jinadasa Vijaya-Tunga; and a single holograph poem, "An Unnamed Child," translated from the Bengali of Debendra Sen.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was an Indian writer, philosopher, and social reformer who is remembered for introducing Indian culture to the Western world and bringing elements of the West to India. He became Asia's first Nobel Laureate when he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

1861 Born in Calcutta, Bengal, British India on May 7th
1879-1880 Attended University College, London
1882 Co-founded Sarasvat Samaj, a literary organization
1883 Married Mrinalini Devi Raichaudhuri on December 9th
1884 Worked as Secretary of Adi Brahmo Samaj, a religious society
1891 Started Sadhana, a literary journal
1894 Became Vice-president of Academy of Bengali Letters
1901 Founded school at Santiniketan (became Visva-Bharati University in 1918)
1905 Founded weaving school at Kushtia
Founded agricultural cooperative bank at Patisar
1910 Wrote Gora (novel)
1913 Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for Gitangali: Song Offerings
1916 Wrote Ghare-Baire (novel)
1919 Started Santiniketan Patra, a literary journal
1922 Brought exhibition of German Expressionist art to Calcutta
1930 Exhibited paintings at the Gallery Pigalle in Paris, France
1931 Exhibited drawings and paintings in India for the first time
1941 Died in Calcutta, West Bengal, India on August 7th

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Rabindranath Tagore Collection consists of five items, including four outgoing letters and one manuscript poem, all of which were written between 1916 and 1940 by the Bengali playwright and poet.

The correspondence is of both a personal and business nature, and includes an appreciative letter to Henry Woodd Nevinson for his Nation article about Tagore's proposal for a University; a condolence letter to Miss Andrews following the death of C. F. Andrews; and an item to Jinadasa Vijaya-Tunga in which Tagore expresses regret for his inability (due to ill health) to write an article about the Indo-Ceylonese question. Also included is an undated letter to lecture agent James B. Pond in which Tagore anticipates his American lecture tour:

There is one point which I think is worth while referring to now, and that is the question of the hotels I should stay at. I am anxious that wherever I go I should get as much quiet and freedom from interruption as possible, and therefore I should like to stay at hotels which are quiet. As you have your correspondents in all the places I shall be visiting you might keep this point in mind and suggest the names of the hotels at which you would advise me to stay.

Writings consist of a single autographed, dated poem, "The Unnamed Child," translated from the Bengali of Debendra Sen.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains two series: Correspondence and Writings. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

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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


Andrews, C. F. (Charles Freer), 1871-1940.
Nevinson, Henry Woodd, 1856-1941.
Pond, James B. (James Burton), 1838-1903.
Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861-1941.
Vijayatunga, J. (Jinadasa), 1902-


Authors, Bengali.
Bengali literature -- 20th century.
English literature -- 20th century.
Indic poetry (English) -- India -- Bengal.
Poets, Bengali.

Genres and Forms

Letters (correspondence)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Rabindranath Tagore Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Apr 1989
Revision history: 12 Mar 2009 - converted to EAD (LDC)

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SC 99 Nevinson, Henry Woodd 14 Apr 1921
SC 99 Vijaya-Tunga, Jinadasa 31 Mar 1940
SC 99 Andrews, Miss 17 Apr 1940
SC 99 Pond, James Burton undated
SC 99 "The Unnamed Child" 25 Mar 1916 - autographed holograph poem

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