Samuel Beckett collection

The Samuel Beckett collection comprises six distinct series and one miscellaneous series of Beckett-related material including manuscripts and typescripts by Beckett, correspondence with Beckett, ephemera, photographs, and publications by and about Beckett:


The Samuel Beckett-Calvin Israel collection (1929-1981) is primarily Beckett manuscripts and publications, but also includes theater programs, audiovisual material, and ephemera.



The Samuel Beckett-Robert Pinget letters (1956-1984) document the friendship between Beckett and Pinget and demonstrate Beckett’s support for Pinget’s literary career.



The Samuel Beckett-Barney Rosset collection (1954-1993) includes manuscripts representing three decades of Beckett's writing, annotated copies of plays, stories, and other works, letters and cards from Beckett to Rosset discussing the author's life and work, and Grove Press business and financial records relating to Beckett's career.



The Judith Schmidt Douw collection of Samuel Beckett letters (1956-1984) and Judith Schmidt Douw Letters (1960-2005) together document a correspondence between Beckett and Judith Schmidt (later Schmidt Douw). The letters deal with professional matters relating to Grove Press and Beckett's works and also concern the personal relationship between Beckett and Schmidt Douw.

The Alan Schneider-Samuel Beckett collection (1955-1984) is primarily composed of correspondence between American stage director Alan Schneider and Samuel Beckett, with some additional correspondence between Schneider, Thornton Wilder, and others.



The collection covers the breadth of Becket’s professional life, including published works; ephemera related to theater performances; and some business records. Its principal strengths, however, are its significant number of original manuscripts, some annotated by Beckett himself, and its correspondence, which remains largely unpublished and covers both personal and business matters.

Physical characteristics

22.25 linear ft. (58 boxes)




Custodial History

The Samuel Beckett - Calvin Israel collection was purchased from George Robert Minkoff, Inc., in 1991. The Samuel Beckett - Robert Pinget letters were purchased from Gekoski in 2001. The Samuel Beckett - Barney Rosset collection was purchased from George Robert Minkoff, Inc., in 1993 and 1996. The Judith Schmidt Douw collection of Samuel Beckett letters was purchased from Schmidt Douw in 2006. The Samuel Beckett - Judith Schmidt Douw collection was a gift from Schmidt Douw in 2006. The Alan Schneider - Samuel Beckett collection was purchased in 1994 from multiple sources. Other materials were a combination of gifts and purchases, 1991-2008.

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Added by John J. Burns Library | Last updated on: 10 April 2018