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Bloomfield collection of Auden related material

Identifier: Coll-1623

Scope and Contents

The Bloomfield collection is composed of: scripts for speeches and radio and tv; off-prints and journal articles and ephemeral publications; press-cuttings; audio material; photographic material; general correspondence; letters between Bloomfield and Mendelson; and, letters on Auden bibliography:

Box 1:

Folders containing scripts for speeches and broadcasts, and correspondence (Auden.464-467, 469-473):

  1. 'The pattern and the way', W. H. Auden, opening speech, Venice Biennale, September 1958 (Auden.464)
  2. 'Culture and leisure', a lecture given by W. H. Auden at the Catholic University of America, 26 February 1966 (Auden.465)
  3. Advance notice, to be held for release, 30 November 1967. Acceptance speech by W. H. Auden upon receipt of the 1967 National Medal for Literature (Auden.466)
  4. Commentary, 'Runner', national Film Board of Canada, with letter 14 November 1963 (Auden.467)
  5. 'Hadrian's Wall. An historical survey' by W. H. Auden (Auden.469)
  6. 'Appointment with Auden, Isherwood, Connelly, Spender', with letter from Granada, 24 April 1962 (Auden.470)
  7. 'Poet of Disenchantment: W. H. Auden', with letter from BBC Head of Copyright, 9 December 1965 (Auden.471)
  8. 'The ascent of F6' by W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, with letter from BBC Play Librarian, 15 September 1967 (Auden.472)
  9. 'The Knights of the Round Table', by Jean Cocteau, translated by W. H. Auden (Auden.473)

Box 2:

Off-prints, ephemeral publications, journals etc, being:

  1. 1 x copy of 'The Musical Times', No. 1436. October 1962 (Auden.441)
  2. 1 x copy of 'The Listener', 4 January 1968. Vol.79. No.2023, and 1 x copy of 'The Observer', 9 January 1966 (Auden.442-443)
  3. 1 x copy of 'Salzburger Festspiele' 1966, 'Die Bassariden' (Auden.449)
  4. 1 x copy 'Christ Church. Son et Lumiere' (Auden.450)
  5. 1 x copy 'The Bassarids', English National Opera (Auden.451)
  6. 1 x copy ΠΟΙΗΜΑΤΑ, [Greek] (Auden.496)
  7. 1 x copy reprinted from 'The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society. The Library', Vol.25. No.4. December 1970 (Auden.516)
  8. 1 x copy 'W. H. Auden 1907-1973', Staffordshire County Library (Auden.517)
  9. 1 x copy reprinted from 'The Bibliographical Society. The Library', 6th series. Vol.4. No.1. March 1982 (Auden.519)
  10. 1 x copy reprinted from 'The Durham University Journal', Vol.LXIII 3. New series. Vol. 32 No 3. 'The method of Auden's The Orators' (Auden.585)
  11. 1 x copy 'Housman Society Journal', Vol. 2. 1975, 'Young Auden and Housman's Poetry', A. S. T. Fisher (Auden.586)
  12. 1 x copy 'A study of W. H. Auden's textual revision of the poems included in Poems (1933) and Look, Stranger (1936)' by Y. S. Yamada, 1974 (Auden.594)
  13. 1 x copy 'A study of W. H. Auden's revising process II: in Another Time (1940)' by Y. S. Yamada, 1975 (Auden.595)
  14. 1 x copy 'W. H. Auden's revising process III' by Yoshinari S. Yamada, 1976 (Auden.596)
  15. 1 x copy of 'Commonweal', Spring books issue, Vol. CIV. No. 10. 13 May 1977, 'Auden and W. B. Yeats' by Edward T. Callan (Auden.598)
  16. 1 x copy 'Comparative drama', Vol. 11. Winter 1977-1978. No. 4, 'W. H. Auden's first dramatization of Jung', Edward Callan, with letter from Edward [Callan] to 'Dear Barry', 13 July 1978
  17. 1 x copy 'An informal literary gathering at the Gotham Book Mart & Gallery' (Auden.608)

Box 3:

Press-cuttings scrapbooks, and audio material, being:

  1. 1 x scrapbook containing newspaper obituary pieces on Auden, 1973 (Auden.618)
  2. 1 x scrapbook containing newspaper articles on Auden between 1956 and 1980 (Auden.619)
  3. 'Talking about his life and work with Peter Duval Smith, Chester Kallman, Christopher Isherwood and Igor Stravinsky'. Recorded 19 September 1965; broadcast on TV BBC-1, 28 November 1965 (Sound archives 30206), (Auden.620, also known as N45)
  4. Two partial recordings of the 2nd reel of 'The way to the sea', and Selections from commentary to 'The Londoners' (Auden.621)

Box 4:

Folders containing:

  1. 1 x copy of transcript of a ms notebook of W. H. Auden, 1928?-1936? (Auden.636)
  2. 1 x bundle of miscellaneous notes for any 3rd ed. (unsorted) (Auden.638)

Folder containing photographic material with correspondence (Auden.641)

Folder containing material relating to a facsimile edition of W.H. Auden. Poems. 1928 for the Ilkley Literature Festival, 24 April 1973, composed of letters, Festival publicity material, and proofs (Auden.642), being:

  1. 1 x ts letter, Dr. Robin Alston, on behalf of Ilkley Literature Festival, to Mr Barry Bloomfield, 16 January 1973, asking if an introduction might be written for a facsimile of the Durham University copy of Auden's 'Poems' 1928, and indicating that bromide proofs might be had to assist in writing... with more
  2. 1 x ts letter, Robin, on behalf of Ilkley Literature Festival, to Mr B. C. Bloomfield, 19 January 1973, agreeing that a census of known copies would be a good idea... with more
  3. 1 x ts letter, pp. Robin, on behalf of Ilkley Literature Festival, to Mr B. C. Bloomfield, 22 January 1973, indicating that bromide proofs herewith... with more
  4. 1 x ts letter, A. Ian Doyle, Keeper of Rare Books, University Library, Durham, to 'Dear Bloomfield', 31 January 1973, disagreeing with recollections about inscriptions in the Durham copy... with more
  5. 1 x ts letter, pp. Robin, Farrand House, Langbar, Ikley, to Mr B. C. Bloomfield, 5 February 1973, thanking for the Foreword and enclosing a folded dummy of the machine printed edition, and indicating a proposal for a hand printed version of the book on handmade paper... with more
  6. 1 x ms letter, Robin, on behalf of Ilkley Literature Festival, to 'Dear Barry', 15 February 1973, indicating that copies had come from the binders, and hoping that the proofs of the foreword are OK, and enclosing some publicity material for the Festival... with more
  7. 1 x ts letter, pp. Robin, Farrand House, Langbar, Ikley, to Mr B. C. Bloomfield, 21 February 1973, indicating some Dickens posters enclosed, and order for two copies of the Auden Tribute noted... with more
  8. 1 x ts letter, Robin, on behalf of Ilkley Literature Festival, to Mr B. C. Bloomfield, 7 March 1973, along with copies of the inexpensive Auden, and noting that a hand printed one will be sent in due course... with more
  9. 1 x ts 'Introduction', B. C. Bloomfield, February 1973, with 'Census of copies'. 3pp
  10. 1 x copy of printed 'Introduction', B. C. Bloomfield, February 1973, with 'Census of copies'. 2pp with ms corrections, and pencil note from Robin to 'Dear Barry'
  11. 1 x printed proof 'W.H. Auden Poems 1928 Reproduced in facsmile. Foreword by B.C. Bloomfield'
  12. 1 x folder copy of printed proofs
  13. 1 x folded proofs, enclosed in part proof pages (pencil annotations)
  14. 1 x copy W.H. Auden. 'Poems'. 1928
  15. 1 x copy W.H. Auden. 'Poems'. 1928. Reproduced in facsmile for the Ilkley Literature Festival April 24, 1973. With a foreword by B. Bloomfield. Privately Printed (ms note from Robin Alston)
  16. 2 x pamphlets for the Ilkley Literature Festival 23-28 April. main events. Exhibitions. Seminars and readings. Special publications etc
  17. 1 x poster. Dickens at the Ilkley Festival
  18. 1 x copy of Ilkley Literature Festival Extra (newspaper format)
  19. 1 x booklist of works being published on the occasion of the Ilkely Literature Festival, King's Hall, Ilkley, Yorkshire April 23-28, 1973 (with pencil note from 'Bob')

Various index cards or reference cards

Box 5:

Copies of material (Auden.637), but which includes correspondence, being:

  1. 1 x folder of photocopies of: 1. Our hunting fathers (1935); 2. Sonnet (1935); 3. Two peoms (1934)
  2. 1 x folder of copies of print-outs of various printings of Auden works, 1930s
  3. 1 x folder of report of publication: Fifty Poems from American Poetry [Arabic], [1973]
  4. 1 x folder of correspondence on various topics and from various correspondents, 10 July 1961 - 25 March 1980
  5. 1 x folder of correspondence, 20 March 1974 - 1 October 1974, relating to D. A. Heald and an Auden printing
  6. 1 x folder of copy and transcription of lines written buy Auden in the guest book of the 'Bar Internazionale' in 1953, from a faint photocopy taken in 1974
  7. Unsorted bundle of photocopies of reviews, and other articles and pieces

Box 6:

Edward Mendelson correspondence with Bloomfield (was Gen. 2239/1, and Auden.640), being:

  1. 19 x files of correspondence between the years 1966-1982 and undated, and including additional copied material

Box 7:

Programmes, news clippings, magazines, and other printed matter (Auden.643, 645-646, 648-649, 653-655, 659, 661, 664-665, 667-686), being:

  1. 1 x folder programmes including 'The David Levine Album of Drawings from the New York Review of Books' (Auden.643); 'Redcliffe Concerts of British Music, Tenth Anniversary Season', with correspondence and other insertions (Auden.645); Card - El Greco. Detail of the Nativity. With 'Chorus of Angels', W. H. Auden (Auden.646); 'Cavalleria Rusticana' , I Pagliacci', with letter dated 15 December 1959 from Anne O'Keefe, RCA New York, to Mr. B. C. Bloomfield (Auden.648); The Macnaghten Concerts. Season 1959-60. Second Concert. October 23rd 1959, with 'Five Poems' by W. H. Auden (Auden.649); The Cathedral Church 0f St. John the Divine. Wystan Hugh Auden. Memorial Service. Wednesday 3 October 1973 (Auden.653); Westminster Abbey. 900th Anniversary Year. 'A service for those engaged in science, medicine and technology', October 1966 (Auden.654); 2 x copies of Westminster Abbey. 'Service at the unveiling and dedication of a memorial to Wystan Hugh Auden', October 1974, with ms note from 'Ian' (Auden.655); The Apollo Society, 'A tribute to W. H. Auden', October 1974 (Auden.659); BBC Third Programme. January 1953. 'The Rake's progress', (Auden.661); 2 x copies 'Dog beneath the skin', with flyers and news clipping, November 1981 (Auden.664); and, The Poetry Society, 'Poetry' September-October 1983 (Auden.665)
  2. Several copies of Sunday supplements and review supplements covering the years 1971 to 1982 and containing articles relating to W. H. Auden, from - New Statesman, Daily Telegraph Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine, Observer Magazine, The Listener, Times Literary Supplement, Atlantica & Iceland Review, New Society, Le Monde, and New York Review (Auden.667-685)
  3. Folder containing press-cuttings relating to Auden works, mostly 1970s (Auden.686)

Box 8:

Copies of, and correspondence relating to, 'The Platonic Blow', being:

  1. 1 x ms pencil notes on 'The Platonic Blow' on lay-out of the poem; 1 x ms letter from James Carters to 'Dear Mr Bloomfield', 19 June 1968, concerning the xeroxed edition of 'The Platonic Blow'; and, 1 x ms letter from Peter, University Library, University of Auckland, to 'Dear Barry' with copy of 'The Platonic Blow' which appeared in the 'Salient' (Auden.644/5)
  2. 2 x ts letters from Macalister, Mazengarb & Co. to Mr. B.C. Bloomfield, 18 February 1972, 5 April 1972, on the matter of prosecution over the publication of 'The Platonic Blow' (Auden.644/6)
  3. 1 x copy of the 'Reserved decision of D. J. Sullivan, S.M.', in the Magistrate's Court, held in Wellington. Between Police, informant, and the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association, Inc., defendant, 1972 (Auden.644/7)
  4. 1 x copy of 'The Platonic Blow' and covering letter from Miles, Indica Books Ltd., London, to 'Dear Mr. Bloomfield', 30 July 1968 (Auden.644/8)
  5. 1 x copy reprint from 'The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society. The Library', Vol.25. No.4. December 1970, with 'Poem attributed to W. H. Auden', by B.C. Bloomfield (London), Edward Mendelson (New Haven)
  6. 1 x copy of 'Fuck you. A magazine of the arts', No.5. Vol. 8. March 1965, containing 'A gobble poem snatched from the notebook of W. H. Auden and now believed to be in the Morgan Library'
  7. 1 x copy of 'The Platonic Blow', 3pp

Box 9:

B. C. Bloomfield correspondence on Auden (was Gen 2239/2, and Auden.695), being:

  1. 14 x files of correspondence, by alphabetical order of correspondents A- Mac

Box 10:

B. C. Bloomfield correspondence on Auden (was Gen 2239/2, and Auden.695), being:

  1. 11 x files of correspondence, by alphabetical order of correspondents N-Z

Box 11:

Off-prints, ephemeral publications, journals etc, being:

  1. 1 x copy Westminster Theatre. Group Theatre Season, 'Sweeney Agonistes' and 'The dance of death' (Auden.716)
  2. 1 x folder containing: envelope with promotional item 'The table talk of W. H. Auden', Alan Ansen, 1989; letter from Ted Danforth to 'Dear Mr Bloomfield', 28 March 1988, regarding proofs; and, uncorrected galley proofs
  3. Copies of 'Litany and anthem for S. Matthew's Day', by W. H. Auden [...] September 1946 (Auden.748)
  4. 1 x copy Westminster Theatre. Group Theatre Season, 'Sweeney Agonistes' and 'The dance of death' (Auden.765)
  5. 1 x copy Westminster Theatre. Group Theatre Season, 'The dog beneath the skin', by W. H. Auden & C. Isherwood (Auden.766)
  6. 1 x copy of pamphlet for 'Strictly entre nous. The life, times and loves of W. H. Auden', BAC (Auden.770)
  7. 1 x copy 'Semi Colon', Vol. 1. No. 4, 'A dialog between W. H. Auden and Howard Griffin' (Auden.772)
  8. 1 x copy 'Tell me the truth about love. Ten poems by W. H. Auden', Faber and Faber (Four Weddings and a Funeral), 1994 (Auden.788)
  9. 1 x copy 'The New Yorker', 1 April 1996, containing 'W. H. Auden in New York' a critic at large, Nicholas Jenkins, p.88 (Auden.796)
  10. 1 x copy 'Remembering the earlier Auden', Edward Upward (Auden.800)
  11. 1 x copy of 'Lullaby. Berceuse', W. H. Auden, 1998 (Auden.805)
  12. 1 x copy of 'Proceedings at a congregation of the University of Birmingham, 8 July 1967, with printed insertion (Auden.807)
  13. 1 x copy of 'The Twelve. An anthem for the feast of any apostle', William Walton. Words by W. H. Auden, and pasted in are letters: Christopher Morris, OUP, to Sotheby & Co, 26 November 1965; note dated 15 December, Shelagh; and annotated copy of page from 'The Twelve' (Auden.812)

Portfolio: Larger format items, being:

  1. 1 x copy 'Suck. First European sexpaper', No.1. October 1969 [erotic content] (Auden.644)
  2. 1 x copy 'Suck. First European sexpaper', No.2. [erotic content] (Auden.644)
  3. 1 x copy or issue of 'Salient', Wellington NZ student newspaper, subject of legal hearing, with a copy of 'The Platonic Blow' inserted to the centre-spread entitled 'A day for a lay', which the 'Wanganui Chronicle' (printer of the student newspaper) had chosen not to print on 7 April 1971 (Auden.768?)

Portfolio: Larger format items, being:

  1. 2 x copies limited edition (no.49) 'Half-way', poem by Auden (Auden.687)
  2. 1 x copy 'Natural Linguistics (for Peter Salus)', poem by Auden (Auden.688)
  3. 2 x prints of W. H. Auden at different stages in his life, signed 'Durham '74' (Auden.689)
  4. 1 x poster 'Auden poems. Moore lithographs', British Museum, April-June 1974 (Auden.690)
  5. 1 x copy 'Poem of the Month' a description of 1 x copy of 'A reflection on Auden' by Julian Symons (Auden.691)
  6. 1 x etching/print, limited edition (11/25) of W. H. Auden, 1974 (Auden.692)
  7. 1 x copy of limited edition poem (17/50) 'River profile' by Auden, signed 'For Robert and Elizabeth Lowell', 4/1967 (Auden.693)
  8. 1 x copy of limited edition poem (10) 'Nocturne' by Auden (Auden.694)
  9. 1 x framed art-work, 'W. H. Auden' by Ted harrison, published in the 'Times Literary Supplement' (Auden.701)
  10. 1 x poster promoting 'The complete works of W. H. Auden', edited by Edward Mendelson, Princeton University Press (Auden.767)


  • Creation: 1920-2000


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

Barry Cambray Bloomfield was born on 1 June 1931 in East London. He was educated at East Ham Grammar School and, during wartime evacuation, in Exeter. He was awarded the degree of MA in Librarianship at University College, London. In the 1950s he served with British Intelligence Corps in Malaya. His library career included periods at: the National Central Library (which would become a part of the British Library); the College of St. Mark and St. John, Exeter; the LSE and SOAS; the India Office; and, the British Library. He retired in 1990.

Bloomfield's Master's thesis was a bibliography of the works of W. H. Auden which went to publication as W. H. Auden, a bibliography: the early years through 1955 (1964). Collaborating with Edward Mendelson (b. 1946), Bloomfield published a greatly expanded 2nd edition of the bibliography in 1972, and the newer work carried the bibliographical record up to 1969. He also compiled Philip Larkin, a bibliography 1933-1976, (1979)

Barry Cambray Bloomfield died in Wye, Kent, on 26 February 2002.

Professor Edward Mendelson is the literary executor of the Estate of W. H. Auden and he has also written and edited several books about Auden's work including Early Auden (1981) and Later Auden (1999). Mendelson was the first holder of the Isabel Dalhousie Fellowship at Edinburgh's Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) in 2012. During this Fellowship he delivered a lecture on Auden and the Flesh We Are at St Cecilia’s Hall. Professors Edward and Cheryl Mendelson were joint holders of the Isabel Dalhousie Fellowship at IASH in 2014.

Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, playwright, librettist, critic, editor, translator, and hero of the Left during the Depression, was born on 21 February 1907 in York, and died in Vienna, 28 September 1973. He worked with the GPO film unit in 1935 and collaborated on films such as Night Mail and Coal-face. Other works include: Look, stranger! (1936); New Year letter (1941); and, The shield of Achilles (1955). With Kallman, Auden collaborated on The rake's progress (1951) for Igor Stravinsky.


11 boxes; 2 x portfolios large format items

Physical Location

CLX-A-1458 to CLX-A-1468 and Plan-chests

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The material around W. H. Auden within the Centre for Research Collections (Special Collections), Edinburgh University Library has long been centred on the acquisitions known as MS 3080, Gen. 2239/1-2, and the extensive Auden Collection. Although the various materials held different provenance, they had been aggregated as a single collection, Coll-45. Lately, as proper monograph cataloguing of the Auden Collection has taken place, disaggregation of the acquisitions has also taken place, and in addition to Coll-45 (the letters acquired and placed into MS 3080) there is now this Coll-1623 (Gen 2239/1-2 and parts of Auden Collection). Accession no: E2015.27.

Related Materials

For other items in the Bloomfield collection of material relating to W. H. Auden held withing Special Collections (monographs etc), check the Catalogue using the search term 'Auden.' (i.e. the word Auden followed by a dot). Also within Special Collections (Centre for Research Collections), Edinburgh University Library, is a collection of W. H. Auden letters, at Coll-45. This is a number of letters acquired over a number of years (1980s and 1990s): MS 3080.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 23 April 2015

Collection of B. C. Bloomfield (1931-2002) relating to W. H. Auden (1907-1973) and to Auden bibliography
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379