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University at Buffalo Libraries

The Poetry Collection


James Joyce’s Ulysses follows the wandering of Leopold Bloom through Dublin on June 16th 1904. Since then Joyceans, Modernists and lovers of literature have celebrated James Joyce’s Ulysses on June 16th as Bloomsday. One hundred years after the first Bloomsday, The Poetry Collection joins this year’s international celebration by organizing the exhibition A Centennial Bloomsday at Buffalo, with its accompanying catalog. We are also proud to loan some of our manuscripts to the National Library of Ireland for their own grand Bloomsday exhibition.

In 1950s and 1960s, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Philip J. Wickser and his wife Margaretta Wickser, and Constance and Walter Stafford, among others, James Joyce’s manuscripts, notebooks and letters, and personal items, as well as the papers of Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of Joyce’s Ulysses arrived at the University of Buffalo’s Poetry Collection. The Poetry Collection’s James Joyce archive became the largest in the world and its scope is unmatched. Over the last 50 plus years this archive has been in constant use by scholars and has supported hundreds of articles, dissertations and books.

Over the decades, The Curators and the staff of The Poetry Collection have served as loyal stewards of this renowned collection and each generation has added to the Joyce Collection’s distinguished reputation. This pattern continues to this day. While Joyce’s manuscripts, workbooks and letters remain central to the collection, there are other facets that include first editions and subsequent editions of Joyce’s published books, hundreds of books of Joyce criticism and several hundred books and magazines that comprised Joyce’s pre-WWII Paris library. Most recently over 100 volumes of translations of Joyce’s works have been added to this already rich resource.

With this exhibition and catalog, which weaves Joyce’s life and the composition and publication of Ulysses and highlights many of The Poetry Collection’s first editions, magazines and unique Joyce items, The Poetry Collection celebrates Joyce’s literary achievements and the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday.

Michael Basinski
The Poetry Collection