The Harriet Shaw Weaver Joyce Collection

In 1977, The University of Tulsa acquired the Harriet Shaw Weaver Joyce collection from the National Book League in England. Through her editorial connections with the magazine The Egoist, Weaver was associated with such figures as Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot, but she is even better known for her relationship with James Joyce. With her help, The Egoist serialized Joyce’s first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and in 1917 she published this novel under The Egoist imprint. She also became his patron, sending Joyce money so that he might work in an atmosphere somewhat relieved of financial worries. Joyce responded to these gifts with inscribed copies of his works. These signed editions form the basis of the Harriet Shaw Weaver Joyce collection.

The collection is the center of the Joyce holdings in the Department of Special Collections and consists of more than 200 volumes. It includes work by and about Joyce. All first editions of Joyce’s writings published during his lifetime are included except for Finnegans Wake. (However, this work is represented in the Edmund Wilson library by a copy heavily annotated in his hand.) Also present are numerous subsequent editions and translations of Joyce’s writings (there are 18 different editions of Ulysses, for example) and various critical studies that had been given to Weaver by other publishers and authors.

An unusual item in the collection is a copy of Contact Collection of Contemporary Authors (Paris: Contact Editions, 1925) inscribed to Weaver by 17 of the 20 contributors, including Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, H. D., Ford Maddox Ford, Pound, Edith Sitwell, and Gertrude Stein. In addition to books there is a signed lithograph of the Augustus John crayon portrait of Joyce, which appeared as the frontispiece in the 1936 Black Sun Press edition of Collected Poems, and six signed Matisse lithographic proofs used to illustrate the 1936 Limited Editions Club edition of Ulysses.

–From A Guide to Literary and Related Materials

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  1. Pingback: Happy birthday to James Joyce! | From McFarlin Tower

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