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English Poetical Miscellanies first-line index

Call Number: MS 333


This first-line index to Arthur Case's Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1521-1750 was a collaborative project of Richard Charles Boys and Arthur Mizener. They had gone through the miscellanies listed by Case, writing down the first line of each poem on a slip of paper and stamping the slip with the Case item numbers, making notations of variant forms on the same line on the front or back of the slip, and sometimes noting the author.


  • compiled 196?


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HISTORY of the Boys-Mizener first-line index to <emph render="italic">English Poetical Miscellanies</emph>

Arthur Mizener, professor of English at Cornell University (1951-1973), wrote about the creation of the first-line index (January 26, 1965): "Roughly speaking, I did through the 17th century and he [Boys] did from there on. When the bibliographical society finally backed down on the publication, we stopped work on the project. It was fairly complete; in fact, it is complete except for some items that are dubiously miscellanies that we had nonetheless decided to include. It includes all poems in foreign languages (including Anglo-Saxon...), though we were pretty sure these would not be included in any final published index."

Richard Charles Boys, professor English language and literature at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (1937-1974), wrote (April 12, 1965): "I, too, would be willing to transfer what I have of our index to your library... Speaking for myself only, I have no interest in putting it in shape for publication... Some work would have to be put in on my part of the index... What we have is extremely useful, though it is (as a guess for my section) perhaps 85-90% complete...there are things missing. There would also have to be some consultation on the number designation of the miscellanies. We began with Case, of course, but have added to his list. In fact, I have some materials for a supplement to Case (short-title), which I shall probably never get to for publication."

Mizener added on April 9, 1979, "As Dicky Boys will no doubt have told you already, he and I made a large number of additions to Case's bibliography in the process of our work, and we wrote these into our copy of Case by interleaving it. We then gave these new copies of miscellanies numbers by adding a 4th digit to the number Case gives for the work immediately preceding the insertion. Thus, 951 means a miscellany added by us that falls in the sequence immediately after 95 and before 96 in the Case enumeration. By this late date I have no idea of what has become of the copy of Case in which these additions were made and if you people haven't got it I suppose the knowledge represented by these numbers has disappeared." The interleaved copy of Case is not present in this collection of material received from Boys and Mizener, but several lists of additions to Case made by Boys are included in the collection and supply similar information.


1.5 Linear Feet (14 card file boxes + 3 folders)

Scope and Contents

The slips of paper in this collection, numbering about 30,000, have been interfiled alphabetically by first line. Richard Boys and Arthur Mizener intended this work to be published, and they ceased working on it about 1960 when those plans fell through.

The collection consists of 14 card file boxes containing the index slips created by Boys and Mizener, as well as additions to the Boys-Mizener index.

Physical Location

MS 333

Physical Location

MS P746

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Richard Charles Boys and Arthur Mizener, 1968.

Separated Materials

Case, Arthur E. A Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1521-1750. Oxford: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the University Press, 1935. Two copies located at Spencer Research Library at C6101 item 1 (copy annotated by Boys on endpapers and 2 inserted leaves); and at Ellis Omnia C1468 (annotated with Special Collections call numbers).

Boys, Richard C. A Finding-List of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1700-48 in Selected American Libraries. ELH, A Journal of English Literary History, vol. 7 no. 2 (June 1940): 144-162. Reprint. Copy annotated by Boys located at Spencer Research Library at C6101 item 2 (bound with C6101 item 1, described above).


Bateson, Frederick Wise. The Cambridge Bibliograhpy of English Literature. 4 vols. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1940. Copies available at Spencer Research Library at C21777 and O'Hegarty C1591.
Guide to the Boys-Mizener First-Line Index to English Poetical Miscellanies
English Poetical Miscellanies first-line index
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English Poetical Miscellanies first-line index, MS 333, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States