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James Joyce miscellany

Call Number: MS 134


A collection of photostat copies compiled by James F. Spoerri of Irish-born author James Joyce letters, primarily to publisher Grant Richards; poet Ezra Pound; Irish writer James Stephens; Joyce's daughter, Lucia Joyce; Joyce's sister, Eileen Joyce Shaurek, and others. The backs of some of the photostats are annotated with a repository name. Collection also includes some newspaper clippings and reprints of prospectuses for the novel Ulysses.


  • 1915 - 1919

Language of Materials

Predominantly English, handful of items in French or Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of James Joyce (1882-1941)

James Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland and attended Jesuit schools before going to University College of Dublin and graduating in 1902. He spent about a year living in poverty in Paris, France thereafter before returning to Dublin at the news of his mother's imminent death.

In Dublin, Joyce secured a teaching position, and he remained in Ireland for about 18 months. In 1904 he left the country again, in the company of Nora Barnacle, and they seldom returned to Ireland thereafter, instead living a nomadic existence on the European continent based on where they could find teaching positions. They had two children, Georgio and Lucia, and married in London in 1931.

Joyce's first published book was Chamber Music (1907), consisting of love poems that he wrote mostly between 1904 and 1906. Joyce continued writing poetry, as well as short stories--Dubliners was published in 1914--plays, and novels. Joyce's first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, was published in New York in 1916 after being serialized in The Egotist.

By 1920 the Joyces had moved to Paris, where James Joyce became the center of the expatriate literary scene that included the likes of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Ezra Pound. Ulysses began in serial form in the The Egotist in 1919 but was prosecuted by a U.S. court in 1920 for obscenity, meaning that no English-speaking publisher would publish the book in its entirety. Sylvia Beach eventually published the entire novel in 1922 under the imprint of her Parisian bookshop, and the first United Kingdom edition was produced only in 1936.

It took Joyce another 17 years to complete his next novel, Finnegans Wake (1939), which he had previously released in fragments under the title "Work in Progress."

[Information retrieved from "Joyce, James (James Augustine Aloysius Joyce)," The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English, Jenny Stringer, ed., 2005.]


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Physical Location

MS 134

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, James F. Spoerri, 1954.

Guide to the James Joyce Collection
James Joyce miscellany
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1990. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
James Joyce miscellany, MS 134, 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