Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Gregory Corso papers (MS.2015.007)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: Manuscripts: 401-863-3723; University Archives: 401-863-2148
Email: Manuscripts: hay@brown.edu; University Archives: archives@brown.edu

Scope & content

Manuscripts and working notebooks make up the bulk of the Gregory Corso papers, supplemented by correspondence, paintings, photographs, and a small but interesting assortment of other materials, including phonograph records, VHS cassettes, books and ephemeral materials. The bulk of the collection dates from around 1980 to 1983, and is organized into nine series:

Series I. Journals is comprised of 11 notebooks of writings by Corso, containing approximately 700 pages of hand-written entries in the form of poems, plays, and letters, miscellaneous notes, and autobiographical reflections. There are also a few drawings by Corso interspersed throughout the notebooks.

Series II. Manuscripts represents the heart of the collection. It is primarily comprised of 3 files of a hefty manuscript entitled The Golden Dot--a collection of poems Corso worked on between 1980 and 1983 that were intended for publication but never completed. This series includes both typescript and handwritten materials.

Series III. Correspondence is small in scope and includes a variety of correspondents including Corso himself, as well as his family and friends. It includes postcards and notes sent by Corso to Laura Boss; letters sent by Laura Boss to Corso and Alan Ginsberg; and postcards from Max Corso (Corso’s son) to Laura Boss. The most interesting item in this series is a copy of a lengthy letter from Corso to Ginsberg (not written, it shold be noted, in his own hand) detailing the history of their relationship.

Series IV. Financial Records is also small in scope, but informative nevertheless. It is primarily comprised of incidental records--credit card receipts, bills, and invoices--of expenses incurred by Laura Boss primarily on behalf of Corso.

Series V. Paintings is comprised of 2 oil paintings on unstretched canvas by Corso. The first, measuring 12” x 12 ½”, is titled Tent by Edge of Bosphorus with Pink and Blue Mosque 1982 and signed by Corso. The second, measuring 13 ½” x 26”, is untitled and unsigned, and depicts a classical female figure.

Series VI. Photographs is comprised mostly of color snapshots of Corso, a few relatives, and some friends. Two of these are of Corso with Allen Ginsberg. The pictures were taken in New York, San Francisco, and New Jersey, most likely during 1983.

Series VII. Miscellaneous Items primarily includes an odd assortment of ephemeral materials, such as flyers and programs related to Corso and Ginsberg, stationary and business cards, scattered notes, blank postcards, and ticket stubs. One item of note is a William Burroughs business card, inscribed by Borroughs and James W. Grauerholz.

Series VIII. Printed Materials contains a significant number of monographs by Corso, some rare and out of print, and a few serials in which individual works by Corso appear.

Series IX. Audio-Visual Materials includes two video cassettes from the series Beat Legends--one a documentary about Corso, and the other, a documentary about Allen Ginsberg. It also contains two 45 rpm vinyl records of poetry readings--one of Allen Ginsberg (inscribed by Ginsberg to Laura Boss) and the other of Anne Waldman (inscribed by Waldman to Laura Boss).