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Rufus W. Griswold Papers

 Collection — Container: MS Gris.
Call Number: MS Gris.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the near entirety of Rufus Griswold’s correspondence between the years 1834 and 1857. In particular, it reflects his business dealings as editor of Graham’s Magazine, and publisher of The Poets and Poetry of America.  Correspondence is primarily letters to Griswold from poets, authors, and other editors regarding publications and reviews.

The majority of the letters are related to either Graham’s Magazine or The Poets of America and include requests for publication or critical review. While the correspondence is business in nature, the letters also discuss the personal lives of such people as Rufus Griswold, Edgar Allen Poe, Elizabeth Ellet, and Frances Sargent Osgood.

Griswold’s publication, The Poets and Poetry of America, was the first anthology of American poetry and was published in 1842. From this publication stemmed others that are mentioned in the letters, among them The Female Poets of America, Prose Writers of America, Poets and Poetry of England.

Many of the letters in the collection have been printed in Passages from the Correspondence and Other Papers of Rufus W. Griswold, published by W. M. Griswold at Cambridge in 1898, and The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York, 1902.


  • 1834-1857
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1900


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.


1285.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged alphabetically.

Method of Acquisition

Donated to the Boston Public Library by Mrs. Rufus Griswold in 1900.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Honor McCusker, c. 1963.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

Rufus W. Griswold Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2011-11: Updated by Bethany Hirsch, November 2011.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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