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ENGL 361AR Creative Writing from the Archives

Using the collection

Navigating the Kathryn Irene Glascock Prize Records

Over the course of this semester, you'll schedule individual and small group visits to Mount Holyoke's Archives and Special Collections (ASC) to do research using the Glascock Prize Records. The following records can help you navigate the collection:

  • Inventory of the Glascock Prize Records - This is a list of what's contained in the 17 boxes that make up the collection. The boxes and the folders within them are arranged chronologically by year, and the list focuses on the types of materials found in the folders in each box (e.g., lists, judge's records, poems, photos).  The inventory does not include the names of the judges or contestants who participated each year.
  • List of Contestants and Judges - This is a chronological list of contestants and judges from 1923 - 2008.  This is fine for navigating the ASC records because the collection is restricted after 1997.  (If you're researching more recent years of the competition, this list of contestants and judges maintained by LITS goes up to 2022.)

Using the list of Contestants and Judges, you can determine which years are of interest and then look at the Inventory to determine which boxes and folders within them you'll need for your research.  This is helpful both for focusing your work and having a list of the boxes you'll need to share with ASC when you schedule your visit (the archivist needs to pull the materials from ASC's closed stacks for you before you arrive). A further tip: use the reference works in the Poetry research resources section of this guide to look up the poets who participated in the Glascock Contest. These may help you determine their significance and narrow down the list of poets you wish to focus on.

Making an appointment at Archives and Special Collections

Email Be sure to include a list of the boxes/folders you wish to look at. Keep in mind that ASC's hours are shorter than the rest of the LITS complex and that you should schedule your appointment for at least a week before your assignment is due. More lead time is even better - plan ahead!

Handling archival materials

This video from Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library shows how to handle materials in a way that helps to preserve them and their arrangement so future researchers can make use of them too.

Requesting reproductions

ASC has a paper form for requesting digital reproductions of materials in the collection.  In addition to filling out the form, you can also bookmark the place in a folder where the item you wish to be digitized is located. Copies of the form and bookmarks are available in ASC. It's best not to request reproductions at the last minute - give yourself at least a week. In a pinch, you can always take a photograph using your cell phone camera.

Keep in mind that while you can request reproductions and take photos of ASC materials for your own personal research use, it's not necessarily okay to reuse them on social media or in a publication. See the ASC Policies and Services page, especially the Terms of Use section. Also, see the Copyright & Fair Use part of this guide for more information about determining how/when you can use copyright protected materials.

Poetry research resources

Reference works

On poetry

These reference works can help you find out more about the poets who have participated in the Glascock Contest over the years. Note that you may need to check more than one source to find information about a particular poet.

On United States history

If you're not familiar with the time period in which a poet was writing, a general encyclopedia can help you get oriented quickly.

Books and articles

For more in-depth information about any given poet, search the databases on the English Research Guide's Tools for Finding Secondary Sources page

A few general histories of American poetry that may be useful:

On the Web

Related digitized archives materials

In addition to working with the physical Glascock Prize Records in ASC, you may also find information about the contest (including the most recent 25 years) in these digitized sources:

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form