May 21, 2022

New Research Resource: Locate Samuel Beckett Letters Online in Over 25 American Literary Archives

From Emory University:

Emory University announces the debut of The Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in American Public Archives, an open-access website listing the archival descriptions and locations of the letters of the Irish Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. Users can browse the Location Register by recipient, physical description, sender and recipient addresses, language, repository, collection and previous publication.

The Location Register has been developed in collaboration with over 25 American literary archives, among them Emory, Boston, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern, Stanford and Yale universities, as well as the Ransom Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at San Diego, Boston College, Dartmouth College and others. Plans are moving forward to include international collections in public archives in the Location Register.

The website has been made possible through a grant by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and gifts from Christopher Herbert and Nancy Welch, as well as from the College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University, Emory Libraries and Information Technology Services, and the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship.

The Location Register is a result of The Letters of Samuel Beckett at Emory University, a project established to collect, consult and transcribe all extant letters by Beckett, and to publish the selected edition of “The Letters of Samuel Beckett” in four volumes (Cambridge University Press, 2009-2016). The edition has been published in French, German and Italian, a reflection of worldwide interest in Beckett’s writing.

Over 16,000 letters were consulted and transcribed in the editing process, but the selected edition could include only about 20 percent of them.

“Shortly after the publication of the final volume, the question arose of how to make the research of more than 30 years available to future scholarship,” says general editor Lois More Overbeck. “It was not feasible to publish all of the letters for many reasons, not least because letters have two owners, the writer and the holder of the physical property. Metadata provided a methodology to make it possible to respect these rights, as well as to make the archival location and descriptions of the letters accessible.”

Linked Data Project

The Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett is the first step to preserve the cumulative knowledge of this unique archive. Also in development is a Linked Data Project of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in Public Archives. In addition to the data in the Location Register, this open-access website will index the content in each letter: persons, places, organizations, productions and publications mentioned, as well as Beckett’s writing, translating, directing, reading and attendance at events.

“We are honored to be a part of this special project to enhance widespread access and strengthen new forms of scholarship and research in significant ways,” says University Librarian Yolanda Cooper. “We have no doubt that this work will ensure the introduction of Beckett’s work to future generations of readers and scholars.”

Direct to The Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in American Public Archives

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.