January 23, 2022

Columbia University Libraries Acquires Papers of Author Lydia Davis

From Columbia University Libraries:

Source: Columbia University Libraries

Columbia University Libraries’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the papers of American author Lydia Davis, a recipient of the Man Booker International Prize, MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, and a 1970 alumna of the University’s Barnard College. Davis has published six collections of fiction, two of which were nominated for the National Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award. She will release a two-volume compilation of essays with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2019 and 2020.

Her archive features corrected drafts of her 2004 novel, The End of the Story, and stories, personal correspondence and journals dating back to her adolescence, as well as notes and drafts relating to her translation projects and her 35 years of teaching.

Highlights from the collection include: manuscript drafts and page proofs of works like Break It Down, a 1986 PEN/Hemingway Award finalist; annotated manuscripts of her translations of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Proust’s Swann’s Way; 90 personal journals and notebooks written between 1960 and 2009; and 500 pages of letters from friends and colleagues, including other writers.

The Lydia Davis Papers are an especially significant addition to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s (RBML) archival collections because of her stature as a highly acclaimed contemporary writer and translator and her ties to the Columbia community. Over the course of her career, Davis has amassed both academic and critical praise and an impressive following among generations of readers, championing the form of the very-short story that fits neatly into our current cultural obsession with social media.


Researchers will have the opportunity to consult the Davis archive when it has been cataloged in late 2019.

Read the Complete Acquisition Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.