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Robert Penn Warren papers, 1916-1967

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Robert Penn Warren papers




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Organized by genre: manuscripts of fiction, short fiction, plays, poems, non-fiction, articles and essays, book reviews, speeches, lectures and tributes, textbooks, interviews and tapes, miscellaneous material, and manuscripts of deposit items.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Robert Penn Warren papers, 1916-1967, 1M78M1, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


28.3 cubic ft.


Author, poet. Robert Penn Warren was born in Guthrie, Ky. in 1905. He was educated in public schools, graduated from Vanderbilt University and was a Rhodes Scholar. He has been a professor of English and playwriting at several American universities. A writer of novels, plays and poetry, Warren has received numerous awards, including Pulitzer prizes for both fiction and poetry. He is considered one of this nation's leading literary figures and was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1986.

Scope and Content

There are no 581 fields (publications note) in this cataloging description because there are 433 individual items in the Warren papers, many of which have been published. Nine selected titles have been entered into 700 12 fields (added entry, personal name).

This collection consists primarily of prepublication drafts of many Warren works. Included are manuscripts, rough drafts, notes, holographic copies, worksheets, typescripts with corrections, proofreader's copies, galley proofs, cancelled material and printed copies. Works include fiction, non-fiction, plays, poems, articles, essays, book reviews, speeches, lectures, tributes, textbooks and transcriptions of interviews. Miscellaneous items such as postcards, letters, articles, clippings and pamphlets are also contained in the Warren papers, as are his Oxford thesis, National Book Award acceptance speeches, material dealing with the National Institute of American Arts and Letters, and other materials.

Among Warren's fiction represented in this collection are ALL THE KING'S MEN; BAND OF ANGELS; THE CAVE; FLOOD: A ROMANCE OF OUR TIME; and WILDERNESS. Poetry includes works such as PROMISES: POEMS 1954-1956; YOU, EMPEROR, AND OTHERS: POEMS 1957-1960; and TALE OF TIME: NEW POEMS 1960-1966. There is also an unpublished manuscript entitled GOD'S OWN TIME, a novel set in Kentucky in 1910-1914. Warren wrote this novel between 1930 and 1932.


  • Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-
  • National Institute of American Arts and Letters.
  • Authors, American--20th century.
  • Poets laureate--United States.
  • Poets.
  • Manuscripts (for publication).
  • Kentucky author

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.