University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

J. M. (John Millington) Synge:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Synge, J. M. (John Millington), 1871-1909
Title: J. M. (John Millington) Synge Collection
Dates: 1906-1961, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts and letters written by Irish playwright and poet J. M. Synge as well as letters written to his fiancée Maire O'Neill after his death.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-4143
Extent: 1 box (.42 linear feet)
Language: English and 1 item written in German
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Jamie Hawkins-Kirkham, 2011

Note: This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.1 Untitled poem, I brought you where the stars and moon of night..., typescript with heavy handwritten revisions, 1 page, undated.
Untitled poem, To you Bride, Nora, Kathleen, Molly Byrne..., typescript with emendation, 1 page, undated.
1.2-3 Deirdre of the sorrows, typescript with handwritten revisions, 121 pages, 1908-1909; page proofs for American edition with extensive handwritten notes, corrections, and marginalia, 1910. Typescript contains parts of several drafts. From the Hanley Collection.
1.1 The dramatic movement in Ireland, handwritten manuscript / fragments, 2 leaves, undated. Part of a manuscript, 9 pages of which are in the Berg Collection. Removed from PR 5530 A2 1910 vol. 1.
1.4 In the shadow of the glen, typescript with handwritten revisions, 22 pages, undated. From the Hanley Collection.
1.1 The Masque of May, typescript with handwritten revisions, 2 pages, undated.
Poems and translations, page proof / fragment with handwritten note to unidentified recipient, 4 leaves, 1909.
1.5 The well of the saints, signed typescript with extensive handwritten revisions, 82 pages, undated. From the Hanley Collection.


1.6 ALS to MacKenna, 10 August 1907.
1.7 34 letters and telegrams to O'Neill, Maire, 1906-1909, undated. Included with these: TLS Bertram Rota to T. E. Hanley, 9 August 1961.
1.6 ALS to Sidgwick, Frank, 7 August 1907.


1.8 Ainley, Henry. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 13 June 1909.
Maunsel & Co., Ltd., Publishers. FLS to unidentified recipient, 20 April 1907. Concerns Playboy of the Western World. Removed from PR 5532 P6 copy 1.
Meyerfeld, Maximilian. ALS to unidentified recipient, 10 November 1924. In German. Included with this: typed translation.
Ross, Florence. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 25 March 1909.
Stephens, Annie I. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 24 March 1909.
Symons, Arthur. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 12 June 1909. In praise of Synge's works.
Synge, E. H. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 4 April 1923.
Synge, J. M. (John Millington). Executors of Memorandum of agreement with Park-Wyck re The well of the saints, signed typed document, 3 pages, undated. Signed by L. Simmons, editor of Parkwyck. Concerns Dutch rights to play.
Synge, J. M. (John Millington). Will, typescript / drafted by his lawyers, 3 pages, 1909.
Synge, R. A. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 4 May 1909.
Yeats, Jack Butler. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 8 April 1909.
Yeats, Lily. ALS to O'Neill, Maire, 20 June 1909.
Yeats, William Butler. 2 ALS, 2 TLS to O'Neill, Maire, 1909-1911, undated. Mentions The Playboy of the Western World and Deirdre of the Sorrows; also Edward Martyn's The Heather Field and a play by Lennox Robinson.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date