University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

William Plomer:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Plomer, William, 1903-1973
Title: William Plomer Collection
Dates: 1929-1969, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscript works and letters written by the South African poet, novelist, and editor William Plomer, as well as a few letters he received from correspondents, including Ivy Compton-Burnett and Graham Greene among others.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-3278
Extent: 1 box (.42 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Michael Ramsey, 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 At the supermarket (poem), handwritten manuscript, 5 pages, undated.
Bayswater and beyond, carbon typescript with handwritten emendations and typescript / signed title page with handwritten note, 9 pages, 1950. Printed in Diversion: Twenty-two authors on the Lively Arts, edited by John Satro.
Forster as a friend (essay), handwritten manuscript with revisions, 30 pages, undated. Published in Aspects of E. M. Forster edited by Oliver Stallybrass, 1969. Purchase 1992 (R12803); not described in card catalog.
Manners in the machine age (broadcast talk), handwritten manuscript with revisions, 18 pages, undated. From Hanley II.
1.2-5 Museum pieces, signed handwritten manuscript / original draft with revisions and notes, one initialed, 552 pages, 1949-1951. Included with this: signed handwritten note re manuscripts of his works, 1 page, 27 November 1961. From Hanley II.
1.1 Queen Mary and the Norwich croppers (poem), handwritten manuscript / first draft with extensive revisions, 4 pages, 1952; handwritten manuscript with revisions, 2 pages, 1952.
Review of Collected poems of William Barnes, handwritten manuscript / draft and notes, 13 pages, July 1962. From Hanley II.
You must have two hats: A conversation with a civil servant by Robert Pagan (pseudonym), signed handwritten manuscript with emendations and deletions, 17 pages, undated.


1.6 ALS to Cranston, Maurice re Plomer's review of a book by Ivan Roe, 31 May 1950. Removed from AC-L J442 D2 1961a.
1.7 6 ALS to Schwartz, Jacob, 1962.
1.6 TLS to Woolf, Virginia, 20 January 1930.


1.8 Compton-Burnett, Ivy. ALS to Plomer, 9 February 1940. From Hanley II.
Greene, Graham. ALS to Plomer, undated. From Hanley II.
Hardy, Florence Emily Dugdale. ALS to Plomer, 17 March 1934. From Hanley II.
Murry, John Middleton (on The New Adelphi letterhead). 2 ALS to Plomer, 11 July and 21 September 1929.


1.9 Plomer, William. Blurb from dust jacket of Turbott Wolfe with handwritten corrections and emendations, 2 pages, undated. Removed from TEMP P7215tu 1925 HRC copy 2.

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