Special Collections and Archives Finding Aids
The Mary Lavin Collection supplements another significant acquisition in Irish literature, The Padraic Colum Collection, at the State University of New York at Binghamton. The Lavin collection, consisting almost entirely of letters, is of interest to scholars primarily because of the close and lasting friendship between Mary Lavin and Lord and Lady Dunsany. The correspondence lasts more than twenty years, and includes more than 191 letters or postcards from the Dunsanys to Mary Lavin.
In addition to the Dunsany letters, other correspondence to Mary Lavin from Seumas O'Sullivan, Estella Starkey, and Jack B. Yeats is included in this collection, as well as tape recordings of a set of interviews I conducted with Mary Lavin during the spring of 1972. The letters, which were purchased from Ms. Lavin several years ago, delineate the scope of Lord Dunsany's imagination, and testify to a warm, longstanding community of literary interest. I am indebted to Mr. Josiah T. Newcomb, former Director of Libraries at State University of New York at Binghamton, for his confidence and judgment in consenting to the purchase of the Lavin collection, and to Mr. Willis Bridegam for his encouragement in preparing and publishing this catalog. I would like also to extend my appreciation to Theodore Billy and Robert Kuhn for doing most of the detail work in the preparation of this catalog.