"Poetry Collection receives $150,600 grant "

The Spectrum

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has donated $150,600 to UB's Poetry Collection. The grant will allow UB to create online archives for 11 post-World War II poetry collections. The money will also be used to hire a project archivist and to buy supplies. The grant was awarded in December, but not announced until last week.

UB was among 22 organizations that received a CLIR fund, after the council reviewed 75 proposals across the nation for its "Cataloguing Hidden Special Collections and Archives" program.

The program began in 2008 and has made over 109 grants totaling $23.5 million.

"The grant is not to catalog the magazines themselves but actually their editorial correspondents and business records," said Jim Maynard, the associate curator of the Special Collections Library. "We're crazy enough here that we try and collect everything. That doesn't just include print publications, but also writers' manuscripts, the archives of small press publishers, magazines [and] book publishers."

The to-be-hired project archivist, Maynard, Marie Elia, a processing archivist, Amy Vilz, a university archivist, and two graduate students will catalog the archives into an online system. Maynard hopes having the works organized will make it easier to assist those who inquire about the Poetry Collection.

"We've had requests in the past from scholars who have wanted to use this information," Maynard said. "But I haven't been able to answer the questions about what's here because I haven't unpacked the boxes, let alone started to do all the work. I think the way these projects work is the more we learn about the materials, the more we are able to promote that knowledge."

Susan Howe and the late Charles Bukowksi are the two most celebrated poets featured in 11 collections being organized through the grant.

Howe was a long-time professor in the UB poetics department and her work was published in the 1974 edition of "Fire Exit."

Bukowski's "The Ross Runfola" collection is a part of the Special Collections Library, which is located on the fourth floor of Capen Hall. The 11 poetry collections affected by the grant include other Buffalo connections like "Buckle," a poetry journal that Bernhard Frank, a retired Buffalo State College professor, published. Jena Osman and Juliana Spahr, who both received their Ph.D. from UB's English department, published "Chains," which is also in the to-be organized collection.

Vilz said that the coming catalog will be different from those already available to scholars because it will give them an "itemized list" of the collections as well as the appropriate context.

"It will spell out why this is important to the collection and the things you should look out for," she said, "it gives you a little bit more information than what a catalog might on the libraries website. It may also link to other things in the poetry collection that might help."

The process of the project will take 21 months to complete, according to Maynard.

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