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Matheson collection of John Barth materials

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0314

Scope and Contents

The collection of American author, John Barth is formed by two items dating from 1973 and 1980. The first is a one page press release (typescript) of his acceptance speech as recipient of the National Book Award in fiction, 1973. Barth was awarded the prestigious literary prize for Chimera. The text was prepared for advance release, April 12, 1973. Barth's acceptance remarks were presented at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City. The author used the occasion to thank those he described as "elder masters," including Vladimir Nabokov, Eudora Welty, and I.B. Singer The final item in the collection is a printed, one-page edition of two poems written by John Barth. The signed and limited edition is was published by Toothpaste Press for Bookslinger. The two poems are titled "Niagara Falls" and "Lake Erie." Together, the poems are entitled Meditations and were printed on the occasion of the authors reading at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, December 10, 1980. Eighty-five numbered and signed copies were produced of which 69 is included in the collection.


  • Creation: 1973, 1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

John Barth, American author, was born in Cambridge, Maryland, May 27, 1930. Barth studied at the Johns Hopkins University and received his B.A. in 1951, his M.A. in 1952. Barth was an associate professor of English, Penn State University, 1953-1965 and professor of English, SUNY, Buffalo, 1965-1973. In 1973, he returned to Hopkins where he was appointed professor of English and creative writing. John Barth was Professor Emeritus at the University.

John Barth is the author of several novels including The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), Giles Goat-Boy (1966), Chimera (1972), Sabbatical: A Romance (1982), The Friday Book (1984), The Tidewater Tales (1987), and The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor (1991). In 1972, Barth was the recipient of the National Book Award in fiction for Chimera.


0.34 Cubic Feet (2 items and 1 over-sized folder)

Language of Materials



John Simmons Barth (born 1930) is an American writer, best known for his postmodernist and metafictional fiction. This collection is formed by two printed items dating from 1973 and 1980.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was included with books donated to Special Collections by Nina and William Matheson in 1988. In September, 1991, the collection was transferred to the Manuscripts department.

Related Materials

A collection of works by John Barth, the John Barth collection (MS.0499), is available in Special Collections.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in December 1991.

Guide to the Matheson collection of John Barth materials
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA