Collections Within the Home:
Overview of Capital Repairs and Conservation 2016-2019
Three principles guided capital repairs and conservation over the past few years. First, to comply with the recommendations and priorities of the Collections Assessment for Preservation carried out in 2017. Second, to ensure, through a systematic preservation plan, that future writers in residence experience the Merrill Apartment as much as possible as past writers in residence have done. Third, to make the collections more accessible to Merrill scholars and others.
Following these principles, capital work to the building comprised: full restoration of the windows on three of the four floors; HVAC installation throughout the building; and the demolition of the damaged elevator shaft. Conservation work comprised: a full condition survey of all 97 works of art on paper; a full condition survey of the paintings; a condition survey of the furniture; electronic monitoring of the humidity levels in the Merrill and Jackson apartments; cleaning and preservation of the entire book collection. Full conservation treatment was carried out on eight easel paintings, four works of art on paper, and several pieces of furniture. In addition, the entire book collection has been digitally catalogued.
Ongoing and future conservation and preservation projects will be undertaken as funding becomes available.
Collections in Other Locations:
James Merrill Papers at
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The collection consists of writings, correspondence, photographs, audiovisual material, artwork, printed material, computer disks and other papers by or relating to James Merrill and documenting aspects of his work as a poet and writer. Some of the material was created and accumulated by J. D. McClatchy, who served as executor of Merrill’s estate and who co-edited several volumes of Merrill’s works, including Collected Poems (2001), Collected Novels and Plays (2002), Collected Prose (2004), The Changing Light at Sandover (2006), and Selected
Intended as a resource for scholars, students, writers, and teachers, the James Merrill Digital Archive currently provides digital access to a small cross-section from the James Merrill Papers housed in Special Collections at Washington University in St. Louis.
The James Merrill Papers consists of original manuscripts, drafts, typescripts, diaries, reading notes, college materials, ephemera, and photographs, extensive correspondence with his family, friends, and business associates. Audiovisual and personal material document other aspects of Merrill’s life.
Below are some highlights from the James Merrill Papers located at Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections (Copyright: Literary Estate of James Merrill at Washington University).