Sylvia Dobson papers, 1934-1992

Finding aid prepared by Stacy Wood, 2012 and Jessica Tai, 2017; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
Online finding aid last updated 10 March 2017.


Title: Sylvia Dobson papers
Collection number: 1989
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1934-circa 1990s
Abstract: Sylvia Dobson was a schoolteacher and a close friend of the modernist and imagist poet Hilda Doolittle. This collection contains correspondence between Dobson and Doolittle between 1934 and 1951, in addition to Dobson's notes on the letters written after Doolittle's death in 1961. The content of the correspondence covers topics such as Dobson's poetry and writing, astrology, travel, World War II and its aftermath, and Doolittle's mental health. Also included are clippings and Dobson's unpublished autobiography, On Not Bulldozing Xanadu (1992).
Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance through out electronic paging system using the "Request items" button.
Creator: Dobson, Sylvia

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance through out electronic paging system using the "Request items" button.

Conditions Governing Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Sylvia Dobson Papers (Collection Number 1989). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Acquisition Information

Provenance unknown.
This collection is part of an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives , the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW)  and the UCLA Library .

Processing History

Processed by Stacy Wood, 2012 Description enhanced and further physical processing completed by Jessica Tai in 2017.
The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archive  at UCLA is an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives , the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW)  and the UCLA Library . These collections expand the pool of primary source materials available to researchers and to the community at large. This partnership was initiated by CSW and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to inventory, organize, preserve, and digitize more than eighty Mazer collections pertaining to lesbian and feminist activism and writings.

Biography

Sylvia Herbert Dobson was born on May 31st, 1908. She was a schoolteacher as well as an aspiring writer.
Hilda "H.D." Doolittle (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) was an American modernist poet and writer, known for her association with the imagist group of poets that included Ezra Pound and James Joyce. In her time, Doolittle aligned her writing with that of the avant-garde. Her work experienced a surge in interest in the 1970s during second-wave feminism, in which her poetry was recognized for its innovative feminist perspective.
In 1934 Dobson discovered Hilda "H.D." Doolittle's work and wrote her a letter of admiration. Doolittle replied, inviting Dobson to come meet her in her London home. This instigated a brief courtship followed by a friendship lasting almost thirty years.

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence between Dobson and Doolittle between 1934 and 1951. Following Doolittle's death in 1961, Dobson compiled their letters and annotated them with personal reflections, in addition to expanding on historical contexts of the letters. Additional biographical information of Doolittle and her family is also provided. Subjects covered within the correspondence includes Dobson's poetry and writing, astrology, travel, World War II and its aftermath, and Doolittle's mental health. Also included are letters from Doolittle's long-term partner Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman) concerning Doolittle's illness at the end of her life and eventual death. The collection also contains clippings containing reviews of books detailing Doolittle's work and life, as well as Dobson's unpublished autobiography, On Not Bulldozing Xanadu (1992).

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically. The correspondence with Doolittle is arranged based on original order, and described using original folder titles.

Related Material

An astrological chart drawn by Sylvia Dobson can be found in the H.D. Papers at the Beinecke Library. 

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7347715 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Dobson, Sylvia--Archives.
H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961--Archives.
H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961

Container List

Box 1, Folders 1-6

Hilda Doolittle Correspondence. 1934-circa 1990s.

Physical Description: Photocopies and printed paper.

Scope and Content Note

These folders consist of correspondence written by Doolittle to Dobson. Interleaved are Dobson's notes on the correspondence, offering personal reflections, expanding on historical context, or giving additional information about her and Doolittle's life circumstances at the time the letters were written. The folders are titled with original file names, often citing the location the letters were received, or the historical circumstance in which they were written.
Box 2, Folder 4

Clippings. 1982-1989.

Physical Description: Newsprint and printed paper.

Scope and Content Note

Review written by Perdita Schnaffer (Doolittle and Bryher's daughter) on the 1989 book Writing for Their Lives: The Modernist Women 1910-1940 that includes discussion of Doolittle and Bryher's work.
Book review for Doolittle's biography, Life and Work of an American Poet by Margaret Drabble from the Sunday Telegraph, November 7, 1982.
Box 2, Folder 2-3

On Not Bulldozing Xanadu. 1992.

Physical Description: Printed paper.

Scope and Content Note

Dobson's unpublished autobiography.