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Finding Aid to the Richard Brautigan Papers, 1942-2003, (bulk 1958-1984)
BANC MSS 87/173 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Richard Brautigan Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1942-2003,
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1958-1984)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 87/173 c
    Creator: Brautigan, Richard
    Extent: Number of containers: 9 boxes, 10 cartons, and 4 oversize folders Linear feet: 15.9
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: Contain manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence, financial and travel records, records of his literary agent The Helen Brann Agency, clippings, reviews, publicity and flyers, a few photographs and some personal items.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English, with some German.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research with the following exceptions:
    Microfilm only to be used for Boxes 1-5 and Cartons 5-9;

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or reproduce must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
    Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
    Literary rights have been assigned to Richard Brautigan's daughter, Ianthe Swensen.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Richard Brautigan papers, BANC MSS 87/173 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Boxes 1-5 and Cartons 5-9 are available on microfilm. (BANC MSS 87/173 FILM)
    Note: notebook #38, found in carton 9, is on microfilm reel 10, it is included with notebook #39.
    Additional Notes on Collection:
    Many of the papers included in this collection, with the exception of the Helen Brann Agency files and some other files, were found with Richard Brautigan's body in 1984. These papers have been microfilmed and are restricted for public use.

    Related Collections

    Richard Brautigan Papers (BANC MSS 93/91)
    Richard Brautigan Papers: From Dwain Richard Cox (BANC MSS 2006/220)
    William Novak Collection of Richard Brautigan (BANC MSS 91/4)
    City Lights Books Records: Additions (BANC MSS 77/89)
    Bruce Conner Correspondence Concerning Jay DeFeo's "The Rose" (BANC MSS 98/32) contains photocopy of corrected typescript of Sombrero Fallout in box 2.

    Separated Material

    Videotapes and sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library. (Phonotape 1975; Motion Pictures 455 & 456)
    Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. (BANC PIC 1987.068--AX)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Brautigan, Richard--Archives
    Helen Brann Agency
    Authors, American--20th century--California
    American poetry--20th century
    Manuscripts for publication

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Richard Brautigan Papers were purchased by The Bancroft Library from Serendipity Books in March 1987. Additions were made on February 9, 2005 by the Helen Brann Agency.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Kristen Schutjer and John Hawk in 1992; additions by Alison E. Bridger in 2006.

    Biographical Information

    Richard Gary Brautigan, 1935-1984
    American novelist, short story writer, and poet.
    1935 Born 30 January in Tacoma, Washington, oldest child of Bernard F. Brautigan and Mary Lull Brautigan. Very little is known about his childhood, which he refused to discuss. Some sources say that Brautigan never knew his father, others say that his father never knew of him until Brautigan's death was announced
    1955? Allegedly committed to Oregon State Hospital after throwing rock through police station window, diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and given shock therapy treatments. Left home soon after release from hospital.
    1955-1958? Moved to San Francisco and became involved with the Beat Movement.
    1956 The Second Kingdom, first known poem, published.
    1957 Married Virginia Dionne Adler in Reno, Nevada, 8 June.
    1957-1958? The Return of the Rivers, a single poem, published.
    1958 The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, a single poem, published
    1959 Lay the Marble Tea published, collection of twenty-four poems.
    1960 The Octopus Frontier published.
      Daughter Ianthe born, 25 March.
    1961 Spent summer camping with family in Idaho's Stanley Basin and wrote Trout Fishing in America on a portable typewriter alongside the trout streams.
    1964 A Confederate General from Big Sur published.
      Involved with the Diggers and the hippies of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district and often gave away copies of his poems on the streets.
    1966-1967 Poet-in-residence at California Institute of Techonolgy .
    1967 Trout Fishing in America published
      All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace published.
    1968 Awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
      In Watermelon Sugar and The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster published. Please Plant This Book also published: eight seed packets, each containing seeds, with poems printed on the sides.
    1969 Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar published in collection.
    1970 Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt published.
      Divorced from Virginia, 28 July, in San Francisco.
      The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 published.
    1971 The Revenge of the Lawn published.
    1972-1973? Establishes a residence in Pine Creek, Montana, just north of Yellowstone National Park. Allegedly refuses to deliver lectures or grant interviews for the next eight years.
    1974 The Hawkline Monster published.
    1975 Willard and His Bowling Trophies and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork published.
    1976 Sombrero Fallout published.
    1977 Dreaming of Babylon published.
    1978 June 30th, June 30th published.
      The Abortion, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, Trout Fishing in America, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt, and A Confederate General from Big Sur banned in Union Hills High School in northern California. ACLU case decided in favor of Brautigan and his publisher.
    1979 At December meeting of Modern Language Association in San Francisco, participated in a panel discussion concerning Zen and Contemporary Poetry with Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Robert Bly, and Lucien Stryk.
    1980 The Tokyo-Montana Express published. Begins lecture/promotion tour.
    1982 So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away published.
    1984 Commits suicide in house in Bolinas, California. Body discovered 25 October.
    Chronology excerpted from Richard Brautigan: an Annotated Bibliography, by John F. Barber. (McFarland & Company, Inc., 1990)
    For more information on Richard Brautigan see the website Brautigan Bibliography and Archive: The Works and Life of Richard Brautigan, by John F. Barber at http://www.brautigan.net/  

    Scope and Content

    The Richard Brautigan Papers contain manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence, financial and travel records, records of his literary agent The Helen Brann Agency, clippings, reviews, publicity and flyers, a few photographs and some personal items.
    Manuscripts of his poetry and prose appear in a variety of stages, including notes and notebooks, manuscript drafts and typescripts and comprise the bulk of the collection. Correspondence is mostly incoming letters concerning both his professional and personal life including letters from publishers, literary advisors and from family and friends. The Helen Brann Agency files cover not only dealings with Brautigan but with his daughter and estate after his death. Files include correspondence, permissions, royalties and financial records.
    Richard Brautigan was known to leave his papers with friends when he would leave town and some of these papers are included in other collections held at The Bancroft Library. See the Related Collections portion of this finding aid under Information for Researchers.
    Many of the papers included in this collection with the exception of the Helen Brann Agency files and some other files, were found with Richard Brautigan's body in 1984.