Collection MSS 026 - Ploughshares Collection

Identity elements

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Ploughshares Collection


  • 1971 - 2006 (Creation)


9 linear feet; 14 boxes

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Ploughshares literary magazine was founded in 1971 by DeWitt Henry and Peter O'Malley in the Plough and Stars, an Irish pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each issue is guest-edited by a prominent writer, who assembles an issue around a central theme, aesthetic, or personal vision. Previous guest editors include: Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Rosellen Brown, Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, Sherman Alexie, Russell Banks, Lorrie Moore, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Richard Ford.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Ploughshares Collection includes materials that document the major functions of the magazine and its staff: administration, grant applications, production, distribution, marketing, and publicity. The collection also houses correspondence and original manuscripts. The administrative materials span the editorial leadership of DeWitt Henry and Don Lee and document the acquisition of Ploughshares by Emerson College. The grant application materials chronicle the evolution of Ploughshares’ mission through project narratives and reports. Production materials include original cover art and photographs. Marketing and publicity materials include flyers, mailings, newspaper clippings, reviews, and photographs of prominent writers and supporters taken at benefits and readings. Correspondence between the editors, guest editors, contributors, supporters, and critics of the magazine sheds light on the active literary community that evolved around Ploughshares.

System of arrangement

Series 1: Administration
Subseries A: Book Affair
Subseries B: Independent Publications
Series 2: Grant Application Materials
Series 3: Production and Distribution
Series 4: Marketing and Publicity
Series 5: Correspondence
Series 6: Manuscripts

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Some materials may be subject to copyright. No part of the materials protected by copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Additional materials are expected.

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