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Ned O'Gorman Papers 2

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS328

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Ned O'Gorman Papers 2 consist primarily of correspondence, manuscripts, notes and diaries. In addition to personal correspondence and manuscripts, the collection contains material from three projects that O'Gorman undertook. The organization of the papers reflects this, as each of the projects is a separate series.

In 1965, O'Gorman returned from a tour in South America and began work on a book for Random House that would be titled "Prophetic Voices: Ideas and Words on Revolution." He wrote letters to people across the country and around the world explaining his idea and asking for their assistance in finding "the free, young, unfamous, courageous mind...the prophetic, revolutionary, visionary imagination." He received many responses to his idea with comments on revolution and suggestions on who to contact for essays. Letters include those from Peter Levi, Henry Miller, Huston Smith, Susan Sontag, and Mark Van Doren. Manuscripts for the essays are included with correspondence from the author or at the end of the series. The book was published in 1969.

The next project O'Gorman undertook was the organization of a poetry reading for the Compassionate Arts of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The reading, "Poets for Peace," took place at Town Hall in New York City on November 12, 1967. O'Gorman received correspondence regarding the event from poets including Daniel Berrigan, Louise Bogan, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Eberhart, Abbie Huston Evans, Paul Goodman, Galway Kinnell, Denise Levertov, Archibald MacLeish, Marianne Moore, Anais Nin, and Richard Wilbur.

The last large project cataloged here is O'Gorman's work on a biography of Allen Tate. The work was begun in 1979. O'Gorman ran ads and wrote many letters to gather information on Tate and received voluminous responses. Many of Tate's friends and acquaintances recorded their memories of him in these letters. Some letters of note are from Robert Bly, William Condon, Laura Riding Jackson, Lincoln Kirstein, Kathleen Raine, and Robert Penn Warren. This series also contains photographs of Allen Tate. O'Gorman's work on the biography of Allen Tate was stopped short and never published.

The collection also contains personal materials such as correspondence, scrapbook items, photographs of O'Gorman and his son, Ricky, and diaries. The letters O'Gorman wrote to his friend Sarah Lorimer between the years 1959 and 1986 were returned to him and offer wonderful descriptions of his school and daily life in New York City.

SERIES SYNOPSIS: The Ned O'Gorman Papers Part 2 are arranged into eight series.

SERIES: 1. General and Personal Correspondence DESCRIPTION: Correspondence written mostly to Ned O'Gorman, the majority being personal in nature. A few letters relate to the publishing of his poetry.

SERIES: 2. Prophetic Voices Book Project DESCRIPTION: This series contains the correspondence written to collect the essays used in the book "Prophetic Voices: Ideas and Words on Revolution," edited by Ned O'Gorman. The incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically and carbon copies of the letters written by O'Gorman are included in the folders with the responses (the outgoing carbons are not individually indexed). Outgoing letters written by O'Gorman that were not responded to are collected at the end of the correspondence and arranged alphabetically. The series also includes the typed manuscripts for the book.

SERIES: 3. Poets for Peace Project DESCRIPTION: Correspondence regarding the Poets for Peace Poetry Reading organized by Ned O'Gorman. The event took place on November 12, 1967. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically.

SERIES: 4. Allen Tate Biography Materials DESCRIPTION: This series contains the research and correspondence files kept by Ned O'Gorman while he was working on a biography of Allen Tate. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically with carbon copies of Ned O'Gorman's outgoing letters filed with their responses where possible. The series contains photocopies of Tate Correspondence held at other institutions, articles on Tate, and photographs of Tate and his family and friends. This series also contains O'Gorman's notes towards the biography and the beginning manuscripts.

SERIES: 5. Manuscripts DESCRIPTION: Manuscripts of poems, some non-fiction, and a play by Ned O'Gorman.

SERIES: 6. Scrapbook and Printed Items DESCRIPTION: Items from Ned O'Gorman's scrapbook along with printed items. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES: 7. Photographs DESCRIPTION: Photographs are arranged first by person or subject, then by date. This series also contains a photobook and notebook of Ricky O'Gorman's and an oversize manuscript by Lucia Dlugoszewski.

SERIES: 8. Diaries and Datebooks DESCRIPTION: Diaries and Datebooks kept by Ned O'Gorman. Some poetry manuscripts are included in these books.


ABBREVIATIONS: ALS - Autograph Letter Signed; ACS - Autograph Card Signed; TLS - Typed Letter Signed; TC - Typed Card; AMS - Autograph Manuscript Signed; AM - Autograph Manuscript; TMS - Typed Manuscript Signed; TM - Typed Manuscript; b/w - Black and White (Photograph)


  • 1920 - 2004
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 2000

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Ned O'Gorman was born Edward Charles O'Gorman on September 26, 1929 in New York City to Annette de Bouthillier-Chavigny O'Gorman and Samuel Franklin Engs O'Gorman. In 1950, he graduated from St. Michael's College in Vermont and later received an M.A. from Columbia University. While at Princeton in 1957, O'Gorman rented a room in the house of Caroline Gordon Tate. His poetry was recognized when he won Guggenheim Fellowships in 1956 and 1962. He won the Lamont Poetry Award in 1958 for his collection of poems, "The Night of the Hammer."

O'Gorman was the literary editor of "Jubilee" magazine from 1962 to 1965. He was appointed by the U.S. State Department to be the American studies specialist in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil in 1965. O'Gorman opened a school in Harlem in 1966 that became known as the Children's Storefront. The tuition-free school made a point of welcoming all children living in the area. He also founded the Ricardo O'Gorman Garden and Center for Resources in the Humanities which opened in 1998. The Center, which O'Gorman continues to direct, is located on West 129th Street in New York City. O'Gorman is the author of six books of poetry, four books of prose, and numerous articles and poetry published in various magazines. His most recent book of poetry is "Five Seasons of Obsession." O'Gorman's son, Ricardo "Ricky" O'Gorman, came to live with him in 1971 while he was attending the Children's Storefront School. He died in 1996 at the age of 26.


12 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Language of Materials


Ned O'Gorman Papers 2
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057