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Clarence Major Papers

Identifier: GV006

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts and other writings of Clarence Major. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically while manuscripts are arranged chronologically.


  • 1968-2001


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English

Restrictions on Access

Permission to examine this collection will be granted to any qualified researcher upon completion of an application form. The original documents do not circulate and may only be used in the Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Photo reproduction of any materials in which Clarence Major holds copyright shall be performed only with the written permission of Mr. Major. For items that Mr. Major does not own the copyright, written permission must be gained from the copyright holder before photo reproductions are made.

Biographical Note

Clarence Major, born in Atlanta, Georgia, was raised in Chicago where he briefly attended the Chicago Art Institute. He began writing before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1955, during which he continued to write poems and short stories. From 1958 to 1961 he edited Coercion Review, which put him in touch with such writers as William Carlose Williams, Robert Creeley, and Allen Ginsberg, and allowed him to continue to develop his craft. In 1966 Major moved to New York City, where he became further immersed in the black literary culture. He has held professorships at the City University of New York, Sarah Lawrence College, Queens College, Howard University, the University of Washington at Seattle, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. A painter and novelist as well as poet, Major currently teaches at the University of California, Davis, as a professor of English.


108 boxes


Collection contains manuscripts and incoming and outgoing correspondence of author Clarence Major.


This collection is organized into three series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Books
  3. Other Writings

Physical Location



Purchased for the collection in three installments, 1999-2001.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Kathryn Neal and Rachel Mordecai. The finding aid was created by Karla Davis in 2004.

Clarence Major Papers
Karla Davis
September, 2004
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Givens Collection of African American Literature Collecting Area