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Ploughshares Collection

Identifier: MSS 026

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1971 - 2006


Language of Materials

Records in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Biographical / Historical

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.


9 linear feet; 14 boxes


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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The archives of Ploughshares, Inc. were obtained through the merger with Emerson College in 2008.


Additional materials are expected.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Danielle Geller; last revised December 6, 2013.

AtoM record created by Samantha Quinon.

Ploughshares Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Emerson College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Walker Building, Room 223
120 Boylston Street
Boston Massachusetts 02116 United States
(617) 824-8301