Guide to the Richard Hugo Papers
[circa 1960s]

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Hugo, Richard, 1923-1982
Title: Papers
Dates: [ca. 1960s] ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.0 linear foot (2 boxes)
Collection Number: Mss 488
Summary: Richard Hugo was a poet who taught at the University of Montana. The collection contains fifteen of his poetry notebooks, and other miscellaneous literary manuscripts.
Repository: University of Montana--Missoula
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
Archives and Special Collections

The University of Montana—Missoula
Missoula, MT 59812

Languages: Materials are in English 
Sponsor: Funding for creating this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

Richard Hugo was born in 1923 in Seattle, Washington. He was raised by his grandparents in White Center, Washington. He served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Washington, where he earned his B.A. in 1948 and his M.A in 1952 and was a student of Theodore Roethke. He worked as a technical writer for the Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle. His first book of poetry, A Run of Jacks, was published in 1961; it was followed by another, Death of Kapowsin Tavern, in 1965. In 1963 he resigned his position at Boeing, and went with his wife Barbara Williams (whom he married in 1951) to Italy for a year. On returning to the United States, he was offered a position teaching creative writing at the University of Montana, where he would become head of that program. He also taught at the University of Washington and the University of Iowa. He published The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir (1973), What Thou Lovest Well Remains American (1975), 31 Letters and 13 Dreams (1977), White Center (1980) and The Right Madness on Skye (1980). After his divorce from Barbara Williams in 1965, he married Ripley Schamm in 1974. By the end of his life Hugo had accumulated many prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation creative writing grant, and the Theodore Roethke Memorial Prize. He died of leukemia in 1982.

Content Description

The collection contains fifteen of Hugo's poetry notebooks and other miscellaneous literary manuscripts.

Use of the Collection

Alternative Forms Available :  

Also available, with the remainder of his papers from The University of Washington, on microfilm.

Restrictions on Access :  

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.

Restrictions on Use :  

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana.

Preferred Citation :  

[Name of document or photograph number], Richard Hugo Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana--Missoula.

Administrative Information

Custodial History :  

The papers remained in Hugo's possession until donation to the Archives.

Acquisition Information :  

Gift of Richard Hugo, 1969.

Processing Note :  

The collection was originally processed as UM 6, Richard Hugo Papers. In 2004, the collection was re-numbered as Mss 488 and a new finding aid was produced and encoded.

Separated Materials :  

The main body of Hugo's papers are held by the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.

Additional Reference Guides :  

Guide to microfilm collection available.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1/1 Notebook 1 (pages 1-120), undated
1/2 Notebook 2 (pages 1-120), undated
1/3 Notebook 3 (pages 1-120), undated
1/4 Notebook 4 (pages 1-120), undated
1/5 Notebook 5 (pages 5-118), undated
1/6 Notebook 6 (pages 33-108), undated
1/7 Notebook 7 (pages 5-116), undated
1/8 Notebook 8 (pages 1-118), undated
1/9 Notebook 9 (pages 21-110), undated
2/1 Notebook 10 (pages 1-120), undated
2/2 Notebook 11 (pages 1-120), undated
2/3 Notebook 12 (pages 1-120), undated
2/4 Notebook 13 (pages 1-120), undated
2/5 Notebook 14 (pages 1-120), undated
2/6 Notebook 15 (pages 1-120), undated
2/7 Spiral notebook (unpaged, 158 pages or 79 leaves), undated
First poem in notebook is "Where Rock Creek Pools Against the Rock"
2/8 Spiral notebook (unpaged, 126 pages or 63 leaves), undated
2/9 "Good Luck in Cracked Italian" with printers marks, undated
2/10 "Good Luck in Cracked Italian" same as above with no marks, undated
2/11 Group of 7 leaves, undated
Includes "Snoqualmie October""October Snocualmiet' "Salmon in October"
2/12 Group of 11 leaves, undated
Includes "Stafford's Landscapes" "West of Your City"


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Personal Names :
  • Hugo, Richard, 1923-1982--Manuscripts
  • Corporate Names :
  • University of Montana--Missoula--Faculty
  • Subject Terms :
  • American poetry--20th century
  • American poetry--Montana
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Poems
    • Occupations :
    • Poets, American--Montana--Missoula

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