|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
Selected items cataloged; remainder arranged.
Scope and Content
The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, and printed ephemera related to Thomas Parkinson and his involvement in the San Francisco Renaissance literary scene.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is located on-site.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Thomas Francis Parkinson Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Ownership and Custodial History
Purchase, 1987; l988.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed 04/07/88 PL
Gary Snyder letters, manuscripts, and photographs. Processed 09/26/88 PL
Reprocessed 07/12/10 by Carrie Hintz
2010-07-13 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Thomas Parkinson was a professor of literature at the University of California Berkeley, a poet, political activist, and scholar of William Butler Yeats and the writers and culture of the Beat Generation.
Parkinson was born in San Francisco in 1920. He grew up in the Haight-Ashbury district with his father, a plumber and union leader. His father's political and union activities shaped Parkinson's own political views, and he remained a committed political activist throughout his life.
Parkinson graduated from Lowell High School and attended some courses at a junior college, but left to do odd jobs and a brief stint in the army before returning to the University of California Berkeley. He completed his Bachelor's, and then his PhD at Berkeley and stayed on to teach as faculty member in the English Department. He remained at Berkeley for the entirety of his career as a scholar, and was awarded the University's highest honor, the Berkeley Citation, in 1991.
In addition to his activities as a scholar, Parkinson was a poet who was involved in the art and literary scene in the San Francisco area in the 1950s and 1960s. He was friendly with poets such as Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Robert Duncan, and Allen Ginsberg, and wrote an early academic analysis of beat poetry entitles A Casebook of the Beat in 1961.
Thomas Parkinson died of a heart attack in 1992, survived by his wife, the artist and theatrical designer Ariel Parkinson.