Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Lucien Carr papers, 1951-1975

Summary Information

Abstract

A founding member of the Beat Generation, Carr was a friend of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and other beat writers, and attended Columbia University in 1944. The Lucien Carr Papers contain correspondence with prominent Beat writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, as well as some clippings and ephemera.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0201
Bib ID 4078588 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Carr, Lucien, 1925-2005
Title Lucien Carr papers, 1951-1975
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series.

Description

Summary

The Lucien Carr papers contain Carr's correspondence, primarily with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, as well as clippings, book reviews, and articles relating to Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs, and other Beat Generation figures.

  • Series I: Correspondence, 1956-1973

    The correspondence series contains letters, telegrams, and postcards sent to Carr from his friends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Some of these letters include fragments of works in progress, such as the Ginsberg letter that includes an early draft of the first section of "Howl: For Carl Solomon." Many of Kerouac's letters take the form of poems.

  • Series II: Printed Material and Ephemera, 1951-1973

    The printed Material and Ephemera series is comprised of clippings, articles, publications, and book reviews relating to members of the Beat Generation and their work. Also included are three small photographs, two of Allen Ginsberg and one of William Burroughs, and a typed copy of the Buddhist text The Diamond Sutra that was owned by Jack Kerouac.

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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Lucien Carr papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 04/17/89.

Papers processed Henry Rowen 07/1977.

Papers reprocessed Carrie Hintz 08/2009.

Revision Description

2009-08-14 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
American literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American poetry -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Beats (Persons) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bohemianism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Carr, Lucien, 1925-2005 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Students Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cru, Henri Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poets, American -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Lucien Carr was born in New York City in 1925, but spent most of his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri. It was in St. Louis that he first met Washington University instructor David Kammerer and Kammerer's childhood friend William S. Burroughs.

After graduating from Andover Academy, Carr briefly enrolled in Bowdoin College, but soon transferred to the University of Chicago, where he stayed for two semesters until an apparent suicide attempt caused him to be briefly institutionalized. His mother, living in New York at the time, convinced Carr to transfer to Columbia University. At Columbia, Carr, a brilliant student, befriended his Columbia dormmate Allen Ginsberg and recent graduate, Jack Kerouac. He introduced Ginsberg and Kerouac to one another and to William Burroughs, who, along with Kammerer, had moved to New York in Carr's wake. The intelligent and charismatic Carr quickly became the ringleader of the group of friends-- introducing them to the sensualist poetry of Rimbaud and encouraging their exploration of Greenwich Village clubs.

This period of Carr's life ended abruptly when, after a night of drinking, Kammerer made increasingly persistent and aggressive sexual advances on Carr in Riverside Park. The situation became violent and resulted in Carr stabbing and killing Kammerer. He was convicted of manslaughter and served two years in prison for the crime.

Though Carr was instrumental in the bringing together the key players who would form the core of the Beat Generation, he later remained on the periphery of the movement. He valued his privacy, and asked that his name not be mentioned in press relating to the beats and even requesting that Allen Ginsberg remove his name from the dedication of "Howl." Though he moved out of the spotlight, he remained close with his college friends, supporting Kerouac and Ginsberg throughout their careers, including briefly allowing Kerouac to live with him and his wife while Kerouac worked on the manuscript for On the Road.

He married Francesca (Cessa) van Hartz and took a job at United Press International where he worked as an editor for the entirety of his 47-year career in the news business. He and Francesca had three children-- Simon, Ethan and the writer Caleb Carr before they divorced.

Carr died of complications of bone cancer in 2005.

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Series I: Correspondence, 1956-1973

The correspondence series contains letters, telegrams, and postcards sent to Carr from his friends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Some of these letters include fragments of works in progress, such as the Ginsberg letter that includes an early draft of the first section of "Howl: For Carl Solomon." Many of Kerouac's letters take the form of poems.


Cru, Henri to Jack Kerouac



Box 1 Folder 1 [1957]


Box 1 Folder 2 [1957]


Ginsberg, Allen to Lucien Carr


Box 1 Folder 3 January 16, 1956 (includes early draft of "Howl" with author's corrections), January 16, 1956


Box 1 Folder 4 1957


Box 1 Folder 5 April 4, 1957


Box 1 Folder 6 October, 1957


Box 1 Folder 7 December 11, 1957


Box 1 Folder 8 May 30, 1958


Box 1 Folder 9 January 26, 1960


Box 1 Folder 10 April 6, 1960


Box 1 Folder 11 April 20, 1960


Box 1 Folder 12 January 17, 1965


Box 1 Folder 13 March 28, 1965


Box 1 Folder 14 January 28, 1966



Mapcase 14-E-7 February 14, 1966



Box 1 Folder 16 July 3, 1967


Box 1 Folder 17 October 1, 1967


Box 1 Folder 18 July 17, 1968


Box 1 Folder 19 July 19, 1968


Box 1 Folder 20 August 17, 1968


Box 1 Folder 21 November 4, 1969


Box 1 Folder 22 1970


Box 1 Folder 23 March 22, 1970


Box 1 Folder 24 October 13, 1970


Box 1 Folder 25 October 16, 1970


Box 1 Folder 26 November 21, 1970


Box 1 Folder 27 July 27, 1971


Box 1 Folder 28 August, 1971


Box 1 Folder 29 August 19, 1971


Box 1 Folder 30 September 16, 1971


Box 1 Folder 31 March 8, 1972


Box 1 Folder 32 March 17, 1972


Box 1 Folder 33 March 27, 1972


Box 1 Folder 34 May 24, 1972


Box 1 Folder 35 June 2, 1972


Box 1 Folder 36 June 12, 1972


Box 1 Folder 37 June 24, 1972


Box 1 Folder 38 August 10, 1973


Box 1 Folder 39 November 10, 1975


Kerouac, Jack to Lucien Carr


Box 1 Folder 40 Undated (includes a pencil sketch of a woman's head), Undated


Box 1 Folder 41 Undated


Box 1 Folder 42 February 24, 1956


Box 1 Folder 43 February 28, 1957


Box 1 Folder 44 March 12, 1957


Box 1 Folder 45 October 22, 1957


Box 1 Folder 46 November 20, 1957


Box 1 Folder 47 December 14, 1957


Box 1 Folder 48 January 16, 1958


Box 1 Folder 49 February 18, 1958


Box 1 Folder 50 August 14, 1958


Box 1 Folder 51 May 23, 1959


Box 1 Folder 52 October 12, 1959


Box 1 Folder 53 January 19, 1960


Box 1 Folder 54 May 17, 1961


Box 1 Folder 55 October 31, 1961


Box 1 Folder 56 December 27, 1961


Box 1 Folder 57 January 6, 1962


Box 1 Folder 58 March 15, 1962


Box 1 Folder 59 May 28, 1962


Box 1 Folder 60 June 7, 1962


Box 1 Folder 61 August 11, 1962


Box 1 Folder 62 June 2, 1965


Box 1 Folder 63 1967


Kerouac, Jack to Francesca Carr


Box 1 Folder 64 October 22, 1962

Series II: Printed Material and Ephemera, 1951-1973

The printed Material and Ephemera series is comprised of clippings, articles, publications, and book reviews relating to members of the Beat Generation and their work. Also included are three small photographs, two of Allen Ginsberg and one of William Burroughs, and a typed copy of the Buddhist text The Diamond Sutra that was owned by Jack Kerouac.



Mapcase 14-E-7 Clippings regarding Ginsberg and Burroughs, 1957, 1959 and undated, 1957, 1959, undated


Mapcase 14-E-7 Clippings regarding Kerouac, 1957-1959 (mostly book reviews), 1957-1959



Box 1 Folder 67 "Rimbaud" published poem by Jack Kerouac, 1960 (2 copies- 1 inscribed to Lafcadio [Orlovsky]), 1960


Box 1 Folder 68 Typed copy of The Diamond Sutra (typed, owned and annotated by Jack Kerouac)


Photographs


Box 1 Folder 69 Ginsberg in San Francisco, 1950s


Box 1 Folder 69 Burroughs in Colombia, 1951


Box 1 Folder 70 "The Beat Generation and the Continuing Revolution" by John Tytell, 1973 published in The American Scholar, 1973