Correspondence of Michael Hamburger, with associated literary manuscripts and other material

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 206 Brotherton Collection MS 20c Hamburger
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      21 boxes; manuscript, typescript, postcards, press cuttings, and printed material (some photocopy)

Scope and Content

Comprises a collection of 2396 autograph manuscript and typescript letters and postcards to Michael Hamburger from 249 correspondents between 1929 and 1994 (many of them well-known literary figures), and 5 autograph letters from him to 2 correspondents between 1966 and 1995. Significant amounts of literary material (manuscript, typescript, printed) are included with some of the correspondence, notably that from Michael Horovitz, Christopher Middleton, Philip O'Connor, and Peter Viereck.

Administrative / Biographical History

Michael Hamburger, the poet, translator, and literary critic, was born in Berlin in 1924 into a German-Jewish family which emigrated to England in 1933. He read Modern Languages at Christ Church, Oxford, although his studies were interrupted by war service from 1943-1947. After the war he held posts at University College, London and the University of Reading. From 1964 onwards he was a guest lecturer and visiting professor at various American universities, but mostly devoted himself to freelance writing and translation. His translations have won many prizes and awards, notably the Schlegel-Tieck prize three times, and he has translated, among others, from Baudelaire, Celan, Hlderlin, and Enzensberger. His literary critical study, The truth of poetry, was published in 1969 and his Collected poems in 1984.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

Purchased mainly from Michael Hamburger on 14 January 1998, but a few letters were purchased from Huggett on 2 December 1997.


In English.

Other Finding Aids

The letters and related material are described in the Library's Letters database