Benjamin Joseph Morse collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains:

  • Personal and family papers of Benjamin Morse, including the Scroll of Cavaliere dell'Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana, dated 2 June 1966.
  • Original poetry by Benjamin Morse.
  • Articles and Pamphlets by Benjamin Morse including: 'Rilke and the occult', Psychic science 24 (1945); 'Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Blake', Englische Studien 66 (1931/2); 'Rainer Maria Rilke and Martin Buber', Alles Lebendige meinet den Menschen (Bern, 1972): 'Rainer Maria Rilke and English literatur'; 'Contemporary English poets and Rilke', German life and letters 1 (1947/8).
  • Reviews from Modern language review, Welsh review and Englische Studien.
  • Translations from Rainer Maria Rilke, including The story of the love and death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Osnabrck, 1927)
  • Typescript of translation of the 'Duino elegies' and other translations from Rilke.
  • Rilke's works, including photostat copies of the manuscript version of his translation of Valry's Palme and of Marguerite von Khlmann (1919) by Rudolf Alexander.
  • Benjamin Morse's correspondence with the Rilke family.
  • Manuscript and typescript translations of four plays by Carl Sternheim (1878-1942).
  • Translations from writers other than Rilke: Lorenzo Stecchetti, Salvatore Quasimodo, Dietmar von Eist and Meinloh von Sevelingen (inter alia), all privately printed in Padua, 1971-76.
  • Alfred Mombert (1872-1942). Materials (mostly photocopies) gathered by Morse while preparing his editions of Mombert's letters: Briefe 1893-1942 (1961) and Briefe an Vasanta 1922-1937 (1965). The materials include photocopies of works by Mombert, photocopies and transcripts of letters to and from Mombert; original letters from Rudolf Pannwitz to Mombert and between Richard Benz and Mombert; original poems by E.R.Weiss for Mombert.
  • Materials relating to other German writers include: Countess Nora Wydenbruck (1894-1959); Felix Braun (1885-1973), Austrian poet; Carl Sternheim (1878-1942), playwright; Jethro Bithell (1878-1962), head of the German Department at Birkbeck College, London.
  • Letters, which have been catalogued as German, Italian, English, Welsh and Anglo-Welsh; all correspondents have been identified in the Archives Handlist wherever possible.

Administrative / Biographical History

Benjamin Joseph Morse, lecturer and senior lecturer in Italian at University College, Cardiff, 1940-1966. After graduation at Aberystwyth in 1923 Morse spent some years on the continent, at Trieste, Osnabrck and other cities, where he began his contacts with German and Italian writers which were renewed after 1945. He was a poet, critic and scholar, a notable translator of poetry (especially Rilke) and plays (e.g. Sternheim) and editor of Mombert's letters. B.J. Morse was made a knight of the Italian Republic in 1966.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.


Compiled by Elizabeth Pengilly with Peter Keelan.


A few accruals are expected.