Again, a brief interlude to document my visit to the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
As some of you may know, Yale University has been building one of the world’s premier collections around the Post-War European Avant-Garde. This is how Yale describes its collection on the topic: Postwar Culture at Beinecke encompasses an extensive array of materials documenting artistic, literary, social, political, and philosophic developments in Europe and America between 1945 and 1989. Ranging from single pieces to entire archives and libraries of prominent figures of the period, these rich and disparate holdings converge to form a unique resource for exploring the work of creative individuals, movements, and transnational networks that reshaped cultural landscapes both “high” and “low” after the Second World War”. An excellent and accessible website documents the full extent of the collections; it can be accessed at http://www.beineckepostwar.com/
The acquisition effort has been led by Kevin Repp, whom I met during my trip. Serving as Curator, Modern European Books and Manuscripts, Repp is a scholar of 20th century European thought who knows the avant-garde well.
As one may expect, the Situationist International is a major component of Yale’s growing Post-War European Avant-Garde archives. Key collections from members of the SI include:
- Attila Kotanyi papers: http://www.beineckepostwar.com/#!attila-kotnyi/cpck
- Gianfranco Sanguinetti papers: http://www.beineckepostwar.com/#!gianfrancosanguinetti/cdr2
- Jacqueline de Jong papers: http://www.beineckepostwar.com/#!jacqueline-de-jong/c1g50
- Mustapha Khayati paper [currently being processed, not available to researchers]
I had the opportunity to look at a small fraction of both the Sanguinetti and De Jong papers. The De Jong archive consists of “correspondence, manuscript drafts, drawings and original artwork, photographs, ephemera, and documents relating to the Situationist Times.” Particularly compelling to me were some of the original maquettes used for the issues of Situationist Times:
There was also a good amount of correspondence with members of the Situationist International and others like Noel Arnaud. However, out of a concern from Jacqueline de Jong’s privacy, I have chosen not publish those here.
As far as the Sanguinetti papers are concerned, the collection “consists of 48 boxes of correspondence (including more than 650 letters between Sanguinetti and Guy Debord most of which have never been published), writings, notes, clippings, photocopies, posters, printed materials, legal papers, and photographs by, to, or related to Gianfranco Sanguinetti and the Situationist International.” Some of the most compelling items are found in Box 48 (which contains Sanguinetti’s (unpublished) correspondence with Alice Debord following Guy Debord’s passing in 1994), Box 49 (hundreds of photographs of the SI taken by Sanguinetti, primarily around 1969-70), and Box 50 (the original material that was to constitute the thirteenth issue of Internationale Situationniste, including a never published 14-page Avertissement by Guy Debord). Unfortunately, as I do not have a personal contact with Sanguinetti, I cannot get authorization from him to release the material publicly. As a “teaser”, find below one of the hundreds of pictures found in the archive:
For those interested in this archive, I am happy to provide further insight. You may also contact Yale directly; the Beinecke has been nothing but accommodating — despite being under renovation until 2016, and currently relocated to the Sterling Memorial — and should make the material available to any scholars, researchers, and serious private collectors.