Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections


John Masefield Collection, 1894-1944

Part I: Description

Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library
Collection Number:M 8

Copyright © 2000 by Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library


Total Boxes: 1
Linear Feet: 0.5

Administrative Information


Acquired by purchase and gift from various sources.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The John Masefield Collection is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.

Cite as:

John Masefield Collection, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.



JOHN MASEFIELD (1878-1967)

The poet John Masefield was born on 1 June 1878 in Ledbury, Herefordshire, England. Masefield was best known for his sea poems, including "Sea Fever" and "Cargoes," and for his long, narrative poems, including "The Everlasting Mercy." He also wrote adventure novels, short stories, and works for children, as well as two autobiographical works, In the Mill (1941), which describes his time working in a carpet factory in the United States, and So Long to Learn (1952). Masefield worked on a windjammer that sailed around Cape Horn, lived for some time in the United States, and then returned to England where he worked as a journalist for the Manchester Guardian. In 1930, he was appointed poet laureate of England, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1935. Masefield died near Abingdon, Berkshire on 12 May 1967.


The collection contains a number of letters by John Masefield, most regarding his work, from 1906 to 1944. There is a small group of material about the December 1920 edition of The Chapbook (published by The Poetry Bookshop) which contained a musical composition by Malcolm Davidson based on Masefield's poem, "A Christmas Carol." This material includes the handwritten score and letters to and from The Poetry Bookshop about the publication. The collection contains two prints and three photographs of Masefield, all from the 1920s, four of them signed by him. There are also two landscape photographs, with a note by Masefield. The earliest item in the collection is a nautical certificate dated 1894, which was presented to Masefield from the ship "Conway."

PART II: Box and Folder List

Processing and description by Miriam B. Spectre.



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Last Update: November 18, 2013 , Special Collections at