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Elias Wilentz Collection

Identifier: PCMS-0011

Scope and Content Note

The Elias Wilentz Collection contains manuscripts by poets such as Ted Berrigan, Joel Oppenheimer, and Jonathan Williams; correspondence from writers including Amiri Baraka, Djuna Barnes, Kenneth Burke, Allen Ginsberg, Ted Joans, Eric Mottram, Ed Sanders, and Jonathan Williams; photographs of Marianne Moore, Jackson Mac Low, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), and others; and miscellaneous items.


  • 1959-1978


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Elias Wilentz Collection, 1959-1978, is open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Poetry Collection before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

With his brother Theodore (Ted), Elias (Eli) Wilentz owned the famous Eighth Street Bookshop in New York from 1947 to 1979. Named for its location in Greenwich Village, in 1967 the independent bookstore moved from the corner of Eighth and MacDougal to 17 West Eighth Street. Over the years the Eighth Street Bookshop not only employed such writers as LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Jonathan Williams, Jane Schwartz, Andrei Codrescu, and Peter Orlovsky, but, more importantly, it served as an important social landmark in New York's literary and cultural scene. In 1976 the store was destroyed by fire and rebuilt, only to close for good three years later. Ted and Eli Wilentz also ran Corinth Books, which partnered with LeRoi Jones's Totem Press and Jonathan Williams's Jargon Books to publish such influential New York School, Beat and Black Mountain writers as Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, Gary Snyder, Frank O'Hara, Philip Whalen, Ed Dorn, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Olson. In 1960 Elias Wilentz edited the anthology The Beat Scene.


2.25 Linear Feet (9 boxes)


The Elias Wilentz Collection contains manuscripts by poets such as Ted Berrigan, Joel Oppenheimer, and Jonathan Williams; correspondence; photographs; and miscellaneous items.


This collection is arranged in three series.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Elias Wilentz.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Poetry Collection staff.


Finding aid for Elias Wilentz Collection, 1959-1978 PCMS-0011
Finding aid prepared by Marie Elia.
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Best Practices
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Poetry Collection Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)