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Shirley Jackson papers

Identifier: COU:4353

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of original and carbon typescripts from short stories, essays, notes and drafts by Shirley Jackson. Many of the individual typescripts have pencil holograph corrections and notes from Shirley Jackson.


  • Creation: 1949 - 1950

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical / Historical

Shirley Jackson was a 20th century author. Born on December 14, 1919 to a mother from a long line of San Francisco architects (a strong influence on her writing) and a father from England, Shirley spent the first fourteen years of her life in the San Francisco area. She began writing verse almost as soon as she could write, according to her mother. At the age of twelve she won a poetry contest sponsored by the Junior Home Magazine for her poem "The Pine Tree." She spent two years at the University of Rochester, but was unhappy and withdrew in June of 1936. In the fall of 1937 she entered Syracuse University. Her first story, "Janice," was published in the college magazine in 1938, the same year she was appointed fiction editor of the campus humor magazine.

Jackson graduated from Syracuse in 1940 and immediately married Stanley Edgar Hyman. The following year The New Republic ran her first national publication, "My Life With R.H. Macy." Her first novel, "The Road Through the Wall," was published in 1948, along with her most well-known story, "The Lottery." Her novel "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" was on the best-seller list in 1962, and Time magazine named it one of the year's ten best.

As well as maintaining a strict writing schedule, Jackson was the mother of four children, Laurence, born in 1942, Joanne, in 1945, Sarah, in 1948, and Barry, in 1951. She published two family chronicles, "Life Among the Savages" and "Raising Demons." Shirley Jackson died of heart failure on August 8, 1965, at the age of forty-five.


.25 linear feet

Language of Materials



Manuscripts and early drafts of stories by Shirley Jackson.


This collection is arranged in the order in which it was donated, with a box level inventory.

Machine-readable finding aid created by Elizabeth A. Newsom, March 2008.
March, 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States