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Library Archives

The papers of the poet Barry MacSweeney consist of draft and published works, correspondence, literature reviews, poetry publications, photographs and newspaper articles.

There is correspondence from a range of MacSweeney's friends, fellow poets and family. This includes material from Clive Bush, Pete Bland, Tim Fletcher, Nicholas Johnson, Jackie Litherland, Maggie O'Sullivan, Eric Mottram, Elaine Randall, Jeremy Prynne and Chris Torrence.

It also includes letters from his immediate family, letters and publication agreements from publishers, and correspondence relating to the Poetry Society.

The papers feature many examples of MacSweeney's journalism, including articles written for provincial newspapers throughout the 1970s.

Many of the press cuttings and some photographs are preserved in scrapbooks dating between the 1970s to 1990s. The scrapbooks also contain articles written by Barry as the North of England correspondent for Lloyd's Shipping Lists, which concern Tyne shipping and the shipping industry in general.

The papers also include a considerable amount of published and unpublished material by other poets. This includes recently published material sent to Barry for commentary and discussion.

The papers also incorporate a large number of poetry magazines and review publications. Many of these items are now housed in the MacSweeney Archive, within our School.

The MacSweeney Archive is a separate collection of Barry's books, journals and music. The Library is open to researchers who will find a description of the contents and access conditions given below.

The papers are in the process of being catalogued. A brief handlist of the material is available, but see below for access conditions.


The Barry MacSweeney Papers are held in the Special Collections department of Newcastle University Library. The papers are not yet fully catalogued and are not yet open to researchers.

Limited access, at the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian, may be granted under certain circumstances. Appointment in advance and proof of identity required.

All enquiries regarding the MacSweeney Papers should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian at the Robinson Library, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HQ, +44 (0)191 208 7712.


The library can provide photocopies (to a limit of 30 at any one time) for educational and private research purposes, provided the condition of the document does not prevent copying.

Alternatively, photographic or digital images can be produced for educational and private research purposes. Contact the Special Collections Librarian for further advice.


Permission to make published use of any material from The MacSweeney Papers must be sought in writing from the Special Collections Librarian and from the copyright owner.

The copyright of material in the MacSweeney Papers and of works by Barry MacSweeney remains with the MacSweeney family.

The responsibility to obtain copyright clearance rests with the user. Barry MacSweeney's neice, Caitlyn MacSweeney, can be contacted by email and is happy to answer any enquires.