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Charles Bernstein Papers: Selections

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Charles Bernstein Papers: Selections

About this collection

  • Some items restricted

63 digital objects.


This online collection consists of born-digital files and audiovisual materials from the papers of poet Charles Bernstein. The born-digital files are letters and emails Bernstein wrote and saved onto floppy disks from the 1980s to mid-1990s. The audiovisual material includes reformatted audio cassettes and reel-to-reel recordings of readings and lectures that were recorded between 1974 and 1990.

The born-digital files, originally acquired by the Library in 2000, consisted of floppies that were imaged (copied) in 2023. Bernstein saved his files in multiple formats across the disks, including plain text, rich text format, Word Perfect, and Word. Occasionally, he saved multiple letters to a single correspondent together in one running document; at other times, one file represents one letter. Emails tend to be bundled together as plain text, likely due to batch exports out of an email program. File names and titles are his own. The Library selected the last saved copies of the correspondence as preservation originals in cases where there were duplicates, and normalized all files for user access as PDFs.

All original sound recordings in the collection were reformatted (digitized) in 2023. Bernstein’s recordings include poetry readings by himself and others, as well as critical lectures about poetry and writing. Other notable readers include Lyn Hejinian, Hannah Weiner, and Ray DiPalma. Bernstein’s recordings also include selections of a radio show from the Freedom Clinic of Santa Barbara, recorded in the mid-seventies, where Bernstein worked as a pamphlet and broadsheet designer. Bernstein also moderated the radio show.

Due to copyright restrictions, access to some of this content may be limited. This material is copyright-protected, and researchers must register with the Special Collections Request System to initiate requests to view Bernstein's writings using the Library's Virtual Reading Room Service. Requests may be made through the request button links in each object.

Creation Date
  • 1974 - 1998
Location Of Originals

From the Charles Bernstein Papers. MSS 519. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.


Audiovisual recordings on reel and cassette in this collection were digitized through support by a Public Knowledge grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Corporate Name


View formats within this collection

  • English
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