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Joanne Kyger Papers: Selections

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Joanne Kyger Papers: Selections

About this collection

  • Some items restricted

82 digital objects.


Digitized and born-digital selections from the papers of poet Joanne Kyger, including a small number of photographs, audiovisual recordings, and text documents copied from her collection of floppy disks and optical media.

Kyger, an important member of the 'post-beat' West Coast poetry community, traveled through and lived in San Francisco, Japan, New York, and Bolinas, California. The materials in this selection reference each of these locations, in addition to her journeys to Mexico.

Audiovisual material on reel and cassette was digitized in 2023. Material includes Joanne Kyger reading, at individual events and group readings, as well as tapes of spoken journaling/diaries. Voices of prominent poets featured in this collection include: Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Lewis MacAdams, and Jack Collom. Many readings and events took place in Bolinas, California and the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

A major addition to the Joanne Kyger Papers was acquired by the Library in 2019, which included approximately fifty 3.5" floppy disks and 12 compact discs. All of the floppies were imaged (copied) in an attempt to preserve and access their content. Only twenty-one disks were found to have readable files that could be restored--the rest were degraded due to age and bit rot. Kyger crafted her digital files using a Smith Corona word processor. Most of the original files on the disks were created using a 1992 version of Personal Word Processor software, which is not readable in a modern Office or Mac environment. The text content was restored using a script that interpreted the bits in the files that demarcated formatting such as line breaks, emphasis, and punctuation, and was normalized for user access as PDFs. Accordingly, most of the files are legible and render similarly to how they were displayed when they were created, but some may exhibit formatting or text quirks that may differ from Kyger's original version.

The compact discs included some scanned photographs and audiovisual recordings, including poetry readings and three memorial services held in tribute to Kyger's legacy following her death. All of those files are included in this online collection.

Due to copyright restrictions, access to some content may be limited. This material is copyright-protected, and researchers must register with the Special Collections Request System to initiate requests to view select sound recordings. Requests may be made through the request button links in each object.

Creation Date
  • 1955-2017
Location Of Originals

From the Joanne Kyger Papers. MSS 730. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.


Image on this collection page is: Portrait of Joanne Kyger, undated. Joanne Kyger Papers, MSS 730. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego. [Box 152, folder 3]


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

Personal Name


View formats within this collection

  • English
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