Update:

We have resumed some on-campus services, including book pickup, virtual consultations, and fulfilling scanning/digitization requests. Many library materials are available online, but our buildings remain closed until further notice.

Stephen B. Fassett Collection

Explore the correspondence of pioneering musicologist and audio engineer Steve Fassett, who made some of the earliest recordings of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Joan Baez.

The Fassett Collection includes personal correspondence between the Boston-based recording engineer Steve Fassett (1914-1980) and Ted Hughes, W. S. Merwin, and John Lincoln Sweeney. The letters recount significant moments in the life of Sylvia Plath, and include typescripts of poems (by Merwin) dedicated to Fassett. 

During his mid-century collaboration with the Woodberry Poetry Room, he made recordings of poets and writers like:

  • Robert Creeley
  • Isak Dinesen
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Ted Hughes
  • Stephen Jonas
  • Denise Levertov
  • Audre Lorde
  • Robert Lowell
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Jean Valentine
  • John Wieners
  • Louis Zukofsky

Fassett was also instrumental in creating (and editing) recordings by musicians Roland Hayes, Sun Ra, the Charles River Valley Boys, and Eric Schmidt, among others. The collection was donated to the Woodberry Poetry Room by Kitty Fassett.

Accessing These Materials

This material can be viewed at the Houghton Library Reading Room.