Some Great Online James Joyce Collections


“THE NATIONAL Library of Ireland has brought forward plans to publish a major collection of James Joyce manuscripts free on the web after a Joycean scholar published the material in editions priced at up to €250 … 

The collection includes notes and early drafts of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, as well as earlier notes by Joyce from between 1903 and 1928. Two of the notebooks include the earliest surviving sets of notes, and there are drafts of nine separate episodes of Ulysses. The handwriting in the manuscripts matches Joyce’s known handwriting from the different periods in his life and includes his use of coloured crayon lines and Xs through certain writing.”

For Joyce enthusiasts, the online collection is accompanied by complex news on the seemingly never-ending Joyce copyright debate. Sounds like there’s going to be much more on this to come. The newly published Joyce manuscripts are not going to be cheap ($1100 USD) from Houyhnhnm Press (who?)):

“The manuscripts are being sold in six volumes costing €75 to €250 per volume, or €800 for the entire series. The volumes are described as edited, annotated and contextualised by Mr Rose. The publishers declare that “should the volumes seem costly, note that they represent many years of unpaid, unsupported scholarship and were developed and produced entirely at the financial risk of the scholar” (namely Mr Rose).”

For even more on the copyright debate, check out BBC: “Battle over copyright to James Joyce’s works

The National Library of Ireland has some of the best online exhibitions of all things Joyce in the world. Highly recommended – James Joyce and Ulysses at the National Library of Ireland.


“Joyce’s illegible handwriting, his habit of continual revision, the survival of multiple drafts, along with the hundreds of printer’s errors that riddled the first edition, would later combine to provoke passionate scholarly arguments about which version of Ulysses is the most authentic.”


“In a landmark decision dated December 6, 1933, Judge John M. Woolsey, United States District Judge, lifted the ban on Ulysses, declaring that “In Ulysses, in spite of its unusual frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of the sensualist. I hold, therefore, that it is not pornographic… Ulysses may therefore be admitted into the United States.” The Random House edition took the unusual step of reprinting Judge Woolsey’s complete decision, along with a letter from James Joyce to Bennett Cerf, head of Random House, tracing the history of his battle with the censors. The American edition also incorporated a new and memorable design feature which remained linked with the novel for many readers for years to come: the full-page “S” with which the novel opens.”


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