Scope and arrangement
This is a synthetic collection consisting of manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, notebooks, and portraits. The manuscripts comprise holograph poems, drafts and fragments of which some were published in his Collected Poems in 1951; drafts of the introductions to works by Rabindranath Tagore, Lady Gregory, and Dorothy Wellesley; drafts and notes to plays; and fragments and notebooks for "The Shadowy Waters." The typescripts include typewritten drafts of poems, plays, and essays with the author's and Lady Gregory's manuscript emendations. Also included are typescripts of essays about the author by W. H. Auden, Mary Colum, T. S. Eliot, and May Sarton. The portraits are original drawings of Yeats by George William Russell and John Butler Yeats. The correspondence, dating from  to 1939, comprises letters from the author to Padraic Colum, Lady Beatrice Child Villiers Dunsany, Lord Edward Dunsany, Ford Madox Ford, Lady Gregory, Violet Hunt, John O'Leary, Una Pope-Hennessey, Clement King Shorter, Humbert Wolfe, and others. Also present are letters related to Yeats, dating from 1897 to , from Sir Edmund William Gosse to Lady Gregory, from Richard Jennings to Edith Sitwell, from George William Russell to Lady Gregory, and from Jack Butler Yeats to Ria Mooney, and other correspondence related to the author. There are letters to Yeats from Sara Allgood, William F. Bailey, Padraic Colum, Ellen Duncan, St. John Greer Ervine, William G. Fay, Lady Gregory, Stephen Gwynn, Annie Elizabeth Fredericka Horniman, Maud Gonne MacBride, John Masefield, George Moore, Lennox Robinson, George William Russell, Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, and others, dating from 1876-1934.
The William Butler Yeats collection of papers are arranged in three series: