Scope and arrangement
The collection dates from the 1970s to 2014, and contains three notebooks and a small assemblage of Patti Smith's writings. The materials include drafts of poems, lyrics, and articles; unpublished prose; and various notes.
The Original Lyric Book for Wave is from the late 1970s, and features lyrics for Smith's fourth studio album, Wave. The notebook contains lyrics to "Frederick," "Revenge," and "Dancing Barefoot." There are a number of unpublished reflections related to Wave, as well as lists of song titles that would ultimately appear on the record. There is also a compendium of pages with the title "Flowers" that comprise a collection of prose and ruminations about the art of Robert Mapplethorpe.
The Notebook of Lyrics and Comment contains an assortment of lyrics, notes, sketches, and drafts. Much of the notebook is devoted to Smith's fifth studio album Dream of Life, which includes lyrics for "Up There Down There," "People have the Power, "Going Under," and "Jackson Song.
The Notebook for Dream of Life is from the 1980s, and contains text related to the album Dream of Life, as well as short unpublished poems and lyrics. There are multiple iterations of lyrics to songs including, "Where Duty Calls," "People Have the Power," "Going Under," "Up There Down There," and "Paths that Cross."
Poetry and Manuscripts is a selection of five short pieces, which comprise loose handwritten pages composed between 1989 and 2012. There is a two page remembrance of the artist, Brion Gysin; a one page untitled piece, containing a mixture of prose and poetic verse; a thirteen page review of Edmund White's 1993 biography, Genet; a draft of Smith's poem, "Hecatomb," which was written as a remembrance to the Chilean writer, Roberto Bolaño; and a piece titled "We are all Pinocchio," which features excerpts of lines utilized in Smith's 2010 commencement address at Pratt Institute.
Materials are arranged chronologically.