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Guy Warszawski Correspondence, Postcards, and Ephemera Related to the Collège de 'Pataphysique


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections


Guy Warszawski was born in Poland but fled during World War II as a young child, eventually establishing residency in Belgium. He became a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and joined the Collège de 'Pataphysique in 1973. He was also a collector who strove to bring together a comprehensive collection of all internal and external publications of the Collège.

This collection comprises correspondence, postcards, and ephemera related to the Collège de 'Pataphysique, collected by Guy Warzawski. The Collège de 'Pataphysique was founded in Paris in 1948 and is dedicated to the furtherment of pataphysics, a parodistic "science of imaginary solutions" invented by French symbolist writer Alfred Jarry. Notable members have included Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Queneau, Boris Vian, Eugène Ionesco, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Roger Shattuck, the brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx; and the Oulipo group (founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais, and eventually included Georges Perec, Italo Calvino and Marcel Bénabou) began as a subcommittee of the Collège.

Materials in the collection include Warzawski's correspondence with fellow members Paul Gayot, Philippe Cathé, and Thieri Foulc, mostly concerning the subscriptions and various publications of the Collège and also mentioning the Belgian review Temps Mélés. There are also over 250 postcards, many of which contain illustrations published in the Collège's journal, Revue Viris Candela, and ephemera including circulars, announcements, invitations, subscription materials, and Warzawski's ex-libris stamp, which echoes Jarry's Gidouille spiral image (the official insignia of the Collège), along with a crocodile's head.

Arranged by material type.

Purchased from Gerald W. Cloud in 2022 (AM 2023-014).

Baseline processing of this collection was completed by Kelly Bolding in September 2022. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in December 2022, incorporating some description provided by the dealer.

At the time of aquisition, these materials were separated from a collection of Revue Virus Candela journals and other internal Collège de 'Pataphysique publications that are cataloged as part of the Rare Books collection. No additional materials were separated from the collection during 2022 processing.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Kelly Bolding
Finding Aid Date
Processing of this collection was sponsored by the Delafield fund.
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. No further duplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to Special Collections Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, circa 1990-2011. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Ephemera, circa 1957-2019. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Postcards, circa 1950-2000. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Ex-Libris Stamp, circa 1973-2019. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

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