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Rago mss. III, 1931-1974

Papers, 1931-1974, of Henry Rago at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Electronic finding aid encoded by Donald C. Force.

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Rago, Henry, 1915-1969.

Rago mss. III,1931-1974

Collection No.
LMC 2400

200 items

Materials are in English.

Consists of the papers of Henry Rago, 1915-1969, poet and editor of Poetry.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Poet and editor, Henry Anthony Rago was born on October 5, 1915, in Chicago, IL and in 1937 he graduated from DePaul University with a bachelors of law degree; two years later earned a degree in literature from the same school. During World War II, Rago served in the U.S. Army, becoming a first lieutenant and receiving a Bronze Star for his duties. Following the war, he returned to academia where, in 1941 he obtained his Ph.D. from Notre Dame University, graduating magna cum laude. In that same year, his first book The Philosophy of Esthetic Individualism was published.

From 1941-1942, Rago returned to DePaul University as an instructor in English while also serving as a lecturer in philosophy at Barat College of the Sacred Heart (now Barat College), Lake Forest, IL. From 1947-1959, Rago would teach and lecture at several colleges and universities in the Chicago area, including the University of Chicago, Divinity School, and St. Xavier College Chicago. During these appointments, in 1959, he published The Travelers, one of three collections of his poems to appear in print.

In 1955, Rago became editor of Poetry following Karl Jay Shapiro. In 1961, he participated with Carl Benson and Macha Louis Rosenthal in a number of conferences on twentieth century American poetry in Germany so successfully that Rosenthal endeavored to arrange another such tour as noted in his letter to George Tufford Moody on Feb. 11, 1963. Shortly before his death on May 26, 1969, Rago had resigned as editor effective in the Fall in order to return to the University of Chicago as a professor.

Rago was married to Juliet Maggio, with whom he had four children: Maria Christina, Maria Carmela, Anthony Pascal, Maria Martha.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Personal Materials; and III. Printed Materials.

Scope and Content Note

The Rago mss. III, 1931-1974, consist of the papers, writings, and memorabilia of poet and Poetry Magazine editor henry Wadsworth Rago, 1915-1969. Present are copies of magazines, including Poetry, containing articles or poems by Rago. Also here is other memorabilia re: DePaul University of Chicago, including Rago's diploma from the DePaul College of Law in 1937. The writings present are typescripts of poems by Rago, undated and about 100 in number.

  • Indexing Terms

  • The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in IUCAT, the IU Libraries' online catalog. Materials about related topics, persons or places can be found by searching the catalog using these terms.

    • Names
    • DePaul University.
    • Rago, Henry, 1915-1969.
    • Titles
    • Poetry.

Related Material

For more related information, see Rago mss., Rago mss. II, and Poetry mss.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Gift. 1997.
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Rago mss. III, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Series: Correspondence

Box 1 1934-1940. 

(3 items).

All three letters written to Rago.


Letters by Rago. Also includes his suggestions for traveling Europe, 1951

Series: Box 1 Personal Materials


(100 pages).


Law School

Contains diploma from DePaul University College of Law, June 9, 1937


(2 folders).

Some involves DePaul University, including 2 copies of the program for "Something in the Air: A New Musical Comedy," May 16-17, 1935. Book and lyrics were by Rago and Joseph Casey.


Series: Printed Materials

Box 1 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Evangeline. Riverside Literature Series, 1940. 

Rago's marked copy; signed by Rago

Copies of Poetry, 1931-1969 

Copies of the magazine in which Rago's poems appear


(3 folders).

Contain articles by or about Rago