Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland acquired the papers of Thom Gunn through purchases in 1971, 1974, and 1983. The Thom Gunn Papers span the dates 1951 to 1983. The bulk of the collection includes materials from 1951 to 1965. The majority consists of drafts and notes for published and unpublished poems, including loose papers and dated notebooks. The collection also contains copies of Gunn's publications and some correspondence, most notably with Donald Davie. The bulk of the material relates to Positives (1966) and Touch (1967), including many drafts and notes from Gunn's poem "Misanthropos."
Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland acquired the Archives of the Poetry Book Society through purchase in 1973. The Archives of the Poetry Book Society span the period from 1962 to 1970. The collection consists of correspondence between Charles Osborne, assistant secretary of the society, and poets contributing to the society's quarterly Bulletin; typescripts and manuscripts of essays and biographical notes submitted for inclusion in the Bulletin; and proofs and issues of the Bulletin. There is also correspondence related to the administration of the society and materials related to the International Poetry Festivals of 1967 and 1969, which the society organized.
The literature and rare book collections in Special Collections and University Archives contains books, pamphlets, and archival collections dating from the 15th century to the present. These materials cover a variety of subjects encompassing the humanities, natural history, the history of the printed book, and 20th century literature. Literary special collections document the lives and work of significant literary figures, such as Katherine Anne Porter and Djuna Barnes. Additional authors represented in the book and archival collections include Thom Gunn, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Laura Riding Jackson, Ferdinand Reyher, Louisa May Alcott, and more.