The papers of William G. Eliot include diaries, letters, published works, published and unpublished sermons and talks, newspaper clippings of articles written by or about Eliot, photographs; and biographical and other material about Eliot. Also included in the collection are enslavement documents, which include letters and bonds of indemnity as Eliot purchased enslaved persons in order to emancipate them.
The Donald Finkel Papers include his extensive research materials, journals, notes, and heavily revised manuscripts. A large collection of editorial matter toward all of his books and a small, yet revealing professional correspondence with editors and literary colleagues completes the Finkel Papers.
The William H. Gass Papers consist largely of his own manuscript material: manuscripts and proof material toward his books, drafts of various stories, essays, and reviews, interviews, and a miscellaneous assortment of notes and other materials. Also present is a substantial amount of professional correspondence, primarily with universities, magazines, and publishers, as well as with his colleagues in academia and in the literary community.
The Jarvis Thurston Papers consist primarily of correspondence relating to Washington University's Department of English and its visiting writers program. The most significant part of the Thurston collection is the correspondence from James T. Farrell to Thurston and Van Duyn. These letters are of a more personal nature and often discuss literary matters such as Van Duyn's work. A small group of manuscripts, notably two drafts of a Thurston short story, "The Cross," is also included.