Photographic copies (photographs or photocopies or microform) of the nearly 3,000 letters to and from him known to be extant in manuscript or print. Special Collections owns four of the original manuscripts; the remaining original manuscripts are scattered among thirty-seven other repositories, both public and private, chiefly in the U. S., Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands, with nearly 300 correspondents represented.
Matthew Prior (1664-1721) was a British poet and diplomat. A friend of Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, he was also a key player on the diplomatic field and central to the Treaty of Utrecht, which is sometimes called “Matt’s Peace.” Miami University has been the center of Prior research since 1948, when the “Prior Manuscripts” were acquired for the Library. These manuscripts make up one of the most important collections of authoritative copies of Prior’s poems in the world. They provided copy-text for the Literary Works (Wright and Spears, Literary Works, vol. 1, p. xxviii-xxx), the standard edition of Prior’s complete poems. The Matthew Prior Project focuses on the collection of Prior’s correspondence.