Papers of John Harold Hewitt and Roberta Hewitt

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitlePapers of John Harold Hewitt and Roberta Hewitt
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D3838
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1904-1987
Extent Mediumc 4,500 documents + volumes


Creator(s): Hewitt, John Harold, 1907-1987, poet Hewitt, Robert, 1904-1987, née Black

  • Administrative History ↴

    At the age of sixty John Harold Hewitt (1907-1987) said of himself: 'I am by birth an Irishman of planter stock, by profession an art gallery man, politically a man of the left....' However, there is much more to John Hewitt than this. In an interview for The Coventry Evening Telegraph in 1968 Hewitt commented 'Now Poetry is what I'm about'; but, although there can be no doubt that poetry was his first passion, he had a wide range of interests and activities: lecturing, broadcasting, short stories and journalism. His intellectual prowess was no doubt stimulated by his parents. Hewitt was born in 1909 in Belfast, the son of Robert Telford Hewitt (1873-1943), a teacher who became principal of Agnes Street Mixed School, and Elinor Robinson, also a teacher. His formal education began in his father's school in Agnes Street, near the Shankill Road, and continued at Methodist College, Belfast. From there he went on to The Queen's University of Belfast, where he obtained his B.A. in 1930.
  • Archival History ↴

    Collection gifted to PRONI in 1988 according to the will of J H Hewitt.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Hewitt, John Harold, 1907-1987, poet Hewitt, Robert, 1904-1987, née Black ↴

    c 4,500 documents and volumes relating to the life and career of John Hewitt, Ulster poet, and his wife Roberta (nee Black), 1904-1987, and principally include: c 115 personal, official and legal papers of John and Roberta Hewitt, 1904-1987; c 390 literary, autobiographical and miscellaneous papers, 1928-1987, including 37 diaries and travel notebooks, 1934-1987, and three scrapbooks, 1928-1970; c 1050 letters, 1930-1987, between John Hewitt and notable friends, professional colleagues and publishers, including the poets, Gordon Bottomley, Austin Clarke, Seamus Heaney, R P Maybin and W R Rodgers, the Ulster painter John Luke and the Irish folklorist, Michael J Murphy; c 100 letters and papers of Roberta Hewitt, 1921-1975; c 2430 miscellaneous letters, mostly to John Hewitt, 1929-1987; and c 290 theatre programmes, 1930-1982.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    D3838/1 Personal, official and legal papers of John and Roberta Hewitt
    D3838/2 Literacy, autobiographical and miscellaneous papers of John and Roberta Hewitt
    D3838/3 Correspondence of John Hewitt to or from notable friends, professional colleagues, and publishers
    D3838/4 Correspondence and papers of Roberta Hewitt
    D3838/5 Miscellaneous correspondence (letters from John Hewitt)
    D3838/6 Miscellaneous correspondence (letters to John Hewitt)
    D3838/7 Correspondence (2nd deposit) (letters to John Hewitt)
    D3838/8 Theatre programmes

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The collection can be consulted in the reading room in PRONI in accordance with PRONI guidelines.
Conditions Governing ReproductionItems may be copied for personal research use only. If a researcher wishes to publish any documents from this collection, a request must be submitted in writing to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
Creation Dates1904-1987
Extent Mediumc 4,500 documents + volumes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A full descriptive list is available to search online at: A full account of the collection is also available online: Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NotePRONI Archivist
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997. UK Archival Thesaurus (UKAT)
Date of Descriptions41699