Fonds F2300 - Sheldon Zitner

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Sheldon Zitner

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Sound recording
  • Multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00335 F2300

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 195?-2005 (Creation)
    Sheldon Zitner

Physical description area

Physical description

66 cm of textual records
1.64 MB of electronic records (453 files)
1 audio compact disc (ca. 54 min.)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Sheldon Paul Zitner was a Professor of English at Trinity College and a published poet. He was born on April 20, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest son of Dora and Morris Zitner and brother of Robert J. Zitner (b. 1932). He was educated at Townsend Harris High School (Flushing, New York) and subsequently enrolled in Brooklyn College at the age of 16. After three years he enlisted in the army and served in the United States Air Corps in the South Pacific during the Second World War. Upon his return he continued his studies and received his BA (1947), an MA from New York University (1948) and a PhD from Duke University (1955). In 1951 Prof. Zitner became an assistant professor at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia. In 1957 he took a position in the English department at Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa) where he held several positions, becoming the Carter-Adams Professor of Literature (1963) and Roberts Honour Professor (1964). He also served as the chairman of the Department of English (1960, 1962-63) and the chairman of the Division of Humanities (1964-68).

In 1969 Zitner came to Trinity College. His research interests included Shakespeare, Renaissance literature (especially drama), literary criticism, and contemporary poetry. He taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and supervised numerous doctoral theses. He published extensively in academic publications and edited three scholarly editions: Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (Oxford University Press 1993), Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Manchester University Press 1984), and Edmund Spenser’s The Mutabilitie Cantos (Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1968). During his career Prof. Zitner took on many administrative and committee positions within the Department of English and was a member of professional organizations including the Shakespeare Association of America, the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium, the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English, the Northeastern Modern Language Association, and the Society for Textual Scholarship.

Upon his retirement in 1989, Zitner began to write poetry full-time. His first book of poetry, The Asparagus Feast, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 1999, followed by Before We Had Words (MQUP) in 2002, The Hunt on the Lagoon (Goose Lane Editions) in 2005, and a small chapbook, Missing Persons (Junction Books), in 2003. His poems were published in various literary publications including The Walrus, Fiddlehead, and The Nation. In the years prior to his death, he began working on a translation project with Herbert Batt, “Chinese Vernacular Poetry, 1919-1949”, which remains unpublished. He maintained strong ties with Trinity College after his retirement and was an active member of the Friends of the Library. In 2001 he received an honorary doctorate of sacred letters from the College in recognition of his many years of teaching.

Sheldon Zitner married Dona M. Waldhauser of Brooklyn, New York in 1947 or 1948. Their daughterr, Julia was born 15 March 1963. Julia Zitner married Duncan Steel of Wirksworth, Derbyshire, England in and they have one daughter, Rebecca Steel, born 2005. Sheldon Paul Zitner died on April 26, 2005, in Toronto.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created by Sheldon P. Zitner over the course of his career as a scholar, writer, and poet. Files include published and unpublished drafts of poetry, correspondence relating to his career as a poet, drafts of academic essays, and various other records relating to his career. Also included is a copy of an interview of Zitner with Michael Enright from 2000.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Materials accrued in three accessions from Sheldon Zitner’s literary executor Fred Tromly.


After Zitner’s death, records were re-arranged at the file level by his literary executor Fred Tromly. Subsequently, materials have been arranged into series by the archivist. Electronic records have been migrated to PDF/A format for long-term preservation and access.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access


Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by Julia Zitner Steel

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres