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Karen Kukil

Associate Curator of Special Collections

Karen Kukil

Contact & Office Hours

Monday to Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Young Library, 219E


Subject Specialties

History of printing and illustrative methods
History of science
Women's history
Modern authors, including the work of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Mary Shelley, and Lola Ridge


Graduate, Modern Archives Institute, National Archives

M.L.S., Southern Connecticut State University

B.A., English, Trinity College

As the Associate Curator of Special Collections, Karen develops, catalogs, and preserves rare book, manuscript, and archival collections; interprets collections to undergraduates; teaches courses for the Archives concentration; directs special studies; and provides reference services and access to special collections. 

Karen's professional background includes experience in publishing and advertising, in addition to her staff appointments at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Lewis Walpole Library, where she worked closely with renowned collector and editor Wilmarth S. Lewis. 

Born on a farm on Colorado's western slope, Karen moved with her family to New England at the age of three and spent most of her childhood in Farmington, Connecticut. During her college years, she played with the Hartford Wild Rose Women's Rugby Football Club. These days, Karen shares a bungalow in western Massachusetts with her husband, where they raise organic vegetables and cats. In her spare time, she writes scholarly articles and poetry and has recently begun to exhibit her watercolor paintings.


Smith Archives Concentration Advisory Committee, Smith Book Studies Concentration Advisory Committee, Smith Exhibition Team, and Smith Public Services Team

Publications & Presentations

Steinberg, Peter K. and Karen V. Kukil, ed., The Letters of Sylvia Plath, 2 vols. (London: Faber and Faber, 2017-18 & New York: HarperCollins, 2017-18.)

Enniss, Stephen C. and Karen V. Kukil. "No Other Appetite": Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry. New York: Grolier Club, 2005.

Karen V. Kukil, ed. Woolf in the Real World: Selected Papers from the Thirteenth International Conference on Virginia Woolf. Clemson, S.C.: Clemson University Digital Press, 2005.

Karen V. Kukil, ed. The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. London: Faber and Faber, 2000.

Karen V. Kukil, ed. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. New York: Anchor Books, 2000.

Karen V. Kukil, "In the Footsteps of Sylvia Plath," 2016.

Professional Affiliations

Modern Language Association, American Library Association, New England Archivists, and the International Virginia Woolf Society