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Leslie Norris papers

Identifier: MSS 2954

Scope and Contents

Collection documents the activities and career of Leslie Norris, including his service as a professor and poet laureate at Brigham Young University. It also contains personal materials, including letters which were collected by Norris through correspondence with friends and colleagues over a long period. Some of the important topics and materials represented in the collection are poetry and short stories in varying stages of completion; literary matters and events; academics and school matters including information about classes taught by Norris; published materials by Norris; notes and notebooks; financial records, including requests to use published material; and collections of other author's works. Materials date from 1921 through 2008.


  • 1921-2008


Language of Materials

The vast majority of materials are in English, although there are a few items which are in other languages, most of which are translated.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Leslie Norris was born in Methyr Tydfil, Wales on May 21, 1921. Leslie grew up in Wales during the Depression and enjoyed a number of sports as well as reading. During World War II he was in the Royal Air Force before being discharged due to a training accident. Eventually he attended college at the City of Coventry College of Education and the University of Southampton. From there he began teaching, and would eventually become a Principal in West Sussex. This began a lifelong love of teaching.

Leslie Norris was married to Catherine Mary Morgan in July 1948, and they remained married until his passing in 2006. They had no children.

In 1958, Leslie began teaching at the University level in Sussex. Later he would teach at the University of Washington as a visiting professor, became the resident poet at Eton College, and was a visiting professor at a number of universities before coming to Brigham Young University (BYU), where he remained for the rest of his career. His teaching served as a great catalyst for budding writers, and Norris was often sent work by others who were seeking advice. Even after retiring from teaching, he remained the Poet in Residence at BYU. In addition to teaching, Norris was a prolific writer, predominantly in poetry with which he published several volumes of poetry. He was also adept at writing short stories, and has published numerous stories, including several volumes of his stories. He would also write biographies, reviews and translations, and altogether published over twenty books, including several children's books. He was given numerous awards and honors for his writing, as well as his continuous support and love for arts and humanities. Norris was frequently involved in various literary events, especially readings.

Leslie Norris passed away in Provo, Utah on April 6, 2006.

Biographical / Historical

Catherine Mary Morgan (Kitty) Norris was born on April 19, 1920 in Dowlais, Wales. She graduated with a degree in chemistry before eventually changing professions and gaining several education degrees. Norris then worked in administration and teaching. Kitty married Leslie Norris in 1948, and remained married to him until his passing in 2006. They lived in several places in the United Kingdom for teaching jobs, before coming to the United States. When Leslie began teaching at Brigham Young University, Kitty Norris also taught classes at the university before eventually retiring. She passed away in 2008 while still living in Orem, Utah.


55 boxes (29.5 linear ft.)

1 oversize folder (0.5 linear ft.)

2 cartons (1 linear ft.)

Custodial History

Originally collected by Leslie Norris who agreed to donate his papers to the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. Some donations were made in 2003, 2004, and 2005. After Norris's death the materials were left with his wife Kitty Norris, who collected some further papers in the collection. After Kitty's death the papers were donated to the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in 2009.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Leslie Norris; 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Leslie Norris; 2004.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Leslie Norris; 2005.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Leslie Norris; 2009.


Modern Literature Manuscripts (University Archives Collecting Policy, December 2011).

Processing Information

Processed; Daniel Sorenson; August-December 2011.

Processing Information

Processed; Jace Packer; 2019.

Register of Leslie Norris papers
Daniel Sorenson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States