Ayun Halliday papers, 1990-2021

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Halliday, Ayun
Ayun Halliday is an American writer and actress. Her works center primarily on the areas of motherhood, travel, and women's social issues. The Ayun Halliday Papers contain her writings including books, plays, and the zine East Village Inky; as well as correspondence and ephemera related to her publications; zines by others and artwork.
13 Linear Feet (19 boxes)
Physical description:
11.0 linear feet
Materials in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Ayun Halliday Papers are arranged into the following nine series: Correspondence, Grants and Awards, Workshops and speaking engagements, Writings-Books, Writings-Plays, Writings-Zines, Writings-Other Publications, Mail Art Publications (by others), and Zines by Others.

The first seven of these series comprise Halliday's personal writings and works including books, plays, artwork and the zine East Village Inky. The collection also includes correspondence and ephemera related to her publications, as well as items associated with workshops and speaking engagements given by Halliday about underground press publications, female travel, autobiographical writing and other topics.

The final two series represent more than 200 zines and works Halliday collected from others artists obtained primarily through trade with other creators. These publications span a wide range of subjects intended for both adults and children including feminism, motherhood, child rearing, New York City, zines, art, music, travel, food and cooking, body image and consciousness, sexual education, and more.

Biographical / historical:

Ayun Halliday is a writer and actress born in Indianapolis, Indiana. She studied at the Park Tudor School and received her degree in Theater Performance from Northwestern University. She is an avid traveler who began writing plays for her experimental theater group in Chicago, the Neo-Futurists, in 1988. It was there that she met her husband, Greg Kotis, a playwright who wrote the Broadway musical Urinetown.

Halliday writes and illustrates the zine East Village Inky, a publication that she named after her home in New York City's East Village and her first daughter India (nicknamed "Inky"). The zine is autobiographical, and her family appears in many of the issues. The success of this zine led to a contract with Bust magazine writing for the Mother Superior Column on parenting in 2007.

Halliday's other published writing includes plays, a travel memoir, a zine guide for New York City, a young adult graphic novel, a children's book, a collection of short stories, and a cookbook. Halliday currently lives with her husband in Brooklyn.

Acquisition information:

The Ayun Halliday papers were received as a gift by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library in 2016 and 2022.

Accessions represented in this guide include: 2016-0026, 2022-0011.

Processing information:

Processed and described by Valerie Szwaya, 2016.

Accession added by Meghan Lyon, 2022.


The first three series (Correspondence, Grants and Awards and Workshops and Speaking Engagements) are arranged chronologically by year.

All subsequent series including writings and works by both Halliday and others are arranged alphabetically by title.

Items from a later addition (2022) are described in context but are physically arranged and housed in a separate box.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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