December 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Basbanes Collection Acquired by Cushing Library at Texas A&M

_DSC5902 copy 2.jpgWe're happy to share some good news: the Cushing Memorial Library at Texas A&M University has acquired the archives of author, literary critic, and longtime FB&C columnist Nicholas Basbanes, as well as a significant portion of his personal library. In a statement released yesterday, Dr. Francesca Marini, director of Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, said, "We are extremely honored to become the repository for Mr. Basbanes' collection. Throughout the years, his passion for book culture and his advocacy have been very important to institutions that house rare books and special collections." Pictured above are Kevin O'Sullivan, curator of rare books at the Cushing Library, and Nick Basbanes as they cleared the shelves and filled 345 boxes just before Thanksgiving. 

In addition to the research materials related to the writing of his own nine books, the acquisition also counts approximately 800 books inscribed to Basbanes over the course of his career--by the likes of Annie Dillard, John Updike, Joseph Heller, Margaret Atwood, etc. Before focusing on book writing, Basbanes was the book review editor for the Worcester Sunday Telegram and a nationally syndicated literary columnist. There are also a number of literary "firsts" collections, including that of Tennessee Williams, James Agee, William Styron, Toni Morrison, and E. L. Doctorow.

Basbanes has had a longstanding relationship with Texas A&M University Libraries, most recently serving as the guest lecturer for the opening of the Cushing's Hand to Hand exhibition in February. He wrote about A&M as a "major new player in the world of special collections" in FB&C back in 2009, and he plans to devote his spring 2016 column to the experience of documenting and packing his collections.

Image Courtesy of Nick Basbanes.