Authors and Archives

The papers of two major American writers have found homes in the past month. In October, the Houghton Library at Harvard announced that it had acquired the John Updike archive, described as “a vast collection of manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, artwork and other papers.” A small portion of Updike’s papers had been given to the university in 1970, and for decades Updike kept up his close association with the Harvard library, depositing manuscripts, files, even golf scorecards. According to the library’s press release, cataloging the new material is now one of the library’s “highest priorities.” Updike died in January of this year.

 

Today the New York Public Library announced that it also acquired the papers of one of the twentieth century’s most esteemed authors: E. Annie Proulx. According to the press release, the collection “spans much of Proulx’s life, from her university days through her journalism career and to the present. It includes 4,200 pages of short stories, essays, poems and screenplays; 145 pages of preparatory notes and research and three original notebooks with holograph draft ideas; more than 1,060 pages of holograph diary; more than 10,200 pages of typescript, much of it with holograph revisions and corrections, 2,100 galley proofs, and 1,855 pages of other related materials. Correspondence, including email totals more than 4,500 pages.” To which I can only reply, wow, she printed her emails? Good news for literary and book history scholars. The collection becomes part of the incredible Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at NYPL.

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