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The book portion of the John Updike Archive is now cataloged and available for research use. The 1,635 volumes establish Updike as his own greatest collector. For example, the collection includes roughly ninety editions and printings of Rabbit, Run, including those in translation. Many of these volumes bear Updike’s annotations, which not only correct typographical […]

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On June 24, 1910, Thomas Stearns Eliot graduated from Harvard College in an all-white, all-male class one-tenth today’s size.  A new small exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the graduation of Harvard’s most famous poet, and includes Eliot’s transcript, a copy of the letter placing him on academic probation his freshman year, his student paper […]

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In the summer of 1869, Transcendentalist philosopher, essayist, and famed Concordian Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was presented with a challenging task.  Harvard College assigned him to obtain donations from fellow members of the Class of 1821.  The College wished to raise a sum of $500,000, a substantial sum even today. Emerson did not rush to […]

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The John Updike Archive, a vast collection of manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, artwork and other papers, has been acquired by Houghton Library. The Archive forms the definitive collection of Updike material, said Leslie Morris, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library, and will make the library the center for studies on the author’s […]

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The career of John Updike (1932-2009), Harvard ’54, is well known: more than 50 books of fiction, poetry, short stories, and criticism; two Pulitzer Prizes; four National Book Awards; and a host of other honors. He is, indisputably, one of America’s pre-eminent men of letters. To honor his many contributions to his alma mater, Houghton […]

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By examining a reader’s annotations in the margins of a book, it can be possible to obtain insight into what might have influenced that reader’s own writing.   We recently acquired both a copy of J.W. Mackail’s Latin Literature owned and annotated by T.S. Eliot, as well as Allen Ginsberg’s copy of T.S. Eliot’s Collected […]

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Dragonsinger

Among our recent new acquisitions is a manuscript collection of Anne McCaffrey’s 1977 novel Dragonsinger, the second book in her Harper Hall trilogy and a part of the Dragonriders of Pern series. McCaffrey, a Radcliffe alum originally from Cambridge, has authored over 90 works.  This collection follows the creation of the novel, originally titled “The […]

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James Gould Cozzens

We recently acquired a comprehensive collection of material by and relating to American novelist and almost-Harvard-graduate James Gould Cozzens (1903-1978). The collection includes a selection of Cozzens’s correspondence, manuscript drafts, photographs, and diaries, including the diary he kept while a Harvard student, and while he was working on his first novel, Confusion. With this collection […]

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Mailer at Harvard

Norman Mailer (1923-2007; Harvard class of 1943) leapt onto the literary stage in 1948 with the publication of his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, a partly autobiographical work based on his experiences during World War II. While he entered Harvard intending to major in engineering, he soon turned whole-heartedly to literature, joining the […]

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