A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, and Other Materials from the Upton Sinclair Archives

A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, and Other Materials from the Upton Sinclair Archives

A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, and Other Materials from the Upton Sinclair Archives

A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, and Other Materials from the Upton Sinclair Archives

Excerpt

Although a few items from the Sinclair Archives have been featured in previous Lilly Library exhibitions, the occasion of Mr. Sinclair's first visit to the Indiana University Campus at Bloomington--a visit which nearly coincides with his eighty-fifth birthday--provides a noteworthy opportunity to treat the public to a full, if not exhaustive, showing of Sinclair materials. Since the Sinclair Archives constitutes one of the largest and most complete records under one roof of any major writer's career, some account of its history and contents is in order along with some explanation of the rationale which dictated the selection of the materials that make up this display.

Even as a young man Sinclair was sensitive to his responsibility to posterity--he spoke of "founding a library" of his own works in the preface to Springtime and Harvest (1901)--and he saved his records with great care from the earliest days of his career. Part of the history of the Archives is given by Sinclair in Chapter 17 of his Autobiography. Here he tells how his then wife, Mary Craig, had managed the collection and preservation of Sinclairiana from the first days of their marriage; how she supervised the building and the relocation of sheds, warehouses, and storerooms of wood, concrete, and aluminum. He also tells here something of the contents of the collection, claiming that he could fill a chapter with a listing of the materials contained in it. The following letter, only slightly revised and abridged with Mr. Sinclair's permission, will suggest that he indeed could.

December 16, 1949

[Mr. Leslie Bliss]
Director of Huntington Library
San Marino, California

Dear Sir:

Once or twice in the course of the years someone connected with your institution has mentioned to me the idea of acquiring my papers.

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