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Iowa City

Online Only, posted 5.01.12

Before heading to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, held throughout June and July, get acquainted with the reading series, bars, landmarks, and people—including our guide Jan Weissmiller, co-owner of indie bookseller Prairie Lights Books—of designated City of Literature Iowa City. 

Portland, Maine

Online Only, posted 3.20.12

On his writers tour of Portland, Maine, award-winning author Ron Currie Jr. sets out to "dispel the persistent notion that Maine is intellectually DOA" by showcasing the city's thriving literary scene.

The Library as Incubator Project

2.29.12

In the midst of the political protests that were escalating in Wisconsin last winter, three library science majors at the University of Wisconsin devised the Library as Incubator Project, a website for writers, artists, and librarians to share their creations and ideas in one collaborative space.

New Orleans

Online Only, posted 2.27.12

Native New Orleanian John Biguenet, author of seven books and many prizewinning plays, highlights postflood literary New Orleans—"a palimpsest" on which "the past bleeds through the fresh culture now being inscribed over the submerged text, centuries old."

Type: Literary Archive

The Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College holds more than 80,000 books and 11,000 linear feet of archival materi­als. Notable collections include an extensive Emily Dickinson manuscript collection, holdings of books by and about Robert Frost, and books by Richard Wilbur, Louise Bogan, James Merrill, and Carl Sandburg. 

Address: Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002
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280 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103
207 Bryant Road
Cummington , MA 01026
Type: Literary Archive

The principal repository of rare books, manuscripts and archival materials at Cornell University, the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections houses 430,000 printed volumes and more than 80 million manuscripts. Notable holdings include the papers and archival materials of James Joyce, E.B. White, Vladimir Nabokov, William Wordsworth, A.R. Ammons, and George Bernard Shaw. The library also serves as a resource center for the study of book history, offering both a semester course in the Cornell English Department and a weeklong summer course for Cornell Adult University. 

Address: 2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Ithaca, NY 14853
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215 North Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
428 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Type: Literary Archive

The principal repository of Vassar College, the Archives and Special Collections library houses rare books dating from the fifteenth century, an extensive manuscript collection, and the Vassar College Archives. The holdings range from medieval illuminated manuscripts to modern manuscripts, and include over 500 collections of Vassar College graduates, faculty, and others affiliated with the college. Of special note are the papers of writers Mary McCarthy and Elizabeth Bishop, Samuel L. Clemens, and Edna St.

Address: 124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
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63 Park Street
New Canaan, CT 06840
1 West Sunnyside Lane
Tarrytown, NY 10533
2 Plunkett Street
Lenox, MA 01240
Type: Literary Archive

The special collections library of Brown University, the John Hay Library contains more than 3,000,000 items. Holdings range from Babylonian clay tablets and Egyptian papyri to current-day books, manuscripts, and ephemera. Among the more unexpected items are portraits and paintings by old masters, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s tea set, Napoleon’s death mask, 6,000 toy soldiers, the last daguerrotype taken of Poe, and Whitman’s personal copy of Leaves of Grass. Other notable holdings include the papers and archival materials of Henry David Thoreau, George Orwell, William Blake, and H.G.

Address: 20 Prospect Street
Providence, RI 401-863-2146
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82 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
10 Langley Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Type: Literary Archive

The primary special collections library at the University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library houses more than 600,000 volumes, 60,000,000 manuscript items, 8,000,000 photographs/pictorial materials, 43,000 microforms, and 23,000 maps. Notable holdings include the papers and archival materials on Mark Twain, Langston Hughes, and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Address: University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
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2476 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
5433 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618
261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway (North Beach)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Type: Literary Archive

Boston College's Burns Library is home to more than 250,000 volumes, some 16,000,000 manuscripts and important collections of architectural records, maps, art works, newspapers, photographs, films, prints, artifacts and ephemera. Holdings include manuscripts and published works of Samuel T. Coleridge, Graham Greene, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Evelyn Waugh, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Beckett.

Address: 140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
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More Literary Places Nearby:

10 Langley Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
105 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
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