Ransom Center Acquires Norman Mailer Archive

by Staff

The papers of Norman Mailer were recently purchased for $2.5 million by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Nearly five hundred boxes, weighing more than twenty-thousand pounds, filled with unpublished stories, journals, essays, and screenplays, as well as manuscripts of nearly all of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's forty books, will be shipped to the Ransom Center early in the summer.

The archive also contains approximately 25,000 letters—originals and carbon copies—written by Mailer and literary greats such as James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Allen Ginsberg, Lillian Hellman, Robert Lowell, and many others.

In choosing the Ransom Center, Mailer noted its reputation as “one of the best, if not, indeed, the greatest collection of literary archives to be found in America. What the hell. Since it's going to Texas, let's say one of the best in the world."

Mailer's archive adds to the Ransom Center’s prominent literary holdings, which already include the papers of Don DeLillo, Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Jones, and Arthur Miller.