Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2011 Newsletter

David Foster Wallace archive now open for research

Manuscript. Click to enlarge.

"Zero" draft of David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College

The archive of David Foster Wallace (1962–2008), author of Infinite Jest (1996), The Broom of the System (1987), Girl with Curious Hair (1989), and numerous collections of stories and essays, is now open for research.

The Center acquired Wallace's archive last year. The collection is made up of 34 boxes and is divided into three main sections: works, personal and career-related materials, and copies of works by Don DeLillo. The works section covers the period between 1984 and 2006 and includes material related to Wallace's novels, short stories, essays, and magazine articles. The personal and career materials section covers 1971 through 2008 and includes juvenilia, teaching materials, and business correspondence. Most of the correspondence in the collection is between Wallace and his editors and is related to his work. The third, and smallest, section includes photocopy typescripts of three works by DeLillo, one of which, Underworld, contains extensive handwritten annotations by Wallace. The archive also contains more than 300 books from Wallace's library, many of them heavily annotated.

Because of high demand for study of this collection, the Center requests that researchers inform curatorial staff of their research plans in advance. To enable staff to best serve researchers' needs, the Center asks that researchers include the dates of their planned visit and a brief description of the sections of the collection they expect to study.

For more information, including links to a finding aid, an inventory of Wallace's library, and images of teaching materials and annotated books, visit www.hrc.utexas.edu/dfw.

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