Toni Morrison Papers Now Available for Research



The papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, included in the collection is this early manuscript draft of “Beloved.” (Photo by Don Skemer, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections)

From News at Princeton:

The Princeton University Library has announced that the major portion of the Toni Morrison Papers — part of the permanent library collections since 2014 — is open for research to University students, faculty and scholars worldwide as of this week.

The papers — which are held in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections — were gathered from multiple locations over more than two decades, beginning with the files recovered by the Library’s Preservation Office after the tragic fire that destroyed Morrison’s home in 1993. In the past 18 months, the most significant of the papers have been carefully organized, described, cataloged and selectively digitized. Research access to these digital files will be provided in the Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room.

Most important for researchers are the author’s manuscripts, drafts and proofs for the novels “The Bluest Eye” (1970), “Sula” (1973), “Song of Solomon” (1977), “Tar Baby” (1981), “Beloved” (1987), “Jazz” (1992), “Paradise” (1997), “Love” (2003), “A Mercy” (2008), “Home” (2012) and “God Help the Child” (2015). Study of Morrison’s manuscripts illustrates her working methods of writing and revision, and they help trace the genesis of particular works, from early ideas and preliminary research; to handwritten drafts, most often written with No. 2 pencils on legal-size yellow notepads, which contain notes, early draft material, and inserts for later typed and printed versions.

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