Lane County will keep the cultural touchstone that is the collected papers of native son Ken Kesey, including drafts of his novels “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Sometimes a Great Notion.”
University of Oregon librarians, like the memorable Hank Stamper, said “never give a inch” when it came to other, well-heeled universities swooping in, buying the UO-held papers from the Kesey family and taking them off to Palo Alto, Calif., Houston or some such.
Librarians persuaded UO President Michael Gottfredson over the summer months to add $1 million to the nearly $400,000 in donations put up by Kesey fans — in small denominations — so the 121-box collection can stay in perpetuity at the UO’s Knight Library.
“Everybody that I’ve talked to was adamant that the collection stay at the University of Oregon, that it stay intact, that it stay in the state,” UO Libraries Dean Deb Carver said.
Librarians are admitting each page and paper into the museum’s permanent collection — to be documented, catalogued, digitized and made available to students, teachers and scholars.
The family, however, retained the copyright rights, meaning that the university can’t license the images. The university also agreed to keep the digital images it makes off the Internet and available only at the library.
The university also agreed to keep Kesey’s diaries closed and confidential for 50 years.
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