January 18, 2022

Special Collections: Papers of Ken Kesey Will Remain at University of Oregon’s Knight Library

From The Register Guard (Eugene, OR):

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.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Financial push from Voodoo Doughnut and others to help keep Ken Kesey collection at UO (via The Daily Emerald; November 7, 2011)

See Also: Ken Kesey Collection Fundraising Info Page (via U. of Oregon Libraries)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.