November 29, 2020

The New York Public Library Acquires Arthur Miller’s Personal Study Library

From NYPL:

The New York Public Library has acquired by gift, and through the generosity of his family, Arthur Miller’s collection of his published plays, books, translations, anthologies, and other publications relating to his work in various editions, comprising 692 volumes in total.

Programs, newspaper articles, other promotional material related to a 1949-1950 touring production of Death of a Salesman in Scandinavia, together with the custom box that houses the collection. © The Arthur Miller 2004 Literary and Dramatic Property Trust. (Estate does not hold copyright) (via NYPL)

Along with editions of his writings in English, the acquisition includes an extensive collection of translations into many European languages, plus Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and others. Several are inscribed with his name and other occasional annotations.

Miller’s collection also contains essays, theatrical analysis and commentary, audio cassettes, magazines, and other ephemera, spanning the years 1928 – 2012. Also represented are a small number of works by other authors, among which four scripts by playwright Harold Pinter are of particular note.

Six editions of The Crucible in translation – English, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Spanish – published between 1952-1997. © The Arthur Miller 2004 Literary and Dramatic Property Trust (via NYPL)

The books will be added to the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, which contains some 35,000 printed volumes, pamphlets, and broadsides, and 2,000 linear feet of literary archives and manuscripts, representing the work of more than 400 authors. The Berg has long collected books from the libraries of significant authors and literary figures, such as Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, Lady Gregory, and Kenneth Koch.

Other highlights of the acquisition include:

  • Personalized copies of Miller’s books – including a 1951 edition of An Enemy of the People, inscribed to Marilyn Monroe, and a 2001 edition of On Politics and the Art of Acting to Inge Morath.
  • Extensive translations of Miller’s work, including nine translations of The Crucible (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish).
  • “Death of a Salesman in Scandinavia” – a box of newspaper clippings, theatre programmes, and other ephemera primarily related to a touring production 1949-1950.

Learn More, Read the Complete NYPL Acquisition Announcement

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.

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