Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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Vassar College has received a grant from alumna Georgette Bennett to digitize Vassar’s collection of letters, manuscripts, and photographs relating to Albert Einstein—including 130 letters exchanged between Einstein and his friend Otto Nathan, executor of the scientist’s estate and a member of the college’s economics faculty in the early 1940s. Open online access to the documents expected to begin in early 2014.

Acquisitions

Archives of cartoonist Al Jaffee, best known for his long affiliation with Mad magazine, have been acquired by Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Jaffee’s career at Mad spanned 58 years; during this time he created the features “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” and, most notably, the Mad Fold-In, which debuted in 1964. Jaffee was in the first graduating class of the LaGuardia-founded High School of Music and Art, where he met his long-time colleagues Will Elder, Harvey Kurtzman, and Al Feldstein. Jaffee began his cartooning career working for Stan Lee on comic books such as Patsy Walker and Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal, and his Tall Tales comic strip appeared in the New York Herald Tribune for six years. He was also involved with other Kurtzman humor magazines such as Trump and Humbug. The archives will arrive in several stages; the first phase will include artwork for Esquire and Playboy magazines, notebooks of ideas for Humbug and Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal, press clippings, tracings for cartoons in The Moshiach Times, fan mail, photocopies of strips never offered for publication, biographical materials used for Mary-Lou Weisman’s biography Al Jaffee’s Mad Life, photographs, and more.

The archive of the McSweeney’s publishing company has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin. Founded in 1998 by Dave Eggers, McSweeney’s is considered one of the most influential literary journals and publishing houses of its time. McSweeney’s publishes books, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Believer magazine, the food journal Lucky Peach, and the DVD-journal Wholphin. The bulk of the archive is composed of manuscripts of books, essays, and short stories; correspondence drawn from the publishing house’s work with hundreds of writers; and award-winning design materials. A current digital copy of all files relating to McSweeney’s work will be included, as well as first editions of all its publications. In the early days of the journal, Eggers corresponded extensively with such notable writers as David Foster Wallace, Rick Moody, Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, Heidi Julavits, William Vollmann, Lydia Davis, Nick Hornby, and Sarah Vowell, among hundreds of others. Their correspondence is included in the archive.

Archives from the inventor of the Moog synthesizer have found a home at Cornell University Library, thanks to a donation from his widow, Ileana Grams-Moog. Robert A. Moog is the founder of Moog Music, the world’s leading manufacturer of analog synthesizers, and the inventor of the legendary Moog synthesizer. His personal archive of notes, plans, drawings, recordings, and more will be housed in the Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

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