Believing that books are the most valuable and enduring products of man, I have sought the friendship of their makers. Knowing the writers enriches reading their work. Moreover, I am a hero-worshiper: my heroes are writers. It makes me happy to recall the good times with my books and their authors. There is nothing as good as being a good writer; but being a good bookman is a form of compensation.
Matthew J. Bruccoli, in his "Postscript"
to the exhibition catalogue.
This exhibition presents a personal record of a committed bookman at work. The twenty-two collections represented in this exhibition were all built by Matthew J. Bruccoli, Jefferies Professor of American Literature, and transferred to Thomas Cooper Library through the generosity of Matthew J. and Arlyn Bruccoli. It is an exhibition of “the other Bruccoli Collections.” Excluded from display on this occasion are the two best-known and largest collections that carry the Bruccoli name: the Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.
The exhibition, curated by Professor Bruccoli, is selective. He comments: “Each item was chosen on the basis of my feelings about it or my happy memory of the circumstances of its acquisition. Some of my favorite manuscripts and books by other authors are Fitzgerald-related: it all started with him.” The twenty-two collections have been arranged alphabetically, two in each display case, with room for only a few high-spots from each collection:
Case 1: The Armed Services Editions; Stanley Burnshaw
Case 2: C. E. Frazer Clark; Robert Coover.
Case 3: James Dickey; Irvin Faust.
Case 4: George Garrett; Joe Gores.
Case 5: George Greenfield; William Haggard.
Case 6: Joseph Heller; George Higgins.
Case 7: John Iggulden; John Jakes.
Case 8: William Jovanovich; Mitchell Kennerley.
Case 9: Ed Lacy; Wallace Markfield.
Case 10: Gerald Petievich; George Plimpton.
Case 11: Budd Schulberg; George D. Smith.
In longer explanatory notes on each collection, Professor Bruccoli recounts what first led him to start the collections and the friendships he developed with many of these authors. These accounts, together with an introductory essay on book-collecting, are available in the published catalogue mounted here. He has dedicated the catalogue to the memory of three collaborators: John Cook Wyllie, Curator of Rare Books, Alderman Library, the University of Virginia; C. E. Frazer Clark, Jr., founding partner of Bruccoli Clark; and George D. Terry, Vice-Provost & Dean of Libraries at the University of South Carolina.