A Glimpse Inside the Department of Special Collections at TU's McFarlin Library

Jul 23, 2012

Earlier this month, in the pages of The New York Times Book Review, the acclaimed American historian Douglas Brinkley and the accomplished Hollywood actor Johnny Depp offered a co-written essay that made at least two rather surprising announcements. The first was that the late folk icon Woody Guthrie (who's been on almost everyone's mind lately, given his recent centennial) had authored a still-unpublished novel in the 1940s called "House of Earth." The second was that a copy of the manuscript for "House of Earth" had been discovered at McFarlin Library here at the University of Tulsa. (Brinkley and Depp are co-editing the "House of Earth" manuscript now; they hope to publish the novel next year.) So, where did McFarlin's copy of this manuscript come from? And how did TU acquire it? When and where did Guthrie compose this book? And what led him to do so? Our guest on ST today is Marc Carlson, the Librarian of Special Collections and University Archives at TU. Carlson has been overseeing the Department of Special Collections at McFarlin since 2005; he tells us not only about the Guthrie manuscript but also about several of the department's other notable holdings.