the brautigan library

in 1990, todd lockwood opened ‘the brautigan library’ based on the library in richard brautigan’s book, ‘the abortion’. for those that don’t know, the library in the book was special – the works were not published in the traditional way. people simply dropped off their own writing for the libary. no publisher required.

it makes me think richard would have loved the internet where we can all publish our own works, file them under whatever category we want, and allow others to read them. the librarian’s role (in ‘the abortion’ and in today’s libraries) is changing quite a bit to adjust to the cultural changes of what ‘publishing’ and ‘libraries’ mean.

anyway… back to todd… between 1990-1996 todd accepted manuscripts the same way the library in ‘the abortion’ did. phyiscally located in vermont, he collected 325 manuscripts. todd’s library was last being housed at the fletcher free library until they needed more space.

the library can’t be visited anymore. it’s a bit in limbo. the san francisco public library might be the new home but nothing has been confirmed yet.

there’s a fantastic article covering the library’s history and future published september 27 2004 in the boston globe. i didn’t realise they used actual jars of mayonaise as book ends. that’s fantastic!

other links –
the virtual brautigan library
jessamyn’s visit to the brautigan libary
todd’s story from a march 2005 posting of the OCLC (online computer library center)