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May 15, 1995

Herman Wouk Donates Manuscripts for Five Historical Novels to the Library of Congress

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today (May 15) that one of America's prominent novelists, Herman Wouk, has donated the manuscripts of his five historical novels--The Winds of War (1971), War and Remembrance (1978), Inside, Outside (1985), The Hope (1993), and The Glory (1994)--to the Library of Congress. The gift includes books and other research materials as well as daily work journals documenting the creation of the novels. The announcement came during a Center for the Book symposium on the historical novel held at the Library in honor of Mr. Wouk.

"Herman Wouk is one of the most widely read novelists in the world," said Dr. Billington. "He has helped reestablish the historical novel as an important way of stimulating interest in the sweep of history, and we are delighted to become the permanent home of these five significant portrayals of our world."

The manuscripts, work journals, and research materials for Wouk's earlier novels, including The Caine Mutiny (1951), Marjorie Morningstar (1955), Youngblood Hawke (1962), and Don't Stop the Carnival (1965), are part of the Herman Wouk papers at Columbia University.

In making the donation, Mr. Wouk said, "In November 1994, shortly after publication of The Glory, Dr. Billington proposed to me that the manuscripts and archives of my five historical novels be deposited at the Library of Congress as, in his words, 'works of national significance.' A main depository of my papers already exists at Columbia University, but with the agreement of Columbia Library officials, I was able to accept this proposal honoring my writings. I understand that new library technology may enable the archives in the two different depositories to be presented, in the words of Ms. Jean Ashton of Columbia, 'seamlessly as a single collection, despite their divided location.'"

Mr. Wouk added, "I am now doing something decidedly different and refreshing after those long labors: working with Jimmy Buffett on a musical of my Caribbean novel, Don't Stop the Carnival.'"

In 1964, Mr. Wouk settled his family in Washington, D.C., to be near the historical resources of the National Archives and the Library of Congress, where he was given an office and plunged in earnest into the research and writing of The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. In 1994, Mr. Wouk made arrangements for the donation to the Library's film collection of a 35mm print of the film War and Remembrance, which he adapted for broadcast on ABC Television in 1988-89.

For information about the Wouk collection at the Library of Congress, contact the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540.

The Center for the Book, which was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, plans to publish a book based on the symposium honoring Herman Wouk. Speakers, in addition to Mr. Wouk, included Emilie Buchwald, Robert Caro, Alan Cheuse, Christopher Collier, Andrew Delbanco, George Garrett, Martin Gilbert, David McCullough, Dardon Asbury Pyron, William Safire, Mary Lee Settle, Brigitte Weeks, and James West III. For information, write the Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540.

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PR 95-078
ISSN 0731-3527

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