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Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 11:44:17 -0600
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 Kevin, you need a graduate student, armed with a (general) grant!
> There's a Master's of Library Science or Archivist thesis just waiting
> there! I'm not sure anyone anywhere has the rudiments of such an
> inventory, but were one brought into being, it would be a significant
> addition to society's understanding.  Maybe OCLC ( could
> help.


I have an MLS of my own and I've fully catalogued nearly 6,000 of the 8,000
things in my collection, but I don't count the 1,000+ post 1910 "stuff" as
part of my collection and I've only catalogued perhaps 100 of those things.
They are the least important and least interesting things you can imagine,
and they present interesting storage problems. Although I choose not to
spend my time on them (I just let them multiply like dust bunnies) they do
have some value because when viewed over time they reflect the evolving
nature of  Twain's position as a cultural figure. But no matter how long you
stare at a Norman Rockwell dish or contemplate your reflection in a tourist
site paperweight or attempt spirit writing with a vintage floaty pen, they
don't solve any of the mysteries of the deeper meanings of HF.

Kevin Mac Donnell
Austin TX