The Brautigan Library is alive and well in Vancouver, Washington, after traveling from Vermont to San Francisco, where it reposed in storage for four years. This collection of unpublished manuscripts written by "everyday authors" will becomea permanent collection of the Clark County Historical Museum, the former 1909 Andrew Carnegie library building in downtown Vancouver.
As one of the "everyday authors", I am gratified to learn that this funny bunch of writing, about 400 manuscripts inspired by a fictional library in a 1971 novel by Richard Brautigan, will be preserved.
The Digital Technology and Culture Program at Washington State University, headed by Dr. John F. Barber, is working with students and a team of local and international volunteers to reopen the Brautigan library and to "continue its original mission of connecting writers and readers of personal narratives".
According to the Library's web page (http://www.thebrautiganlibrary.org/) plans call for the organization to collect and circulate unpublished digital manuscripts and to "provide opportunities for research, conferences, exhibits, and creative activities."
Dr. Barber says "The Brautigan Library is not about publishing, or even about literature. It's about people telling their stories in a democratic way. It is a public home for personal narratives in a digital age."
I'm not sure how I feel about The Dioscuri's being called non-literary or about being called an "everyday author" (whatever that means), but I'm glad the Library is coming out of the basement.