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New York Public
Library acquires William Burroughs archive

New York Public
Library acquires William Burroughs archive

Previously inaccessible to the public, the archive includes draft versions of Naked Lunch.

The New York Public Library has acquired the archives of queer Beat writer William Burroughs for an undisclosed sum, reports Agence France-Presse. The archive, previously inaccessible to the public, includes draft versions of his acclaimed novel Naked Lunch, as well manuscripts and correspondence from the early 1950s to the early 1970s, Burroughs's most prolific period. The items will join the archive of Jack Kerouac as part of the library's Beat-related Berg Collection.

"Not only was Burroughs one of the three progenitors of the Beat movement...but he may also be regarded as one of 20th-century America's great satirists, fiercely sinister and corrosive," Isaac Gewirtz, curator of the Berg Collection, told AFP.

The gay-owned Beat Hotel in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., operated by longtime Burroughs collaborator Steve Lowe, also has a sizeable collection of Beat memorabilia, including a number of original photos and artworks by Burroughs. (

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