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May 20th, 2009
McCarthy Papers open at Alkek

Cormac McCarthy


The Cormac McCarthy Papers, an illustrious acquisition for the Wittliff Collections at Texas State, now are available for public viewing. The first researcher was scheduled for earlier this week.

Due to limited research space, access to the McCarthy Papers will be provided by appointment only. The Wittliff Collections request form for scheduling is online: Research hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for holidays.  Hours are subject to change during University breaks and interim sessions.

Author of such acclaimed novels as Blood Meridian and No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy was awarded the Pulitzer in 2007 for The Road, which has been made into a soon-to-be-released feature film with Viggo Mortensen in the lead role.

Aside from a few select pieces the Wittliff has displayed in recent exhibitions and printed in its newsletter, The Keystone, this is the first time McCarthy’s drafts and manuscripts can be seen by the public. Scholars can study the legendary author’s research, note taking, and writing processes, which have remained a mystery until now.

Following the acquisition of the McCarthy archives in late December 2007, Wittliff Collections Lead Archivist Katie Salzmann conducted a comprehensive inventory and re-housed the material in acid-free boxes, many of which she specially constructed. Salzmann then spent months organizing the papers according to archival standards and describing them at the item level for the finding aid, including a complete pagination for the more complicated drafts containing McCarthy’s sometimes puzzling page-numbering systems.

The fully processed collection stands at almost 100 boxes and includes correspondence, notes, hand-written and typed drafts, setting copies, proofs, and other materials documenting McCarthy’s career. The finding aid, plus a link to the Wittliff Collections original news story about the acquisition, is available online:

The official opening of the McCarthy papers was to coincide with a late-spring dedication of the Wittliff Collections’ expanded reading room being constructed alongside new and larger exhibition spaces for the Wittliff’s photography collection. Although delays in construction have pushed the dedication to early fall, Curator Connie Todd worked with Salzmann and her archives staff to establish a secure interim reading room.

The Wittliff Collections are on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University. Phone: (512) 245-2313. Online:

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