Cultural Osmosis: Clark Library

That said, I went to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library and forgot my camera again. At least this autographed photo of Oscar Wilde from the Library home page is of an 2-dimensional object!

I learned a couple interesting things from my trip to Mr. Clark’s library. One, Mr. Clark was able to acquire Wilde’s papers “on the cheap”, as it were, because after Wilde was convicted and sentenced to two years of prison, the British Library, which then held an extensive Wilde’s collection, was forced to disgorge the collection. Two, the copyright of a letter, unless explicitly transferred, remains with the writer of the letter and not the receiver. I gleaned this little nugget of fact from the fact that the Clark’s collection of Wilde’s papers include many letters received by Wilde and written by other luminaries of the day. The Clark Library cannot widely disseminate these letters because the estates of said luminaries are not granting permission for the libraries to do so.

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