Gotham Book Mart collection of Edward Gorey material
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000) was an American author and artist, primarily known for his children's stories and illustrations of children's books, although he also produced adult-oriented work. Reviewers and fans often labeled his work "dark" or "macabre," although Gorey and his associates resisted such labels, preferring "whimsical" or "eccentric." Gorey authored more than 100 books and illustrated more than 60 by other authors. Gorey was raised in Chicago, was drafted in the Army during World War II, graduated from Harvard, and then lived and worked in New York City until 1982, at which point he effectively retired to Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, where he remained involved in local arts and theatre.
While living in New York, Gorey was a frequent patron of the Gotham Book Mart, which also exhibited his art and published some of his work. In fact, according to Gorey's obituary in the New York Times
A turning point in Mr. Gorey's career was his meeting with Andreas Brown. When Mr. Brown bought the Gotham Book Mart, it became the central clearing house for Mr. Gorey, presenting exhibitions of his work in the store's gallery and eventually turning him into an international celebrity. The Gotham sold great quantities of his books and also collectibles: greeting cards, T-shirts (one reads, ''So many books, so little time''), calendars and stuffed toys. With the publication of his first anthology, ''Amphigorey'' (in 1972), followed by two sequels, his audience widened.
Sometime around 1977, Gorey established a company, Doomed Enterprises, to handle all matters related to publication and licensing of his work. While Gorey was nominally president of Doomed Enterprises, it was Andreas Brown (the vice president) who seemed to work more closely with lawyers and publishers. Upon Gorey's death in 2000, Brown served as executor of the Edward Gorey estate, in which he continued his active role managing Gorey's public legacy.
Gussow, Mel. "Edward Gorey, Artist and Author Who Turned the Macabre Into a Career, Dies at 75." New York Times, April 17, 2000 (accessed 2018 January 24)
This collection consists primarily of Andreas Brown's records of Doomed Enterprises, documents relating to the execution of the Edward Gorey estate after 2000, and other documents and artifacts documenting Gorey's public image and legacy. The collection is arranged in six series: I. Edward Gorey papers, II. Doomed Enterprises/Estate of Edward Gorey records, III. Edward Gorey-related ephemera, IV. Proofs, galleys, and mock-ups, V. Prints and photographs, and VI. Media.
In the first series, Edward Gorey papers, some personal correspondence addressed to Gorey and personal records of Gorey are included, but they comprise only a small part of the collection. In addition, many of these personal records are only photocopies presumably in Andreas Brown's possession. No letters from Gorey are included in this collection, although there is one folder containing scraps of paper with notes in Gorey's handwriting.
Series II. Doomed Enterprises/Estate of Edward Gorey records contains correspondence between Brown, other authors and illustrators, lawyers representing the Edward Gorey estate, the directors of the Edward Gorey House museum, and companies seeking to license Gorey works or images for commercial or artistic purposes. This series also includes a large, but still fragmentary, collection of licensed Gorey merchandise.
Series III. Edward Gorey-related ephemera contains a small group of materials which mostly demonstrates his relationship with the Gotham Book Mart as the store both advertised his works and exhibited his art. However, researchers will also find a fairly robust grouping of articles about Gorey and his work; dustjackets and slipcases for some of his publications; catalogs; and exhibition catalogs, notices, and invitations for events that took place at locations in addition to the Gotham Book Mart. Of particular interest may be Gotham's catalogs of Gorey's works which were issued each year from 1971 until at least 2006. There is also some information about the Edward Gorey House, which was turned into a museum after Gorey's death in 2000.
In Series IV. Proofs, galleys, and mock-ups, researchers will find highly annotated and corrected photocopies of a few of Gorey's works. The work most represented in this group of materials is Amphigorey Again. This work is printed out, markings are made in red pen (it is unclear who marked up the documents), and illustrations are pasted onto the print-out.
Series V. Prints and photographs includes prints of a few of Gorey's illustrations and photographs of Gorey at work and with his cats, of Gorey events at Gotham Book Mart, and of the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts.
Series VI. Media includes cassette tapes, cds, vhs recordings, and a computer floppy disc. While some of this material was professionally produced, there is some material that was clearly recorded by Brown or a member of the Gotham Book Mart staff. All originals are restricted, but can be made available to researchers by contacting Reprographic Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for cost estimates and ordering.
This collection was included among the Gotham Book Mart materials acquired through an anonymous gift in 2008 by the University of Pennsylvania.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Jack Dwiggins
- Finding Aid Date
- 2016 February 29
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use, however access to original audio/visual materials and computer files (in boxes 10 and 14) is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (email@example.com) for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.