News: The Octavia E. Butler Collection
The papers of Octavia E. Butler, the renowned science fiction writer, have resided at The Huntington since 2008, and since being made available to scholars for research, it has become one of the most heavily used archives at the institution. The collection includes extensive drafts, notes, and research materials for more than a dozen novels, numerous short stories, and essays, as well as correspondence, ephemera, and assorted books. An exhibition is planned for Spring 2017. more
The Huntington Library is one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the United States in its fields of specialization. The Library’s collection of rare books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps, and other materials in the fields of British and American history and literature totals more than nine million items.
Only a tiny portion of the vast collection is on display at any one time, divided between the Main Exhibition Hall and the smaller West Hall.
The Library collections date from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. The greatest concentration is in the English Renaissance, about 1500 to 1641; other strengths include medieval manuscripts, incunabula (books printed before 1501), maps, travel literature, British and American history and literature, the American Southwest, and the history of science, medicine and technology.
“Remarkable Works, Remarkable Times” highlights more than 150 objects from the library’s collections, including the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio, John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and Henry David Thoreau’s manuscript of Walden.
"Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World" showcases some of science’s greatest achievements, from Ptolemy to Copernicus, Newton to Einstein. The exhibition highlights four areas of exploration: astronomy, natural history, medicine, and light.
Every year more than 1,700 scholars come from all over the world to study these rare materials. The results of their work are published in books, journals, and textbooks for colleges and universities.