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The Bern Porter Collection of Contemporary Letters, housed in Colby’s Special Collections, is an eclectic mix of published and unpublished materials. It reflects the complexity, creativity and humor of Porter himself.

Materials in the collection were received from Porter (Colby Class of 1932) for decades, continuing until his death in 2004.

Published books (approx. 2000 titles) appear in the Colby Libraries web catalog and represent the work of Porter, Henry Miller, the Beat Generation, 20th century Maine authors and other avant-garde writers. Click here to search the library catalog.

Periodical publications (approx. 72 linear feet) include small press items, artists' books, mail art and small-circulation newsletters, newspapers and journals. List of periodical titles is pending completion.

Unpublished materials (approx. 72 linear feet) include correspondence between Porter and his contemporaries, scrapbooks and other works “of, by or about” Porter, and manuscripts given to him. There is a small amount of material related to Porter's childhood in Houlton, Maine.


Correspondence: Others to Porter

Other Links:

How Bern Porter Saw the World by Alex Irvine, Colby Magazine, Spring 2005

Bern Porter on Ubuweb (essay by Mark Melnicove and five Porter books from the 1960s)

Bern Porter materials at UCLA Special Collections

Bern Porter materials at the Getty Research Institute

There are smaller Bern Porter collections in Maine at the Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Historical Society and Museum.

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