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Mark Twain in Special Collections

Mark Twain’s life and works have received renewed attention in recent months because of the recent publication of volume 1 of his autobiography (University of California Press, 2010) and one publisher’s decision to censor the language of a planned edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Special Collections owns over 150 early and fine press editions of Mark Twain’s works, including many first editions housed in the American Rare Literary Authors Collection.  Holdings include first editions of works like Roughing It and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, first printings of stories like “Eve’s Diary” in magazines, and posthumous collections of previously-unpublished stories and letters. These items can be found in the library catalog; to look for first editions specifically, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the library catalog. Click on “Other Searches” (found in the box to the right of the main search form).
  2. Enter in the search string “Johnson Mark Twain” and hit the “Citation” button. This will search for early editions listed in Merle Johnson’s Bibliography of the Work of Mark Twain.  Researchers may consult a print copy of this source in Special Collections.  Other print bibliographies of Twain include Johnson’s American First Editions and the Bibliography of American Literature, also available at the library.
  3. Please note that most Twain first editions are only accessible to researchers between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

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