While the staff here at the Rubenstein Library often travels to bring collections back to Durham, we also receive a great many packages from around the world. For us, there’s nothing like opening those newly arrived boxes to assess the contents’ research value and find their place within the context of the collection to which they belong, and within our holdings as a whole.
Judy Malloy, the pioneering author of electronic literature such as Uncle Roger (1986), one of the first hypertext fictions, recently sent us a “surprise box” of additions to her papers here. It was, indeed, full of wonderful surprises! They included a painted notebook from her work Paths of Memory and Painting, a portrait of Malloy by Irene Dogmatic, and some documentation of recent online works.
The box also contained a couple of Malloy’s early artist’s books, including “up”, from around 1975, which incorporates a computer chip into its design.
Documentation of some of Malloy’s performances and art projects from the 1970s to the 1990s is also included. A hand-painted sign captures her passion for both the freedom of expression online and the tactile enjoyment of physical artwork.
We look forward to many more surprises, both from Judy Malloy and other authors of electronic literature and from the many other boxes we crack open every week!
Post contributed by Will Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections.