Bonfire of the (Insert Literary Pun): Tom Wolfe’s Papers Come to New York Public Library

Tom Wolfe moves papers down the street for millions. (Getty)

Tom Wolfe moves papers down the street for millions. (Getty) Getty Images

New Journalism is now Old Journalism, or at least Established Journalism (or maybe it’s morphed into New New Journalism? Who can keep track) and its only taken fifty or so years for the movement’s Grand Poobah, Tom Wolfe, to have his papers acquired by The New York Public Library.

According to The New York Times, the $2.15 million acquisition (paid for mostly by a private donor) includes 190 boxes of material, 10,000 letters dating from 1965 onward and a couple fabric swatches from his tailor, perhaps to give the archives some social realism.

“The collection has a double richness,” said William Stingone, the library’s assistant director for archives and manuscripts. “It will allow research not just into Wolfe as an innovator in style and methodology, but also into the things he did research into. He had access that people will never have again.”

The collection will be on view to inspire a new generation of college students who think eschewing journalistic conventions, proper spelling and grammar is the same thing as never having to learn it in the first place.