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Special Collections 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
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Post Special Collections
Rita Bottoms, the Archivist at UC Santa Cruz where Heinlein's papers are, is the subject of an oral history HERE.

Start on page 50 for her memories of obtain the Heinlein papers, and here discussions with Robert and Ginny.


Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:42 am
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Post Re: Special Collections
Fascinating interview.

On page 52 Rita Bottoms says:
Quote:
The manuscripts were accompanied by Robert’s own homemade list of conveyance, saying what it was, what the piece was, how he happened to write it, what he thought about as he was writing it, a very candid piece of writing. Then there were these little appearances and dates and everything you could want to know about him. It
was simply a fabulous kind of document that accompanied these things. This was called the Opus List. The Heinleins did everything by opus number, and that is how they are known to date. They are opuses, and that is the number they are given and will remain in as that is the natural number that was given them.

Is this itself available in the online archives? Is it creepy fan behavior (as discussed on page 57) for me to even ask?

It sounds like the librarians replaced the original "homemade list of conveyance" with a stripped-down, less-candid version of the Opus List.

Page 57:
Quote:
He said, “Look, from now on, that list needs to be confidential. Maybe from time to time, when there is a biography or something similar later on, that could be shown to someone.” So, what we did, is we created the opus list. People came in and said, “I want to see opus 10,” and that’s what happened. It was because, it really was a candid list. It was another manuscript basically. Obviously, we have copies of it, but that was one of the things that they felt strongly about. They were really worried about the fans.


On the other hand, it sounds like the original document may have been a source for Jim Gifford's book; perhaps I have already learned from Jim most of what I would have learned from reading Heinlein's list.

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Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:40 am
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Post Re: Special Collections
beamjockey wrote:
Is this itself available in the online archives? Is it creepy fan behavior (as discussed on page 57) for me to even ask?

It sounds like the librarians replaced the original "homemade list of conveyance" with a stripped-down, less-candid version of the Opus List.

I believe the opus list was still available when Jim did his archival research (at least I remember him saying he had a copy once, but that does not necessarily signify). But what Rita is talking about is what I have formally designated the Accession Notes -- essentially a packing list with annotations as he sent to two large initial batches of papers to the Archive.

The Accession Notes will be printed in full in the nonfiction volumes of the Virginia Edition. So will the personal catalogue Heinlein made of his home library in 1973.

On the other hand, I don't recall whether we've put a copy of the Opus List itself into the VE.

Rita's oral history was very helpful for the biography -- and so was having Rita on hand to amplify and give other bits that weren't in the oral history. She has been very helpful and continues to be very helpful. The introduction to the biography owes a great deal to her helpful criticism (and to Greg Benford for the initial ideas that sparked this approach).


Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:15 pm
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