Modern Literature Collection: The First Fifty Years

“Modern Literature Collection: The First 50 Years” is a digital exhibit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Modern Literature Collection (MLC), part of the Special Collections in the Washington University Libraries. The digital exhibit is a companion to the onsite exhibit in Olin Library, on display November 2014 – March 2015, and contains everything available onsite, and much more. We hope that through these digitized materials you will enjoy exploring the history of the MLC, as well as the rich contents of some of the writers’ archives.

To search all the finding aids and cataloged items in the Modern Literature Collection and across Special Collections, please visit this page on the Washington University Libraries' website. There you will also find our forms and policies regarding access.

Rights Statement

The digital exhibit's purpose in part is to hold forth the compositional processes of some of the writers the MLC is best known for, and to provide meaningful perspective on their lives and work. Just as the variety and format of materials in the Collection varies widely, so does available information on the origin and copyright ownership of the selected content on display as part of the MLC50 digital exhibit.

Washington University in many cases does not control copyright for individual items—which are being made available for individual viewing and reference for educational purposes only, such as private study, preparation for teaching, scholarship, and research. The Department of Special Collections cannot and does not grant or deny permission to use or publish content in the MLC50 exhibit for which it does not hold copyright. Reproduction, distribution or public display of materials beyond what is authorized by fair use and other statutory exemptions may require consent of the copyright owner.

Whenever possible, University Libraries provides information about rights holders and related facts in its catalog records and other texts that accompany materials, but researchers are ultimately responsible for making independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permission. Information on many writers’ copyright holders and on past literary firms, publishers, etc. can be found in the online WATCH and FOB databases, run by the University of Reading and the Harry Ransom Center.

If you are an individual or institution with information about an item in this digital exhibit, or if you are the copyright owner and believe we have not properly attributed your work or have used it without permission, please contact




Created by Washington University Libraries' Special Collections and Scholarly Publishing