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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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Series II: Publishing, exhibitions, and sales, 1963-2018
Series IV: Clippings and press, 1954-2019
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in five series. Each series is arranged in chronological order.
Scope and Contents
The Andrew Alpern Collection of Edward Gorey Materials comprises materials by and about the writer and artist Edward Gorey, created between 1954 and 2019, and collected by Alpern from the 1970s through the 2010s. The collection includes materials associated with many of Gorey's professional interests and activities. These include the publication and marketing of Gorey's illustrated books and related ephemera, Gorey's work for theatre and for performing arts organizations, press coverage, and Gorey's publications in periodicals. There is also a small amount of original artwork by Gorey.
The collection also documents the exhibition and sale of Gorey's work to collectors such as Alpern during Gorey's lifetime and after his death. Many—if not the majority—of the items in the collection were purchased by Alpern through the New York City independent bookstore Gotham Book Mart. Receipts and other documentation of these purchases are included in the collection. A small number of auction catalogs, promotional ephemera for exhibitions, and materials related to the Edward Gorey House and the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust are also present.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
The following boxes are located off-site: 3-28. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust is the sole owner of all copyrights and related rights to the works of Edward Gorey. All inquiries may be directed to representatives of the Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Andrew Alpern Collection of Edward Gorey Materials; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Andrew Alpern collection of Land Deeds: another collection assembled by Alpern, this one of land deeds, also at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Andrew Alpern collection of drawing instruments, 1700-2004: a collection of drawing instruments assembled by Alpern, dating from the eighteenth through twenty-first centuries. At the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Gotham Book Mart records: Records of Gotham Book Mart, the New York City bookstore and gallery where Alpern acquired the bulk of this collection, and which was instrumental in promoting Edward Gorey's work. At the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.
Gotham Book Mart Collection of Edward Gorey: Consists primarily of Andreas Brown's records of Doomed Enterprises (a company which handled publishing and licensing Gorey's works), documents relating to the execution of the Edward Gorey estate after 2000, and other documents and artifacts documenting Gorey's public image and legacy. At the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact email@example.com for more information.
The collection was displayed at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 2012 in an exhibition curated by Alpern, titled Gorey Preserved: The Collection of Andrew Alpern.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Andrew Alpern donated the bulk of this collection to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in April 2010. Smaller groups of materials were added between 2012 and 2019.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.
This collection was processed by Celeste Brewer. Finding aid written by Celeste Brewer in May-July 2019.
Collection description was based on an item-level inventory provided by the donor. Materials were physically grouped together according to size and format.
The item numbering was assigned by the donor in the collection inventory created prior to its arrival at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Items donated after 2010 were not included in the original inventory, and were not assigned numbers.
The collection originally included approximately 350 books by or with contributions by Gorey. These were separated from the collection and cataloged individually; they can be located by searching CLIO, the Libraries' catalog, for "Edward Gorey collection of Andrew Alpern."
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
New York architect, attorney, and book collector Andrew Alpern is the author of several books on New York City apartment buildings. He also published Edward Gorey's book F.M.R.A. (1980). He has been a generous donor to various libraries and archives.
Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was a prolific writer and artist best known for his illustrated books. He also designed sets and costumes for theatrical productions, including the 1977 Broadway revival of Dracula, and animated the introduction to the PBS television series MYSTERY! (1980-2006).
Gorey was born in Chicago and attended Harvard University, where he roomed with the writer Frank O'Hara. He lived in New York City until 1986, when he moved to Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. He died in Yarmouth Port in April of 2000. His home is now a museum dedicated to his life and works.