WVU Libraries promotes life and works of Pearl S. Buck with new website

Chronicling the life and works of Pearl S. Buck, a new website launched by the West Virginia and Regional History Center enables online visitors to explore the Nobel Prize winner’s archives now preserved at West Virginia University Libraries.
“Our website will bring this important collection of original manuscripts by one of the world’s greatest writers to the attention of scholars, teachers and students for the first time,” WVRHC Curator John Cuthbert said. “The Pearl S. Buck Collection is open to anyone who is interested in Pearl Buck and her work.”
The website, pearlsbuck.lib.wvu.edu, includes a guide that details the contents of the extensive collection (nearly 80 archival boxes), which includes manuscripts of Buck’s novels, non-fiction, children’s books and short stories, as well as articles, speeches and other materials.
“While much of her writing may be found in published form, our collection contains the vast majority of her original manuscripts, not only in their final form but in various versions that reveal her creative process and the changes she made as her thoughts evolved when writing,” Cuthbert said.
WVU became caretaker of Buck’s archives in October 2014 after beginning a partnership with West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation to protect and promote Buck’s legacy. Under the agreement, the WVRHC assumed the responsibility of providing physical care for and access to the Buck Collection. Previously, West Virginia Wesleyan housed the collection.
Born in Hillsboro to missionary parents, Buck was the first American woman to win both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature. While she is probably best known for her novel “The Good Earth,” her parents’ biographies – “The Exile” and “The Fighting Angel” – helped earn her the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature.
The website also promotes programs and events relating to Buck, such as:
• The Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation, through a grant from the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau Calvin W. Price Appalachian Enrichment Series, presents the 2016 PSBBF Creative Writing Workshops, “What’s In Your Blood? Finding expression in your memories and experience.” For more information, email taobilly@yahoo.com or call 304-653-4430.
• This fall, WVU will host the first Living Gateway Conference, which celebrates the life and legacy of the West Virginia native. The event, scheduled for Sept. 11-13 at the Erickson Alumni Center, is sponsored jointly by WVU, the West Virginia Humanities Council, the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation and West Virginia Wesleyan College.

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