Great news! Tom Wolfe’s papers will be available to researchers at the New York Public Library. 100 linear feet of terrific history, of great use to scholars and students alike. Hooray! The price tag? North of $2 million dollars, paid by private donor, and accruing to Mr. Wolfe, who is now 83 and also quite wealthy. So first, to be polite: thank you for making this happen. And now. So many questions: Why not take the tax donation? Why send out our troubled libraries to secure seven figures for what should be a gracious gift? Also: Just, why?
The New York Public Library’s wonderful Stephen A. Schwarzman building is mid-step in possibly great and possibly terrible changes, including moving materials to off-site storage. They have just announced that they are delaying release of their latest design plan. The actual future use of the main library as a research facility is literally at question right now. Tacky timing, Tommy.