Ken Kesey papers, circa 1953-2012  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Kesey, Ken
Title
Ken Kesey papers
Dates
circa 1953-2012 (inclusive)
circa 1953-2001 (bulk)
Quantity
93.8 linear feet, (59 containers (44 record storage boxes, 2 manuscript boxes, 8 flat boxes, 4 custom phase boxes, 1 square tube))
Collection Number
Ax 279
Summary
Ken Kesey was an internationally renowned Oregonian novelist, essayist, and counterculture figure most famous for his book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and his psychedelic cross-country bus tour immortalized in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. His collection contains correspondence, manuscripts and publications, personal journals and artwork, event and tour material, press clippings, personal memorabilia, and creative works by members of his artistic circle, the Merry Pranksters.
Repository
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
97403-1299
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
spcarref@uoregon.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

All personal journals in series 3 of the Ken Kesey papers have been restricted until 2063 by request of the Kesey family. Personal legal documents have been restricted to comply with attorney-client privilege.

Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room.

Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Ken Kesey was an internationally renowned Oregonian novelist, essayist, and counterculture figure most famous for his book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and his psychedelic cross-country bus tour immortalized in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Ken Elton Kesey was born on September 17, 1935 in La Junta, Colorado. In 1946, his family moved to Springfield, Oregon where he graduated from Springfield High School. Kesey attended the University of Oregon where he studied journalism and communication and was a champion wrestler. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1957. In 1956, while still a student, Kesey married Norma Faye Haxby. Together they had three children, Jed, Zane, and Shannon.

After graduating from the University of Oregon. Kesey was encouraged by his former literature professor, James B. Hall, to apply for a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship. This award enabled him to continue his education in creative writing. In 1958, Kesey enrolled at the Stanford University Creative Writing Center under the direction of Wallace Stegner. While at Stanford, Kesey formed friendships with fellow writers, most notably Ken Babbs who would participate in many of Kesey's creative projects, and would co-author his final novel Last Go Around.

During this time, Kesey also became part of the bohemian social milieu of Palo Alto's Perry Lane where, through Stanford psychology graduate student Vik Lovell, he became aware of experiments with psychoactive drugs being conducted at the Veterans Hospital in Menlo Park. Kesey became part of these experiments as a paid volunteer, and later became an employee of the hospital. Both experiences would have a profound impact on his art and writing, particularly the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Kesey published his first and most famous work One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1962, and quickly followed it with another bestseller, Sometimes a Great Notion, in 1964. That year marked the beginning of a writing hiatus that would last until 1971. Instead of producing another novel, Kesey incorporated himself as Intrepid Trips, Inc. and purchased a 1939 International school bus, dubbed "Further." He and his artistic circle, first cultivated in Perry Lane and now settled at Kesey's home in La Honda, California, began the cross country road trip to the New York World's Fair that would become the basis for Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and cement Kesey's reputation as a counterculture icon. After Kesey and "his band of Merry Pranksters" returned to La Honda in 1965, they busied themselves by editing film footage of the bus trip, and organizing parties known as the Acid Tests. The Grateful Dead served as the house band for many of these gatherings.

In 1966, to escape a five-year prison sentence for possession of marijuana, Kesey faked his own death and fled to Mexico. After several weeks, when word of his whereabouts leaked to the press, Kesey was joined by his family and several Pranksters. Kesey's youngest daughter, Sunshine, was born to him and Merry Prankster Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Adams Garcia during this nine-month exile. Upon his return to the United States, Kesey was convicted of drug possession and spent six months in San Mateo County Jail and the San Mateo County Sherriff's Honor Camp. Upon his release in 1968, Kesey and his family moved back to Oregon, settling on a farm in Pleasant Hill near his childhood home of Springfield.

Kesey began writing again in 1971, coediting the Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog with Paul Krassner. In 1973, Kesey published Kesey's Garage Sale, a collection of his works including the screenplay for Over the Border, a fictionalized account of his sojourn to Mexico. Kesey continued to publish short stories and essays for the next ten years, culminating in 1986's Demon Box, a collection of short fiction and non-fiction pieces, many of which had appeared in other publications including Kesey's own literary journal Spit In the Ocean. In 1989, Kesey published Caverns, his first novel since Sometimes a Great Notion, which was co-written with University of Oregon graduate students and published under the pseudonym O.U. Levon.

In the 1980s and 90s, Kesey continued to write, make public appearances, perform, and organize gatherings of Pranksters and fans in the spirit of the original "Further" bus trip and the Acid Tests. Kesey wrote two children's books, Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear and The Sea Lion, and published his screenplay The Further Inquiry and his final two novels, Sailor Song and Last Go Around during this time.

Kesey suffered a stroke in 1997, but recovered to perform as the Wizard of Oz in his play Twister: A Ritual Reality in Three Quarters Plus Overtime If Necessary. He died on November 10, 2001 after suffering postoperative complications from an attempt to remove a liver tumor. His Jail Journals, a psychedelically illustrated account of his time at the San Mateo County Sherriff's Honor Camp, were posthumously published in 2003.

Sources: Leeds, Barry H. "Biography: The Hallucinogenic Outlaw." In Ken Kesey, 1-12. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1981. McClanahan, Ed. "Cut 'em Loose." In Kesey's Jail Journal, edited by David Stanford, ix-xiii. New York: Viking, 2003. Parker, Scott F. ed. Conversations with Ken Kesey. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2014.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Ken Kesey papers document his work as a novelist, essayist, short story author, and playwright, as well as his public life as figure who embodied the spirit of American counterculture movements in the 1960s. This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts and publications, personal journals and artwork, event and tour material, press clippings, personal memorabilia, and creative works by members of Kesey's artistic circle, the Merry Pranksters. While this collection is primarily representative of Kesey's public life as both a writer and counterculture icon, some more personal artifacts, including journals and family mementos, have been preserved as part of this collection.

The correspondence series contains incoming and outgoing general and business correspondence, fan letters, phone logs, email printouts, and address books. General correspondence includes letters to and from family, friends, colleagues, and associates, as well as letters collected from Kesey's time in prison.

The writing for publication series documents Kesey's work as a novelist, essayist, short story author, and playwright. This series includes materials related to Kesey's novels; collections of short works; short stories and magazine articles; stage, film, and radio productions; as well as general notes, story fragments, and outlines unrelated to larger works.

The journals and artwork series contains artwork, chiefly ink sketches, by Ken Kesey, as well as personal journals. Journals in this series are restricted until until 2063 by request of the Kesey family.

The events, tours, and publicity series documents Ken Kesey's public life as an author and counterculture figure. Materials in this series include information about Kesey's speaking engagements, materials related to book tours and artistic gatherings organized by Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, press clippings and interview transcripts, and awards.

The personal papers and memorabilia series contains student materials from Kesey's time at the University of Oregon, photographs, audiovisual material, personal artifacts, ephemera, obituaries, condolence letters, and memorials. A small amount of material related to the original "Futher" bus tour is included in this series.

The writings of others series contains manuscripts, academic theses, dissertations, and published materials sent to Kesey by other authors, including Kesey's friend and writing partner Ken Babbs and other Merry Pranksters.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ken Kesey papers, Ax 279, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. No individual allowed to view the Kesey Collection shall be allowed to photograph or otherwise copy the Kesey Collection in any manner whatsoever, for as long as Kesey LLC maintains the copyright ownership of the material.

All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

1.:  Correspondence, 1956-2012Return to Top

This series contains general and business correspondence, fan letters, phone logs, and address books.

Series 1. Correspondence is arranged in six subseries: 1.1. General correspondence, 1956-2012 1.2. Business correspondence, 1962-1999 1.3. Fan letters, 1968-2001 1.4. Phone logs and address books, circa 1980s-1990s 1.5. Email printouts, 1995-2001
Container(s) Description Dates
1.1.: General correspondence
This subseries contains correspondence from family, friends, colleagues, and associates, as well as letters collected from Kesey's time in prison. Correspondence is both incoming and outgoing.
This subseries is arranged alphabetically.
1956-2012
Box Folder
1 1
A.W.P. (Associated Writing Programs)
1981
1, 39
Babbs, Ken
1960-1963
Folder
1 6
Bartlett, F. Lewis
1962-1965, 2012
1 7
Berry, Wendell
1968, 1973-1977, 1984-1985
1 8
Bodett, Tom
1987, 1992
39 2
Bourbon Bill
1971-1973
1 9
Brautigan, Richard
1973
1 10
Brown, Jay
1975
1 11
Byrne, David
circa 1990
1, 39
California
1956-1966
Folder
1 13
Cassady, Neal
circa 1950-1972
1 14
Cassady-Ginsberg transcript about the Honda Bust
1976
39 4
Cosby, Janet - Speaker's Worldwide, Inc.
1995
1 15
Curtis, Walt
1974-1976, 1981, 1995
1 16
Darby, John W. and Paul W. Morgan, parole letter
1970
1 17
Dead Scuttle, conversation with Rock Scully
1981
1 18
Detro, Gene, Portland
1973
1 19
Dodgson, Rick
2004, 2010
1 20
Douglas, Kirk
1963, 1970
39 5
Editorial letters
1972-1973
1 21
Edmo, Ed
1980, 1982
1 22
Evans, Nigel
1992-1996
39 6
Eymann, Richard O., Governor Tom McCall, et al., Roads
1973-1974
1 23
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
1973
1 24
Fuentez, Tomas
1975
1 25
Gardiner, Bob
1986
1, 48
General
1961-2001
Folder
39 7
Ginsberg, Allen
1965-1983, 1993
1 29
Gonzales, Laurence
1971-1973, 1979-1981
1 30
Good Morning America, ABC
1987
1 31
Grove Press
1985
47 2
Harlan, Mike
circa 1970s-1990s
1 32
Hatfield, Mark
1977-1978
1 33
Holmes, John Clelon
1981-1982
1 34
Howard, Jane
1973
1 35
IntrepidTrips
circa 1980s-1990s
39 8
Jong, Erica
1976
39 9
Karamazov's
1979-1984
1 36
Keroauc, Jack
1961
1 37
Kerouac, Jan
1995, 1998
39, 48
Kesey, Faye
circa 1960s, 1975, 1988
Folder
1 38
Kesey, Joe (Chuck)
circa 1961-1962
1 39
Kesey children
1971-1984
39 11-12
Kesey friends
1970-1976, 1993
1 40
Kirk, Roland
1979
39 13
KQED, Further and Further, more
1987
39 14
Krassner, Paul
1972-1982
39 15
Leary, Timothy
1971-1976, 1981
1 41
Leeds, Barry
1983
1 42
Lehmann-Houpt, Sandy
1990
39 16
L.O.S.T.
1994
1 43
Governor McCall
1983
39 17
McClanahan, Ed
circa 1980-1993
39 18
McMurty, Larry
1962-1964, 1973-1986
1 44
Micheline, Jack
1976, 1998
1 45
Mirkowicz, Tomasz and Julita, Polish translations
1984-1989, 2002
1 46
Mouse, Stanley
1988
39 19
MY
1975-1982, 1988
1 47
National Geographic Magazine
1978-1981
1 48
Nicosia, Gerry
1995
1 49
Norman, Gurney
1973-1975, 1985-1989, 2000
1, 39
Outgoing
1972-1996
Folder
1 51
Perry, Charles
1981
1 52
Porter, Gilbert, University of Missouri-Columbia, The Art of Grit, Ken Kesey Fiction
1979-1981
39, 47
Prison letters
1967
Folder
1 53
Racoon, Connie Jo
1973-1975
1 54
Robbins, Tom
1992
1 55
Roven, Fred, Electric Kool Aid Acid Test movie rights
1978, 1992-1995
1 56
Sanders, Ed
circa 1970s-1980s
1 57
Sawyer, Paul
1965-1976
39 25
Sheeas, Naomi
1977
47 4
Simon, Doug
1972
39 26
Sterling Lord
1962-1976
1 58
Stevens, Jay
circa 1980s-1990s
1 59
Stone, Bob
1980, 1990-1994
1 60
Tanner, Steve
1978-1982
1 61
Teton, John
1976
1 62
Thompson, Hunter S.
1981, 1992
1 63
Van Sant, Gus
1994
1 64
Walker, George
1973
1 65
Walker, Spike
1987-1989
1 66
Western Literature Association
1988
39 27
Wilson, Clay S.
1972-1986
1 67
Woodland Hills School
1997
39 28
Writers
1976-1997
1 68
Ziony, Ruth
1977
Box
1, 39, 47
1.2.: Business correspondence
This subseries contains correspondence from printers, distributors, colleagues, and associates.
1962-1999
1-2, 39-40
1.3.: Fan letters
This subseries contains letters written by fans to Ken Kesey. A large portion of letters refer specifically to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
1968-2001
Folder
2 3-17
1.4.: Email printouts
This subseries contains printouts of Ken Kesey's email correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and associates.
1995-2001
2-3, 40
1.5.: Phone logs and address books
This subseries contains phone logs and address books kept by Ken Kesey. Kesey's phone logs consist of written notes from telephone conversations with family, friends, and colleagues.
circa 1980s-1990s

2.:  Writing for publication, circa 1953-2003Return to Top

This series documents Kesey's work as a novelist, essayist, short story author, and playwright from 1953 to 2003. Materials include documents related to Kesey's novels; collections of short works; short stories and magazine articles; stage, film, and radio productions; as well as general notes, story fragments, and outlines unrelated to larger works.

The novels subseries includes both published and unpublished works. Titles represented in this subseries include: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Zoo, Sometimes a Great Notion, Kesey's Jail Journal, The Further Inquiry, Sailor Song, Last Go Around, and Caverns. Materials include research, notes, photographs, manuscripts, proofs, cover art and illustrations, correspondence, publicity, and reviews.

The collections subseries contains shorter works published by Kesey as anthologies or compilations. Titles in this series include: Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, and Spit in the Ocean. Materials include research material, notes, manuscripts, illustrations, cover art, layouts and printer's ephemera, proofs, correspondence, and publicity material.

The short story and magazine article subseries includes standalone short stories and magazine articles written by Kesey between 1953 and 2001. While this subseries primarily contains manuscripts, some research material, notes, and final publications are also present.

The stage, film, and radio production subseries contains works by Kesey originally written as performance pieces and related production materials. Materials in this subseries include film treatments, screenplays, radio play scripts, as well as theatrical scripts and related production material.

The fragments notes and outlines subseries contains untitled story fragments, notes, and outlines, unrelated to any of Kesey's larger works or short stories.

Series 2. Writing for publication is arranged in five subseries: 2.1. Novels, 1959-2003 2.2. Collections, 1964-2003 2.3. Short stories and magazine articles, circa 1953-2001 2.4. Stage, film, and radio productions, circa 1953-1999 2.5. Fragments, notes, and outlines, circa 1953-2001
Container(s) Description Dates
2.1.: Novels
This subseries contains material related to Kesey's published and unpublished novel length works. Titles in this series include: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Zoo, Sometimes a Great Notion, Kesey's Jail Journal, The Further Inquiry, Sailor Song, Last Go Around, and Caverns. Materials include research, notes, photographs, manuscripts, proofs, cover art and illustrations, correspondence, publicity, and reviews. Derivative forms of earlier works, particularly screenplays based on original novels, are filed with the work from which they originated.
This subseries is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
1959-2003
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
circa 1959-2002
Box
3, 40
Drawings
circa 1959-1962
3, 40
Notes
circa 1959-1962
Folder
3 12
Edited carbon copy
circa 1959-1962
3 13-15
Typescript draft
circa 1959-1962
3 16
Fragments
circa 1959-1962
3 17
Dust jacket
1962
3 18
Reviews
1962, 1987-1990
44 6
Cut up paperback
1971
43 2-5, 10-11, 13, 15-16, 19-20, 24, 27-30
Foreign language translations
1971-2007
40 8-12
Screenplay, first draft, edited typescript
1972
40 13-16
Screenplay, first rewrite, proof
1973
3 19-22
Wasserman, Dale. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, stage adaptation
1973-2002
3 23-25
Hauben, Lawrence and Bo Goldman. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, annotated shooting script
circa 1975
50 7
Soundtrack album cover
1975
59 1
Screenplay settlement documents
This file is restricted due to attorney client privilege.
1976
3 26
Kaufman, Paul. "Inside One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," documentary production notes
1977
3 27
Audio book script
1992
40 17-18
40th anniversary edition, illustration photocopies
1999-2001
3-4
40th anniversary edition, proofs
1999-2001
Folder
4 2
40th anniversary edition, correspondence
2002
Zoo
1959
Box Folder
4 3-4
Edited typescript draft
1959
4 5
Handwritten and typescript selections
1959
4 6
Typescript draft
1959
Sometimes a Great Notion
1964
Box Folder
4 8-13
Carbon copy
circa 1964
4 14-15
Correspondence
1964-1965
4 16
Dust jacket
1964
4 17-18
Early edited typescript
circa 1964
4-5
Final edited typescript
circa 1964
5, 40
Incomplete edited typescripts
circa 1964
Folder
5 13-14
Notes
circa 1964
44 3-5, 7
Paperbacks
1969-1972, 1977
43 1, 12
Foreign language translations
2003-2006
Kesey's Jail Journal
1967-2003
Box Folder
5 15
Court order, jail time, and probation conditions
1967
5 16
Letters to Faye Kesey and family
1967
7-10
Original collage artwork
circa 1967
Folder
5 17
Original journals and related ephemera
1967
5, 40
"Cut the Motherfuckers Loose," original short story
1976-1985
Folder
5 22-24
Notes
circa 1980s-2003
5-6, 40
Drafts
circa 1985-2003
Folder
6 4
Sketches photocopies
circa 1990s
6 5-6
Blads
2003
49 4
Collage art prints
circa 2003
40, 51
Cover art
circa 2003
41, 49
Proofs
2003
Folder
6 7
Symposium and book tour
2003
The Further Inquiry
1974-1991
Box
6, 44
Photographs
1974, 1987
Folder
6 9-10
Interview transcripts and notes
1977-1978
6 11-18
Notes
circa 1977-1978
6, 41
Press
circa 1977, 1987-1990
Folder
6 21-26
Correspondence
1978-1991
6 27-30
Edited proofs
1978
6, 41
Edited typescript drafts
1978
Folder
6 38-39
Film treatment
1978
11 1-3
Handwritten drafts
1978
11 4-7
Photocopy
1978
41 5
Storyboards
1978
11 8-11
Parks, Richard D. and John Higgins. The Further Inquiry: America's Mightiest Home Movie, stage adaptation
1980-1982
41 6
Author's proofs
1990
11 12
Cover art and posters
1990
11 13
Dust jackets
1990
41 7
Final edited proofs
1991
Sailor Song
1982-1994
Box Folder
11 14-20
Notes
1982-1984
11-12
Edited handwritten drafts
1988-1989
12-14, 41
Drafts
1989-1994
14-15
Typist manuscript
1991
Folder
15 3
Copy editor's notes
1992
15 4-5
Correspondence and related enclosures
1992-1993
15 6
Dust jacket
1992
41 9-11
Edited proofs
1992
51 3
Posters
1992
15 7
Readings and publicity
1992
43 6, 14, 21-22, 31
Foreign language translations
1996-2007
Last Go Around
1984-1994
Box Folder
41 12
Rodeo music, lyrics and recordings
1959-1976, 1984
15-16
Drafts
1988-1993
Folder
16 18-19
Film treatment and screenplay
circa 1993-1994
16 20
Disclaimers and dedications
1994
17 1
Dust jackets
1994
17 2-3
Final edited manuscript
1994
43 9, 23, 25
Foreign language translations
1994-2005
51 4
Posters
1994
17 4-6
Proofs
1994
17 7
Reviews
1994
Caverns
1987-1991
Box Folder
17 8-9
Correspondence
1987-1990
17 10
Class material
1988
17 11-24
Edited typescripts
circa 1988
17-18
Notes
circa 1988
Folder
41 13
Student contract
1988
18 4
Student examinations
1988
54 1
Bookstore reading thank you note
1989
18 5
Covers
circa 1989
18 6-8
Edited proofs
circa 1989
18, 41
Press
1989-1990
Folder
18 11-12
Proof
1989
18, 41
Cover art and author biographies
circa 1990-1991
Folder
18 14
Student correspondence and photographs
1990
2.2.: Collections
This subseries contains works by Kesey published as a compilation or collection. Titles in this series include: Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, and Spit in the Ocean. Materials include research material, notes, manuscripts, illustrations, cover art, layouts and printer's ephemera, proofs, correspondence, and publicity material. Stories in these collections were often published prior to their inclusion in the collection, or republished a separate work. All versions of stories published in these collections were filed together for ease of retrieval. Similarly, the full script for Kesey's Over the Border, better known as "Hot Item Number Two" of Kesey's Garage Sale than as a production, has been included in this series. Spit in the Ocean, a literary journal that Kesey founded with fellow Merry Pranksters, has been included in this series. The manuscript for Kesey's unfinished novel Seven Prayers by Grandma Whittier, which originally appeared in installments in Spit in the Ocean, is filed with this material.
This subseries is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
1964-2003
Kesey's Garage Sale
1964-1976
Box
18, 41
Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Adams correspondence, notes, and artwork
1964-1965
Folder
18 16
"The Bonus Surprise," draft
1970
18 17
"Friday Oct 10, A Tank, Maybe the Last Time," draft
circa 1970-1973
41 16
"An Impolite Interview with Ken Kesey," draft
circa 1970-1973
41 17
"Letter to Vision," draft
circa 1970-1973
41 18
"Voice of the Narrator," draft
circa 1970-1973
41 19
Interior illustrations
1971
18 18
Cover art
circa 1972-1973
18, 41
Drafts
circa 1972-1973
18, 41, 48-49, 52
Layouts
circa 1972-1973
18-19, 41
"Over the Border," drafts and bound final typescripts
1972
Folder
19 7-9
Author's colored first edition
1973
19 10
General correspondence
1973-1974
19 11
Miller, Arthur. "Introduction," edited draft
1973
19 12
Published excerpts
1973
19 13
Viking Press correspondence
1973-1974
19 14
Giant coloring contest
1976
Demon Box
1970-1992
Box Folder
41 29
"The Last Time the Angels Came Up," drafts
circa 1970-1986
19, 41
"Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear," drafts
circa 1970-1986
Folder
19 17-18
"Oleo: Demon Briefs and Dopey Ditties," drafts
circa 1970-1986
41 30
Unpublished story drafts
circa 1970-1986
19 19-28
"The Search for the Secret Pyramid," drafts
1972-1992
20 1-4
Correspondence
1974-1986
20, 41-42
"Abdul and Ebenezer," drafts
1976-1986
20, 42
"The Day After Superman Died," drafts
1979-1986
Folder
20 9-13
"The Demon Box: An Essay," drafts
circa 1981-1986
20 14-15
"Finding Doctor Fung," drafts and research
1981-1986
20 16-18
"Now We Know How Many Holes It Takes to Fill the Albert Hall," drafts
1981-1986
20, 45
"Run into Great Wall," drafts and research
1981-1986
Folder
20 23-25
"Killer," drafts
1984-1986
20, 49
Original cover art and related correspondence
1985-1986
Folder
44 8
Author's first edition
1986
20 27
Dust jacket
1986
20 28
"D Tank Kickout," drafts
circa 1986
42 3-6
Edited proofs
1986
20 29-31
Final edited manuscript
1986-1987
21 1
"Good Friday," drafts
circa 1986
21 2
Index of diskette contents
circa 1986
21 3
"Joon the Goon Was What," draft
circa 1986
21 4
"Mother's Day 1969," draft
circa 1986
21, 42
Reviews
1986
Folder
21 6
"Tranny Man," drafts
circa 1986
43 7-8, 17-18, 26
Foreign language translations
1988-2004
Spit in the Ocean
1972-2003
Box Folder
21 7-8
Correspondence
1972-1979
21, 42, 54
Art proofs and printer's ephemera
circa 1973-1981
Folder
21 10
Fan letters and submissions
circa 1973-1981
42 11
Introduction, edited typescript
circa 1973-1981
49-50
Issue layouts
1973-1981
Folder
21 11
Letterhead
circa 1973-1981
21 12
Mailings and flyers
circa 1973-1981
51 6
Posters
1973-1978
21-22, 42
Seven Prayers by Grandma Whittier, drafts and proofs
circa 1973-1981
22, 42
Kesey, Ken, ed. "Old in the Streets," issue one
1974
22, 42
My, ed. "Getting There From Here," issue two
1976
Folder
22 18-24
Leary, Timothy, ed. "Communication with Higher Intelligence," issue three
1977
22-23
Marrs, Lee, ed. "Straight from the Gut," issue four
1978
Folder
23 5-14
Loren, Richard and Elaine, ed. "The Pyramid Issue," issue five
1979
23 15-19
Babbs, Ken, ed. "The Cassady Issue," issue six
1981
23, 50
McClanahan, Ed, ed. "All About Kesey," issue seven
2002-2003
2.3.: Short stories and magazine articles
This subseries includes standalone short stories and magazine articles written by Kesey between 1953 and 2001. Short stories republished by Kesey in anthologies are filed with their respective collections. Kesey's early writing, particularly graded papers and stories written for classes at the University of Oregon and the Stanford Writing Center, have been included in this subseries. While this subseries primarily contains manuscripts, some research material, notes, and final publications are also present.
This series is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
circa 1953-2001
Box Folder
23 25
"The Ant Cook"
circa 1953-1961
23 26
"The Avocados"
circa 1953-1961
23 27
"A Big Motherfucker"
circa 1953-1961
23 28
"The Boy General"
circa 1953-1961
23 29
"The Calliope"
circa 1953-1961
23 30
"Cattail Bog"
circa 1953-1961
24 1-3
Collected poetry
circa 1953-1970
24 4
"The Diamond Cross"
circa 1953-1961
24 5
"Dretful Sorrow Clementine"
circa 1953-1961
24 6
"The Great Slingshot Campaign"
circa 1953-1961
24 7
"Initiation"
circa 1953-1961
24 8
"Inplanetary Pastime"
circa 1953-1961
24 9
"The Kicking Party"
circa 1953-1961
24 10
"Mad Planet"
circa 1953-1961
24 11
"A Million Years Too Early"
circa 1953-1961
24 12
"The Most Beautiful Buck"
circa 1953-1961
24 13
"The Mountain Year"
circa 1953-1961
24 14
"Mulligan's Pads"
circa 1953-1961
24 15
"North of the Border"
circa 1953-1961
24 16
"An Oath of Brotherhood"
circa 1953-1961
24 17
"The Place Inside of Things"
circa 1953-1961
24 18
"The Shadey Side of Easy Street"
circa 1953-1961
24 19
"The Shifts"
circa 1953-1961
24 20
"Soiled White"
circa 1953-1961
24 21
"Spring Rain"
circa 1953-1961
24 22
"Sound of Sunset"
circa 1953-1961
24 23
"Summer Vacation"
circa 1953-1961
24 24
"Teddy Bear"
circa 1953-1961
24 25
"...and These Few Precious Days"
circa 1953-1961
24 26
"A Time To Lean Back"
circa 1953-1961
24 27
"The Tunnel of Santa Mariba"
circa 1953-1961
24 28
"War Chief Joseph"
circa 1953-1961
24 29
"Wedding at Lone Tree"
circa 1953-1961
24 30-35
Untitled
circa 1953-1961
24 36
"The First Sunday of September"
1957
24 37
"A Character Analysis of Chaucer's Wife of Bath"
1958
24 38
"On Why I Am Not Writing My Last Term Paper"
circa 1958-1959
24 39
"Twenty Years of Succumbation"
1959
24 40
"Eulogy for Marilyn Monroe"
circa 1962
24 41-43
"Letters from Mexico," and related notes and journals, Ararat
1966-1967
42 18
"Deboree's Looney Poetry"
circa 1970s
42 19
"Electric Mosquitoes"
circa 1970s
24 44
"The Fox Cocaine"
circa 1970s-1980s
24 45
"Freeze"
circa 1970s
42 20
"Grass"
circa 1970s-1980s
42 21
"How the Mosquito Hawk Came to Be"
circa 1970s
42 22
"In the Day of My Calamity"
circa 1970s
42 23
"Oh Hemingway"
circa 1970s
24 46
"Pan Am Games"
circa 1970s-1980s
42 24
"Phil Wilson and Cassady"
circa 1970s
42 25
"Short Pieces"
1970
24 47
"Thanksbirthing"
circa 1970s-1980s
24 48
"Tricker Takes a Trip to the Ocean"
circa 1970s-1980s
42 26
"Uncle Carmody,"
circa 1970s
24 49
"Last Supplement Stories"
circa 1971-1972
42 27
"Letter to Neal Cassady"
1971
24 50
"Letter to the Deadlies"
1975
24 51
"The Wild Wampus,"
1976
24 52
"Forward," Sorcerers: A Collection of Fantasy Art
1978
24 53
"Jew for Jesus"
1979
24 54
"The Black Hole at the Bottom of the Angle of Repose is the Doodlebug Called Entropy"
circa 1980s-1990s
24 55
"Chester"
circa 1980s-1990s
24 56
"Demon Amongst the Shrinks"
circa 1980s-1990s
24 57
"Flirting"
circa 1980s-1990s
24 58
"Introduction," Tales of Tongue Fu
1980
24 59
"Moments of Madness and Clarity," Running
1980 September-October
24 60
"Saint Jack"
circa 1980s-1990s
24 61-66
"The Sea Lion"
1981-2002
24 67
"Burying Jed Kesey," The CoEvolution Quarterly
1984 summer
24 68
"Interview After Jed"
1984
24 69
"Jed Melvin Kesey"
1984
24 70
"Letter to Writer Friends about Jed"
1984
24 71
"Young Jocks on the Road...Who's Responsible"
1987
24 72
"My Oregon Trail," Vis a Vis
1989 March
24 73
"Even Cowboys Get the Cramps"
circa 1990s
24 74
"St. Timothy on the Freeway"
circa 1990s
51 5
"Further On...the Calendar"
1992
24 75
"Get Off First"
1992-1993
24 76
"Just the Top"
1992
24 77
"Logtown in Transition"
1992
24 78
"Logtown Xmas Eve"
1993
24 79
"Dead in Egypt"
1995
24 80
"Introduction," The Answer is Always Yes
1995
24 81
"Message to Garcia"
1995
24 82
"Flowers for Tim"
1996
25 1
"Skid Row Santa"
1997
25, 51
"Hometown"
1998
Folder
25 3
"Otto The Bloody," The New Yorker
1998-1999 December - January
25 4
"Twister Angel," Rolling Stone
1998 May
25 5
"The Real War"
2001
2.4.: Stage, film, and radio productions
This subseries primarily contains works by Kesey originally written as performance pieces and related production materials. All derivative performative works from Kesey's novels and short stories, with the exception of the orchestral adaptation of Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear, are filed with the original work. Materials in this subseries include film treatments, screenplays, radio play scripts, as well as theatrical scripts and related production material. This subseries contains some of Kesey's earliest work, particularly graded film treatments and scripts written for his classes at the University of Oregon. The bulk of this series, however, documents the production of Kesey's musical Twister: A Ritual Reality in Three Quarters Plus Overtime if Necessary, in which he appeared as the Wizard of Oz.
This series is arranged chronologically by date of creation.
circa 1953-1999
Box Folder
25 6
The Camera Eye, television show outline
circa 1953-1957
42 28
Fall Term, script pages
circa 1953-1957
25 7
Legend, television series outline
circa 1953-1961
25 8
Life Is Not Passing Us By; We Are Passing It, radio script
circa 1953-1961
25 9
Status Quo Vadis, script pages
circa 1953-1961
25 10
Sunset at Celilo: A Documentary Television Drama, treatment and script pages
circa 1953-1957
25 11
They Brought Their Music, graded script pages
circa 1953-1957
25 12
A Valentine for Joe, graded radio play script
circa 1953-1957
25 13
The Violent Age, script pages
circa 1953-1961
25, 42, 54
Atlantis Rising, film production materials
1970
Folder
25 15
The Big W, stage play script
circa 1970s-1980s
25 16
Far West Action Picture Service, film treatment
1975
25 17
The Horn, screenplay adaptation
1982
25 18
The Magnificent Eleven, film treatment
circa 1982-1994
25 19-20
Never Cry Wolf, stage play adaptation
1983
25 21
Dark Side, sheet music
1984
25 22
"Drive Alive," audio recording transcript
1984
25 23-25
Soulcatcher, screenplay
1986
25, 50
Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear, children's concert
1988-1989
Folder
25 29
Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear, ballet
1989-1990
25 30
"Fire on the Track:" The Steve Prefontaine Story, screenplay
circa 1990s
25-27, 42, 50
Twister, stage play scripts and production material
1993-1997
Folder
27 8-9
Mason Williams: Of Time and Rivers Flowing, television proposal
1996
27, 44, 51, 54
Where's Merlin?, stage play scripts and production material
1999
Box
27-28, 42
2.5.: Fragments, notes, and outlines
This subseries includes untitled story fragments, notes, and outlines, unrelated to any of Ken Kesey's larger works or short stories.
This subseries has no internal arrangement.
circa 1953-2001

3.:  Journals and artwork, 1954-2001Return to Top

Container(s): Box 28, 46-48, 54-59

This series contains artwork (chiefly ink sketches) by Ken Kesey, as well as restricted personal journals. This series also contains some artwork by unidentified artists. It is reasonable to assume that some of these unidentified artists may be Merry Pranksters.

This series is arranged chronologically.

Personal journals in this series are closed until 2063 by request of the Kesey family.

Boxes 55, 56, 57, 58, and 59 are restricted.

4.:  Events, tours, and publicity, 1957-2001Return to Top

Series 4. Events, tours, and publicity is arranged in four subseries: 4.1. Speaking engagements, 1972-2001 4.2. Tours and gatherings, 1970-1997 4.3. Interviews and press, 1957-2001 4.4. Awards, 1978-1997

This series documents Ken Kesey's public life as an author and counterculture figure. Materials in this series include information about Kesey's speaking engagements, materials related to book tours and artistic gatherings organized by Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, press clippings and interview transcripts, and awards. The speaking engagements subseries includes information about lectures, readings, and other talks delivered to North American and European audiences by Kesey between 1972 and 2001. Materials in this subseries primarily include correspondence and publicity material. The tours and gatherings subseries includes material documenting Kesey's book tours and other artistic gatherings organized by Kesey and the Merry Pranksters between 1970 and 1997. Materials in this subseries include correspondence, schedules, publicity material, photographs, posters, tickets, programs, and publications. The press and interviews subseries includes published interviews and interview transcripts, as well as newspaper clippings and magazine articles written about Ken Kesey. Although the bulk of the material is in English, some material in Dutch, German, Polish, and Spanish is present. The awards subseries includes award certificates, plaques, announcements, and recognition letters presented by the University of Oregon and various other organizations in Oregon.

Container(s) Description Dates
4.1.: Speaking engagements
This subseries contains information about lectures, readings, and other talks delivered to North American and European audiences by Kesey between 1972 and 2001. Materials in this subseries primarily include correspondence and publicity material.
This subseries is arranged chronologically.
1972-2001
Box Folder
28 25
"Perspectives on American Culture," R.F.K. Memorial Symposium, University of Missouri, Kansas City
1972
28 26
"The Library In Community," University of Oregon, speech transcript
1976
28, 48
1977
Folder
28 28
1981
28 29
Portland Arts and Lecture Series
1988
50 1
Chautauqua Presents Ken Kesey, Art Maddox, and Oswald Lehnert
1989
29 1
1991
29 2
1992
29 3-4
Speaking requests
1992-1995
29 5
1993
29 6
1994
29 7
1996
29 8
1997
29 9
Nye Beach Writers' Series
2000
29 10
2001
4.2.: Tours and gatherings
This subseries contains material documenting Kesey's book tours and other artistic gatherings organized by Kesey and the Merry Pranksters between 1970 and 1997. Materials in this subseries include correspondence, schedules, publicity material, photographs, posters, tickets, programs, and publications. This subseries contains a large amount of material documenting the Prankster gathering of writers, actors, and artists known as the "Perennial Poetic Hoo-Haw," which was held at the University of Oregon's McArthur Court in 1976 and 1977. This subseries also contains information regarding the Bend in the River Council, a political organization and experiment in participatory government started by Kesey in 1973.
This subseries is arranged chronologically.
1970-1997
Box Folder
29 11
Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Ann Arbor tour
1970
29 12-13
Bend in the River Council
1973-1975
29 14
New Games Tournament
1973
29, 42, 48
Perennial Poetic Hoo-Haw
1976-1977
29, 42
Still Kesey
1986
Folder
29 41
Further Inquiry Tour
1990
30 1
West Coast speaking tour
1992-1993
30 2
Swamp Tromp
1992
30 3
Canadian media tour
1994
30 4
Even Further: Techno Camp Out and Electric Festival
1996
30, 51
Grandfurther Tour
1997
Box
30, 46-47
4.3.: Interviews and press
This subseries contains interviews, as well as newspaper clippings and magazine articles written about Ken Kesey. Although the bulk of the material is in English, some material in Dutch, German, Polish, and Spanish is present.
This subseries is arranged chronologically.
1957-2001
31-32, 47, 53-54
4.4.: Awards
This subseries contains award certificates, plaques, announcements, and recognition letters presented by the University of Oregon and various other organizations from Oregon.
This subseries is arranged chronolocially and by size.
1978-1997

5.:  Personal papers and memorabilia, circa 1950s-2005Return to Top

This series contains student materials from Kesey's time at the University of Oregon, photographs, audiovisual material, personal artifacts, ephemera, obituaries, condolence letters, and memorials.

Series 5. Personal papers and memorabilia is arranged in four subseries: 5.1. Photographs and audio visual materials, circa 1950s-1997 5.2. Family papers and artifacts, circa 1950s-2000 5.3. Legal documents, 1970, 1983-1985 5.4. Obituaries, condolence letters, and memorials, 2001-2005
Container(s) Description Dates
Box
31, 45-46
5.1.: Photographs and audiovisual materials
This subseries contains personal photographic prints and slides, VHS tapes, videocassette tapes, and cassette tapes.
circa 1950s-1997
31-32, 46
5.2.: Family papers and artifacts
This subseries contains family papers and ephemera, a varsity letter, pins, Ken Kesey's annotated copy of The I Ching, and material most likely devised during his 1964 cross-country bus trip, including "Betsy Flagg" and "Swash Buckler." The subseries also contains student material, including two Oregana yearbooks, assignments, notebooks, and articles.
circa 1950s-2000
32-34, 47
5.4.: Obituaries, condolence letters, and memorials
This subseries contains newspaper obituaries and commemorative articles, condolence letters and cards, a memorial service guest book, and other memorial service documentation. Material relating to the University of Oregon course, ENG 199: Intro to Ken Kesey, is also included.
2001-2005
46, 58
5.3.: Legal documents
This subseries contains probation records and restricted material regarding Ken Kesey v. Guard Publishing Company, Lane County Circuit Court, Case No. 16-83-08789. Portions of this material may be made available upon review.
Box 58 is restricted.
1970, 1983-1985

6.:  Writings by others, 1959-2006Return to Top

This series contains manuscripts, academic theses, dissertations, and published materials sent to Ken Kesey by other authors.

Series 6. Writings by others is arranged in three subseries: 6.1. Manuscripts, circa 1950s-20002 6.2. Academic thesis and dissertations, circa 1970s-2006 6.3. Published works, 1961-2000
Container(s) Description Dates
Box
34-35, 46
6.1.: Manuscripts
This subseries contains manuscripts sent to Ken Kesey for review. A variety of authors is present, including Bob Stone, Ed McClanahan, and Paul Krassner. The subseries also includes On the Bus: The Compleat Guide to the Legendary Trip of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters and the Birth of the Conterculture written by Paul Perry and Ken Babbs. A cassette recording is included with M. Hart's and B. Melton's Bugs – Humans.
circa 1950s-2002
Folder
35 14-26
6.2.: Academic theses and dissertations
This subseries contains theses, dissertations, and other academic essays written by scholars. A small amount of correspondence by scholars is also present.
circa 1970s-2006
35-38, 46
6.3.: Published material
This subseries contains published books, articles, and music written by other authors, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Some newsletters are also included.
1961-2000

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Authors, American--Oregon
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Sketchbooks