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September 30, 2004

The Ron Hogan Hollywood Biography Collection
Was, Sadly, Broken Up When the Dotcom Bubble Burst

by Ron Hogan

danowski.jpgRaymond Danowski is the type of book collector I've always dreamed of being, but have been dissuaded against becoming every since I was sixteen and my mother said we had no room for "all these crappy books." (In her defense, the sci-fi paperbacks in which I specialized then did include a lot of crap, though I still miss that copy of The Languages of Pao I lost about a decade ago.) As Bruce Weber reports for NYT, Danowski's just given Emory about 60,000 volumes of 20th-century poetry, plus a slew of related materials, worth at least $6 million. And, Mom, if you thought my dozen cardboard boxes in the basement were bad, read on:

Amassed over 30 years, the collection was stored first in a barn in Hertfordshire, England, and later in warehouses in London and Geneva. It is uncatalogued in any computer file and the only record of its holdings have until now been in Mr. Danowski's mind. He said that he could envision the library, virtually volume by volume, though he had never seen it all assembled. It was shipped to Atlanta in about 1,500 cardboard boxes and tea crates that filled two 40-foot-long and two 20-foot-long cargo containers.
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