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NY library acquires Arthur Schlesinger papers

Arthur Schlesinger, historian and former aide of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, stands on Playa Larga, March 24, 2001, a beach in the Bay of Pigs, where forty years previously Cuban exile invaders, authorized by Kennedy, had unsuccessfully sought to topple President Fidel Castro from power. The New York Public Library has acquired the papers of Schlesinger, who died in March at 89. REUTERS/Rafael Perez

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Public Library has acquired the papers of historian Arthur Schlesinger, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and confidant to President John Kennedy who died in March at 89.

The library announced on Monday it had bought some 250 boxes, or nearly 300 linear feet in library parlance, from Schlesinger’s estate for an undisclosed amount, safeguarding his journals and correspondence with world leaders for use by researchers and historians.

The price has been kept confidential, a library spokeswoman said.

The collection includes manuscripts, research files, phone logs, sound recordings, videos, date books and clippings from the mid-1930s to 1998, documenting monumental events from a man with a front-row seat to history.

There is correspondence with Kofi Annan, Truman Capote, Bill Clinton, Marlene Dietrich, Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer, among other leading figures of politics, high society, entertainment and literature.

Schlesinger won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award twice each for his work on U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Andrew Jackson. He also wrote a three-volume history on President Franklin Roosevelt and a biography of Kennedy’s brother, Robert Kennedy.

After leaving the White House, Schlesinger wrote 19 books and hundreds of articles, essays, and reviews with superb access to influential people.

“The Arthur Schlesinger papers provide rich new resources for researching our country’s politics in an era of dramatic change and civil unrest. In their remarkable depth they form a new foundation of our collections documenting mid and late 20th Century U.S. history,” David Ferriero, director of The New York Public Libraries, said in a statement.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta, editing by David Wiessler

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