Blog topic: Manuscripts

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Steven Meretzky game design scans available in Green Library reading room

Steven Meretzky is a pioneer in the computer games industry. His decades-long career includes experience working as a quality assurance analyst, game designer, product designer, and writer. Most of his signature contributions to the industry occurred while he was employed at Infocom, Inc., which was a prolific and highly-acclaimed publisher of text adventure games back in the 1980s. His most famous collaboration was with Douglas Adams on the computer game version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a text adventure game that is notorious for its arcane and difficult puzzles. 

Text adventures are also known as interactive fiction and are played completely through simple instructions that the player types into a computer program. The computer translates these instructions (ex. “go north,” “get lamp,” etc.) and responds with prepared text, unfolding a story on screen for the player. Meretzky’s skills for creating these type of narrative games led to his inclusion as one of only two game writers in the Science Fiction Writers of America (the other being Dave Lebling, one of his colleagues at Infocom.)

Portrait of Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy (1791)

Haydn, Burney, England, and The Creation

May 19, 2014
by Ray Heigemeir

Die Schoepfung [The Creation]. German and English.
Vienna : [Joseph Haydn], 1800.
Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 497
Link to downloadable images of this work

Letter from Haydn to Burney, September 14, 1799
Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 497a
Link to downloadable images of this work

 

There are two important items in the Memorial Library of Music related to Haydn's Creation: a letter written by Haydn to his English friend Dr. Charles Burney (1726-1814), who helped Haydn arrange for the initial sale of the English-language edition of the full score; and one of the earliest copies of that score, which bears Haydn’s personal stamp on the title page. Burney is best known for his A General History of Music, (4 vols., 1776-89), a monumental publication that set a new standard for works on music history and historiography.

Photograph of Ann Rosener

Ann Rosener Papers

April 24, 2014
by Joseph Geller

The Manuscripts Division has recently completed processing the Ann Rosener papers (M1946). The collection contains correspondence, photographs, exhibition posters and catalogues, subject files, drafts, and business records, documenting Rosener’s fascinating career as a photographer, designer, and publisher.

Agamemnon, Opera des Dames

November 6, 2014
by Mimi Tashiro

A manuscript fair copy of the text an otherwise unrecorded work, Agamemnon, opéra des dames, Poëme heroique, don’t les paroles et la musique ont fait l’amusement d’un Particulier Vieux Stil, was recently acquired. It is believed to have originated in the second half of the eighteenth century and was apparently performed in Paris, “La Feste est au bord de la Seine près des Thuilleries” to mark the end of recent hostilities.

Sara Timby retires from Special Collections

March 26, 2014
by Glynn Edwards

After more than 37 years of service to Stanford, Sara Timby will retire from Special Collections at the end of this month. Trained in anthropology and ethnobotany at UC-Berkeley, Sara joined the Stanford Libraries staff in 1976 as a Special Collections assistant, where her duties were various, including public service, technical processing, acquisition management, and paging. In 1979, she took a position in the Department of Manuscripts and Archives working initially for Maggie Kimball, former University Archivist. In those days, the department typically acquired less than 100 feet of manuscript materials. One of the first collections she processed was the Yvor Winters and Janet Lewis papers, 1920–1970.

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