Kind of out of the blue, but Carl Sagan’s personal papers are headed to the Library of Congress, courtesy of pretty much the last person you’d expect. Via ArtBeat at the NYT:
It seems like an improbable connection, but Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” ”American Dad!” and “The Cleveland Show,” all animated TV shows that are not shy about crude humor, has donated funds to the Library of Congress so it can acquire the personal papers of Carl Sagan, the scientist and astronomer, library officials announced Wednesday.
Nice. This means that the Sagan papers will be publicly accessible after a certain amount of processing. But what do these papers consist of? According to the LoC Press Release:
Ooooooooooo …. *drool* … um, sorry, archivist moment there.
The collection comprises approximately 800 boxes of materials that document Sagan’s life and work and includes his extensive correspondence with scientific colleagues and other important figures of the 20th century. It also includes book drafts, publications files, “idea files” on various subjects, records of various symposia, NASA files and academic files covering the years he taught at Cornell University. Among the personal files are his birth announcement, handwritten notebooks of his earliest thoughts and grammar-school report cards. In addition to manuscript materials, the collection includes photographs, audiotapes and videocassettes.
Some details are scanty. There’s no information on how much money is involved or where it’s going. My guess is that the money is just going for transport, preservation and housing, plus salaries for the people who will be needed to process all this material.
People like me. Seth, let’s talk …
There’s also this:
Mr. MacFarlane met Mr. Sagan’s widow and collaborator, Ann Druyan, at an event a few years ago that brought together Hollywood screenwriters and directors with scientists. They agreed to collaborate on a follow-up to “Cosmos,” with Mr. MacFarlane serving as producer. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will host the series, which is scheduled to begin production this fall.
Tyson, Druyan and MacFarlane working on a new “Cosmos.” That’s got some serious potential. I’ll look forward to it, but for now I’ve got to go polish my resume.