The Bill Bly Collection of Electronic Literature is a rich archive of materials from the early literary hypertext movement, received as a generous donation to MITH directly from Bill Bly. Together with the existing Deena Larsen Collection, also housed at MITH, these two collections position MITH as a major center of study for anyone interested in primary source materials–both manuscript and born-digital–from this unique moment in literary and technological history.
Bly’s collection includes numerous exemplars of hypertext fiction and poetry collected over the years, as well as his own notes and variations for We Descend, his ongoing hyper-fiction, the first volume of which was published by Eastgate Systems in 1997. The collection is particularly rich in materials related to the early Macintosh software HyperCard, used as the platform for dozens of works of early electronic literature.
MITH Associate Director Matthew Kirschenbaum says “We at MITH see Bill’s gift as a living archive, to be accessed, explored, and enjoyed as openly as possible by students and researchers. We will be working to catalog and describe the materials, and we welcome anyone with an interest in exploring the history of hypertext to contact us about a visit.”