Mark Twain in Buffalo
In Buffalo, the StoryCorps MobileBooth is parked in front of the Buffalo and Erie County Library. This library is one of only nineteen public libraries in the US to house a rare book collection. Although full of many beautiful old books, this collection boasts many very exceptional items, including a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of The Federalist, and my personal favorite, the original handwritten manuscript of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain) moved to Buffalo in 1869 to work as editor of the Buffalo Express. He and his wife, Olivia, lived for a time in a mansion at 472 Delaware Ave (which unfortunately, we can’t see because it burned down in the 60’s). The library houses not only the Huck Finn manuscript (which Twain gave to the Library in 1886) but many other Mark Twain items, including Norman Rockwell lithographs of Huck Finn illustrations, a first edition of Twain’s Life on the Mississippi (1883), and various copies of Huckleberry Finn in 150 languages.
The MobileBooth feels right at home next to a treasure trove of great storytellers.