New York Public Library making it easier to See Dickens' desk, Woolf's cane, and Kerouac's boots

NYPL's Berg Collection ranks among the greatest collections of literary ephemera and artifacts, but it's been very hard to see these items until recently.

Via the New Yorker:

The library categorizes these items as "Realia"—objects from everyday life. The Berg Collection includes Charlotte Brontë's writing desk, with a lock of her hair inside; trinkets belonging to Jack Kerouac, including his harmonicas, and a card upon which he wrote "blood" in his own blood; typewriters belonging to S. J. Perelman and Paul Metcalf; Mark Twain's pen and wire-rimmed glasses; Vladimir Nabokov's butterfly drawings; and the death masks of the poets James Merrill and E. E. Cummings. Although the library has a strict procedure in place for public viewing of these items, in recent years the library has made it easier to make an appointment. "Of course, you have to be careful; if you just open the doors, you would have thousands of people coming in here just to see Dickens's desk and chair," Kiely said.

If you can't get an appointment, they plan a public exhibition by 2020.

The Odd Literary Paraphernalia of the New York Public Library's Berg Collection (New Yorker / Garreth Smit)