Thousands of visitors to the Library saw the Glinda of Oz manuscript displayed in the recent exhibition "The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairy Tale"; it was on loan from the descendants and heirs of L. Frank Baum. Now the manuscript has been given to the Library by Gita Dorothy Morena, the great-granddaughter of L. Frank Baum; Craig Frederick Mantele, Baum's great-grandson; and Janet Baum Donaldson, Baum's granddaughter.
"I am pleased to announce that the Baum family has agreed to donate this splendid manuscript, in this year of the library's Bicentennial, as a special Gift to the Nation," said James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. "While the 1920 first edition of this book resides in the Rare Book Division, the manuscript will go directly from the exhibit case to the Manuscript Division for custody and use by scholars."
Glinda of Oz, the 14th book in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum, was published after his death. It relates the experiences of Princess Ozma of Oz and Dorothy in their hazardous journey to the home of the Flatheads and the magic isle of the Skeezers, and how they were rescued from dire peril by the sorcery of Glinda the Good. Many of the names in the story are especially meaningful because of the family's close relationship to the book. The heirs donated the manuscript in accord with the last wishes of Baum's granddaughter, Ozma Baum Mantele.
The 125-page manuscript is written clearly in black ink with some penciled additions on 8 1/2-by-11-inch unlined paper. It is enclosed in an annotated cardboard binder covered in blue cloth with a blue gingham spine and secured by three cotton ties. The author's pencil holograph title page includes the words: "MS completed Feb. 17th by L. Frank Baum."
"We are delighted to make this donation," the Baum heirs wrote in their letter to the Library. "It has been 100 years since Dorothy's adventures in Oz were first published with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Her travels in that magical kingdom have become an integral part of American culture, and we are happy to contribute this manuscript for the American public to enjoy. May all who read L. Frank Baum's words develop inner wisdom, compassion and courage, and like Dorothy, find their way home."
The manuscript is available for study in the Manuscript Reading Room, located in the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., with prior arrangement with Literary Manuscript Specialist Alice Birney at (202) 707-5383 or via e-mail at [email protected]