WESSWEB - Western European Specialists Section Newsletter

Vol. 18, No. 1 (Fall, 1994)
New Haven, Connecticut
Page 15

The Kolb-Proust Archive

In the fall of 1993 the Kolb-Proust Archive for Research was organized at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library to make available to scholars the data and documents collected by Philip Kolb, Professor of French at the University of Illinois, and the editor of Marcel Proust’s correspondence. Professor Katherine Kolb Reeve, Philip Kolb’s daughter, and Professor of French at the University of Minnesota, is Director of the Archive. Its coordinator is Thomas Kilton. Mrs. Philip (Dorothy) Kolb serves as advisor.

Currently located in Professor Kolb’s former study in the University Library, the Archive will eventually be housed in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library. A computer workstation dedicated to Proust scholarship together with a Proustiana reference collection will also reside there.

Since coming to the University as a professor of French in 1945, Philip Kolb worked until just before his death in 1992 on the editing of Proust’s correspondence, completed the same year (Paris: Plon; 21-vols.). Kolb left a treasure-trove of research notes on cards concerning Proust’s letters which will offer future researchers information relating not only to Proust scholarship, but also to turn-of-the-century French intellectual life in general. Photocopies of many of Proust’s holograph letters are also housed in his study.

At present, the Kolb-Proust Archive personnel are busy pursuing the enormous task of computerizing the data from the cards; other digitization projects are either underway or planned. The ultimate goal is to make much of this information available to scholars over the Internet.

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