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Are Anderson's unpublished plays restricted access?
I have to write an english paper about Shakespeare's "Richard III" and found this on the "Richard III Society, American Branch" website about a play "Richard and Anne" by Maxwell Anderson: The author claims that "Anderson (...)left behind a large body of work which included more than thirty published plays, a volume of poetry, two collections of essays, and twenty unfinished or unpublished plays. One of these completed but unpublished works was Richard and Anne, a two act verse play about Richard III. (...) the script, handwritten on 70 legal size sheets, including revisions, is now with the author's other papers in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Access to the work is hedged in by a great many restrictions, including one against quoting from the play, although several copies have circulated in the past." Can anybody confirm this statement? It seems impossible that there are texts in a university you can neither read nor quote? 22.214.171.124 (talk) 21:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I am not familiar with this particular document, but from what you cited, the play is housed in a university archive, not in the library's circulating collection. The work is unpublished, which is likely why there are restrictions on quoting it. The estate holders hold exclusive rights to publish the play (or not) and do not want scholars or students giving out information that might jeopardize their ability to publish it later. As for the restictions on reading it, there are probably likely more copwright fears (If someone reads the play, the publishes a similar play that they've written, they will hold the initial copyright), but more than likely it is about preservation. Maxwell Anderson wrote all of his plays in longhand, so the 70 pages might be in his handwriting, which would make them both precious and fragile.ÇaCestCharabia (talk) 19:51, 21 September 2011 (UTC)