In Memoriam Bill Touponce 1948-2017, Founding Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies
In the spring of 2007, IUPUI's School of Liberal Arts created the nation's first center for the study of science fiction and fantasy author Ray Bradbury (1920â€“2012), one of the best-known American cultural figures of the twentieth century. During his seven-decade career, Bradbury published more than four hundred stories and the books that grew out of them, including The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, The Golden Apples of the Sun, The October Country, and two enduring titles that emerged from his early Midwestern yearsâ€”Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Fahrenheit 451, his classic cautionary tale of censorship and book burning, remains a perennial bestseller more than sixty years after publication.
From Ray Bradbury: The Story of a Writer (1963); courtesy of Terry SandersÂ
Photo by Helen Miljakovich.
With the encouragement of the late Mr. Bradbury and a number of scholars, fellow writers, and collectors, the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies has been able to build a comprehensive multiple-source research archive. The Center has gone on to establish, in partnership with the Kent State University Press, a journal, The New Ray Bradbury Review, and a Modern Language Association seal-approved critical edition, The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, an eight-volume series that recovers the seldom-seen earliest versions of his oldest tales. The Center also maintains a large research library of Bradbury's publications (including many foreign language editions of his books and scarce copies of the pulp genre magazines where many of his earliest stories were first published), as well as anthologies and reference books for the broader study of science fiction and fantasy.
During the fall of 2013, these resources were suddenly transformed into one of the nationâ€™s premier single-author archives by the arrival of two landmark gifts that, together, comprise most of the working archives and personal artifacts remaining in Mr. Bradburyâ€™s home at the time of his passing in June 2012. Mr. Bradburyâ€™s longtime friend and principal bibliographer, Donn Albright, donated the authorâ€™s books and papers, which he had received as a personal bequest. The resulting Bradbury-Albright Collection now forms the centerpiece of what we have designated the Bradbury Memorial Archive, consisting of a direct gift to the Center from the Bradbury family. This gift consists of Mr. Bradburyâ€™s office bookcases and furniture (including two desks and three typewriters dating from the 1950s), his voice recordings, selected motion picture and television adaptations of his work, his last forty years of incoming correspondence, and a lifetime of awards and mementos.
If you wish to contact the Center, please e-mail or write to the director:
Jonathan R. Eller
Director, Center for Ray Bradbury Studies
"More than any other contemporary writer, Bradbury created the stories, situations,characters, and symbols by which late twentieth-century America envisioned the Space Age and post-industrial world."Â Â Â Â
â€”Dana Gioia, poet and former chairman, National Endowment for the Arts (for more, see General Announcements, under "News")