Collection Number: PS3552.U75_Y355

Collection Title: In Search of Yage Publisher's Archive, 1998-1999

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 60 items
Abstract William S. Burroughs was an American novelist, philosopher, essayist, social critic, painter, and spoken-word performer. The collection is the publisher's archive for 1999 book, In Search of Yage: A William S. Burroughs Pictorial, which relates to Burroughs's search for yage (ayahuasca) in the Amazon jungle. The collection includes trial printings of the covers, a mock-up of the book, an alternative mock-up that was not used in the final design, several 1950s photographs of Burroughs in the Amazon jungle, various paper samples, camera-ready copy, printing plates from which the book was made, and compact discs containing type fonts and other information.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the In Search of Yage Publisher's Archive (#PS3552.U75 Y355), Rare Book Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Skyline Books in January 2007.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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William Seward Burroughs II (5 February 1914-2 August 1997) was an American novelist, philosopher, essayist, social critic, painter, and spoken-word performer. He played a significant role in the Beat Generation and was influential in both literature and popular culture.

In January 1953, Burroughs began a seven-month expedition into the jungles of South America to find the mind-altering vine ayahuasca, known in Colombia as "yagé" or "yajé", which promised the user telepathic abilities. Letters between Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg resulted in The Yage Letters, published by City Lights in 1963.

In 1999, Skyline Books published In Search of Yage: A William S. Burroughs Pictorial , intended as a companion piece to The Yage Letters . Johnny Brewton of X-Ray Book Company designed and hand-assembled the pamphlet, which was limited to 26 lettered copies and includes three photographs, two of which were previously unpublished. Reproduced from the original negatives, they were the only prints made from these negatives.

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The collection is the publisher's archive for 1999 book, In Search of Yage: A William S. Burroughs Pictorial, which relates to William Burroughs's search for yage (ayahuasca) in the Amazon jungle. The collection includes trial printings of the covers, a mock-up of the book, an alternative mock-up that was not used in the final design, several 1950s photographs of Burroughs in the Amazon jungle, various paper samples, camera-ready copy, printing plates from which the book was made, and compact discs containing type fonts and other information.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Amanda Ross, January 2007

Encoded by: Amanda Ross, January 2007

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