The Library of Congress has acquired the personal papers of American astronomer, astrobiologist and science communicator Carl Sagan (1934-1996). The collection was obtained with help from writer-director Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane covered
the undisclosed costs of acquiring the Sagan papers. The collection is officially being designated The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive.
The collection comprises approximately 800 boxes of materials that document Sagan's life and work and includes his extensive correspondence with scientific colleagues and other important figures of the 20th century. It also includes book drafts, publications files, idea files on various subjects, records of various symposia, NASA files and academic files covering the years he taught at Cornell University. Among the personal files are his birth announcement, handwritten notebooks of his earliest thoughts and grammar-school report cards. In addition to manuscript materials, the collection includes photographs, audiotapes and videocassettes. The Library of Congress says researchers and scholars will be able to use the collection once it has been fully processed by the Library's archivists.
Ann Druyan, Saganís long time professional collaborator and his widow, says, "Carl was the exemplar of the citizen scientist. For him, the values of democracy and science were intertwined. I can think of no more fitting home for his papers than the nationís library. Thanks to Seth, Carl's prodigious life's work will endure to awaken future generations to the wonders of the scientific perspective."
MacFarlane has teamed up with Sagan's original creative collaborators - writer/producer Ann Druyan and astrophysicist Steven Soter - to conceive a 13-part documentary series that will serve as a successor to Cosmos
. Produced in conjunction with FOX and the National Geographic Channel, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey
will explore how human beings began to comprehend the laws of nature and find their place in space and time.
Photos: Eduardo Castaneda (top)/Library of Congress (bottom)