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y the time Boston University got serious about collecting the personal papers of historic literary and political luminaries, most already had been taken. So the university turned its attention to the living: stars of stage and screen, 20th century journalists and authors, screenwriters, producers, directors and comic strip artists. Today, BU’s Gottlieb Archival Research Center has one of the world’s largest collection of Hollywood memorabilia, including Fred Astaire’s dancing shoes, the laurel wreath Claude Rains wore in Caesar and Cleopatra, Rex Harrison’s Tony Award for My Fair Lady, Gene Kelley’s Oscar for An American in Paris, and all the original drawings of “Little Orphan Annie,” “Dennis the Menace,” and “Li’l Abner.” You can check out many of the most interesting items in a little-known exhibit room on the first floor of the university library. Marcus
Bette Davis, who grew up in Somerville and Newton, contributed 119,000 documents to BU, including her school report cards, 111 scrapbooks she pasted together herself, and her leather-bound copy of the All About Eve script, opened to the famous party scene in which she says: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
These lines serve the Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. Click to find more secrets on your route.
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