If You Visit

At Paterno Library

November 7, 2005 –January 31, 2006
John O’Hara: A Centennial Exhibition

Novelist and short-story writer John O'Hara
(1905–1970) was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania,
in the state's northeastern anthracite coal
region. Although he left Pennsylvania as a young
man, he set five novels and more than fifty
stories in what he called "my Pennsylvania
Protectorate." The characters of O'Hara's
fictional town of Gibbsville were the miners and
poor immigrants, the bartenders, the country-club
set, and the college-bred middle class of his

But O'Hara was more than just a Pennsylvania
writer; he was a writer of national stature.
O'Hara was a regular contributor to The New
Yorker and wrote some four hundred short stories
in addition to nineteen novels. Five of his
novels were made into big-budget motion pictures,
including and Pal Joey. Ten North Frederick won a
National Book Award in 1956, and in 1964 O'Hara
received a Gold Medal of Merit from the American
Academy of Arts and Letters.

Timothy Babcock, a Rare Books and Manuscripts
intern from the Syracuse University School of
Information Studies, has made the selection of
exhibition materials from the John O'Hara Papers
and from O’Hara's published works. Penn State's
O'Hara holdings include letters, manuscripts,
photographs, book contracts, and the entire
contents of his study, which has been
reconstructed adjacent to our Exhibition Hall.
The bulk of the O'Hara collection came to the
University Libraries as gifts from John O'Hara,
from his late wife, Katharine B. O'Hara, and from
his daughter, Wylie O'Hara Doughty, with
additional purchases by Rare Books and

For more information about the exhibit or about
the John O'Hara Papers, write to Rare Books and
Manuscripts, 104 Paterno Library, Pennsylvania
State University, University Park, PA 16802, or
call (814) 865-1793. To take a virtual tour of
the John O'Hara Study, go to

No comments: