Lax Manuscript Notebooks

The usual way that Robert Lax wrote would be to keep a notebook handy (on his desktop, night stand, or back pocket) and fill the notebook from front to back on the facing pages, and then flip the notebook over fill it from back to front on the facing pages. When a notebook was completed he would normally go through what he had written and make a typescript copy, usually utilizing multiple carbons, and then mark the notebook with a cross to indicate it was finished. In later years the copying of the text was made onto a computer file. From the manuscript text to the copy there was little or no editing performed.

The majority of the manuscript notebooks in the Lax Archives at St. Bonaventure University are from the 1980ís on. But there are texts as early as the 1930ís and 1940ís, and many significant items from the 1960ís. The general arrangement of the notebooks is chronological, with items grouped that have specific dates, general or assumed dates, and no dates. In establishing the chronology great consideration was given to the brand and type of notebook, as Lax would usually purchase, or be given a quantity of notebooks of a certain style, and simply use all of these same notebooks one after another. In designating certain items as early (pre 1970ís or so) consideration was also given to handwriting, and sometimes even to the color of ink used.

There are over 900 notebooks. The listing of the individual items can be broken down into these general linked categories, according to the boxes in which they are kept:

 

            A                  Earliest notebooks: 1930ís-1960ís

            B-L               Assumed dates: 1963-1980

            M-EE            Specific dates (mostly year, month & day): 1980-1997

            FF                 No date, large notebooks

            GG-QQ         Specific dates (mostly year, month & day): 1980-1994

 

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