Independent scholar John Thornton came to the Ransom Center last year to research his upcoming biography of Alfred and Blanche Knopf and the House of Knopf. The Ransom Center’s Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. collection comprises 1,526 boxes. To navigate this extensive archive, Thornton says, he emulated biographer Lytton Strachey: “[Strachey] would look at the sources like someone rowing out over a great sea of information and lowering his bucket here and there and pulling up samples and examining them. So I think that’s the best I can do: row my boat through the Knopf collections and see what turns up.”
About Elana Estrin
Estrin was a features writer at the Ransom Center where she wrote newsletter articles, blog posts, Q&As, press releases, and worked with the media. She has written about the arts and culture for The Jerusalem Post, The Strad magazine, The Forward, and The Daily Texan.