After Stella Kerouac’s 1990 death, one of her brothers, John Sampas (1932-2017), became the Literary Executor for the Estate of Jack and Stella Kerouac and continued promoting Jack Kerouac’s literary legacy. Donated by Sampas’s estate to the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2018, Visions of Kerouac is the most extensive collection in the Jack Kerouac Archives. Among the items and records are original artifacts, original and photostatic copies of Kerouac’s art, correspondence, journals, as well as books.
Access to this collection is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Kerouac Center at UMass Lowell would like to thank Mass Humanities for helping make the collection available to the public through the below searchable documents.
Folder-Level Inventory of the Collection
Item-Level Inventory Selections
Item-Level Inventory of Art Work and Posters
Note: the above inventories are still in progress, although they do offer significant collection views. These inventories are updated as of March 1, 2021. We may need to disable the links at times, as inventory is on-going. Questions about the archive? Contact us.
Primarily comprised of photostatic copies of letters, papers, notes, ephemera, notebooks, and other genres of works written by or pertaining to Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the collection was developed by John G. Sampas (1933-2017), Literary Representative for the Sampas family. Under Sampas’s administration, copies of additional Kerouac writings and recordings residing in repositories or held in private hands were acquired, which expanded the collection’s scope from its original basis. There are various digital, taped and recorded works by or about Kerouac, his position as a central figure in the Beat literary movement and an array of related thematic posters and art pieces.
Years covered: 1922-2009
Language: Primarily English, some French, and a few other international editions of Kerouac works
Restrictions: Reproduction, copyright, and privacy rights
The 102 banker boxes are arranged according to the file cabinets in which JS organized records and artifacts. Some oversized items, such as posters and artwork, are in separate acid-free folders. Some artifacts are currently displayed in a secure location at the Allen House on UMass Lowell’s South Campus and additional items are in secure storage on that campus at O’Leary Library.
The Kerouac Study Room within the Mogan Center, which is open to the public, contains CLH’s extensive collection of biographical archives, oral histories and rare print copies of Kerouac editions.
General descriptions of the collection contents: