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This project will create a searchable public catalog of the books C.S. Lewis owned and read: including dates of acquisition autographs and marginalia.

This project aims to catalog the books C.S. Lewis is known to have owned and/or read in his lifetime. There are very limited resources for the fan or scholar who wants to explore the books this amazing author enjoyed. Himself a lover of books - both the physical objects and the words they contain - Lewis is an incredible resource for the devoted reader. His passion for books is all over his writing. His own library is therefore full of interest to his readers and this project will, in a way, open it to all. C.S. Lewis’s books are passionately loved by millions and this new window into his life and reading will benefit fans and scholars indefinitely!

The project will be scholarly in its methods, carefully cataloging not only authors and titles, but editions, dates of acquisition, known associations of books, the location of specific volumes, and verifiable inscriptions. This first phase of the project (the one currently being funded by you!) will fully catalog all books Lewis is known to have owned or read into an accessible database. The database will be part of a larger website that will incorporate an introduction discussing the implications of Lewis’s reading and the study of it. The project will travel to the library that holds the majority of Lewis’s books and papers (The Wade Center in Wheaton Illinois) and will examine inscriptions and Lewis’s marginal notes where possible. The raw data of this research will be incorporated into the site and shared with the world! Further, I will be writing an overview of the project describing Lewis's reading and annotating habits as I've learned about them.

The money you are generously donating will go to: paying for a computer, building the database and attendant website, commissioning original artwork for the website, funding the site's ongoing maintenance for at least two years, paying for the travel and examination of Lewis's actual books and papers - mostly at the Marion E. Wade Center in Wheaton Illinois - and funding all the data-entry, verifications, and analyses that will make this website and database so very useful and interesting.

As 2010 winds to a close I will get the database built and the website up and running. In 2011, the initial massive data-entry will be completed and the first round of library research (actually examining Lewis's books!!!) will be done and all the fascinating signatures and dates I've found incorporated into the database. As much as possible, I will be cross-referencing my findings with Lewis's own writing.

Eventually, I hope to expand the website to include images of Lewis's actual books, and of at least some of his marginalia, further extending what we can know of, and learn from, C.S. Lewis.


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    Even a single dollar will help us to our goal. Donate at least this much and take some satisfaction home with you tonight!

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    At this level backers will receive a 1/4 of a pound of homemade Turkish Delight (non-enchanted!).

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    4 backers

    Notification of the site's launch, a personal thank you note from me, and your name listed on the website as a donor.

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    1 backer

    The above + an awesome print of the artwork commissioned for the site's masthead.

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    7 backers

    The above + a copy of a book, selected from the list of C.S. Lewis's Library, with a short essay describing its significance to his life and work.

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    1 backer

    The above + a handwritten letter, mailed during my visit to the Marion E. Wade Center, describing the research underway and sharing new details I've uncovered.

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    The above + an invitation to a private evening at the culmination of the project, devoted to discussing the project, the scholarship surrounding it, and the works of C.S. Lewis. If we have a sufficient number of backers at this level, we will host more than one such evening: possibly including alternate locations outside of Boise. We can also do video-conferencing for those unable to join us.

Funding period

- (45 days)