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Picture of Jack Kerouac


Jack Kerouac’s On the Road scroll manuscript will be on exhibit at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Lowell National Historical Park from June 15 through October 14, 2007.

Exhibit Hours:

Daily (Monday-Sunday): 10am-5pm; Thursdays: 10am-7pm

For directions to the exhibit: click here

Scroll History

Drawing on his notes and journals from his cross-country travels from 1947-50, Jack Kerouac wrote his first draft of On the Road over a three week period in April of 1951. Kerouac taped sheets of teletype paper together so they would run through his manual typewriter, enabling him to keep his flow of writing uninterrupted. The result was a 120-foot continuous “scroll” manuscript.

Published in 1957, On the Road became an immediate best seller. This classic novel of freedom and the promise of the open road gave life to the Beat Generation, a subculture that challenged the conformist and materialist values of post-war America.

The ongoing popularity and significance of this work has lent increasing importance to the make-up of its original version. The City of Lowell, the author’s hometown, is pleased and honored to be one of the exhibition sites of the best known work of its native son, Jack Kerouac.

In May of 2001 Mr. James Irsay of Indianapolis, Indiana—and team owner of the 2006 NFL Champion Indianapolis Colts—purchased the original “scroll” manuscript of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road for $2.4 million through Christie’s Auction House. In late 2002, Jim Irsay offered to exhibit the Scroll across the United States. The official tour of the Kerouac Scroll began in Orlando in January of 2004 and is scheduled to conclude at the end of 2009.

For more scroll tour information: click here



Photo © Stephen Edington, All Rights Reserved.

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