Harare library unveils Doris Lessing collection

HARARE - The Doris Lessing Special Collection, which comprises more than 3 500 books from the private collection of the Nobel Prize-winning author, was unveiled at Harare City Library on Wednesday.

Following her death in late 2013, the collection of books were donated to the Harare City Library by the late celebrated author’s family.

Most of the books were transported to Zimbabwe by the British Council and Book Aid International.

“The books have been catalogued, and — following the opening of the collection — the majority of the books will be available for borrowing — by members of the Library. Apart from a collection of all of her own books (more than 40 titles), there is a very extensive collection of biographies, as well as an exceptionally wide-ranging collection of fiction, including Science Fiction.

“Lessing’s interests in mysticism and spirituality, science and exploration, and social and political issues, are also well represented,” read part of a statement signed by Harare City Library management committee chairperson John Stewart.

The statement added that the unveiling of the Doris Lessing Special Collection was a belated celebration of Unesco’s World Book and Copyright Day that falls on April 23.

“To our knowledge, this is the only collection of the personal library of a Nobel Literature Prize winner that has been donated to a public library, anywhere in the world. It is particularly gratifying to open the collection this week.”

The late Lessing spent much of her youth in Zimbabwe, living here between 1926 and 1949.

Because of her political views, she was declared a prohibited immigrant to Southern Rhodesia in 1956, and only returned to the country after 1980.

The Nobel Prize-winning author made a number of trips to Zimbabwe, particularly following 1988, some parts of which are recorded in her memoir, African Laughter.

In addition to unveiling the Doris Lessing Special Collection, the Harare City Library, whose librarian is Tariro Dube, also announced that it will re-open its Hatfield branch on May 3.

The Hatfield branch, which is situated on Elgin Road, next to the Hatfield District Office, had been closed for a number of years pending repairs.

The building has been rehabilitated with the assistance of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe, which has also assisted the main Library with refurbishments and improvements.Harare City Library unveils

Doris Lessing Special collection

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