Ray Bradbury’s personal collection to be housed at Waukegan History Museum at the Carnegie

Waukegan Historical Society to preserve and showcase collection in author’s beloved childhood library

WAUKEGAN – The Waukegan Historical Society announced it has finalized a partnership with the Waukegan Public Library board of trustees regarding famed author Ray Bradbury’s personal collection of books and artifacts that was given to the library after his death on June 5, 2012.

It was Bradbury’s dream that the books that shaped his childhood in Waukegan and the books he collected throughout his life be housed in the beloved childhood library building that captured his imagination in so many ways. Now his dream soon will become a reality.

“I was born in Waukegan in 1920 and had my second birth at the Carnegie Library in Waukegan,” Bradbury said. “I came to full bloom there, and when I was 12, after reading most of the books in that fantastic library, I became Ray Bradbury. The most appropriate site to house the Bradbury collection is the 1903 Carnegie building at Washington and Sheridan in downtown Waukegan. That building, when it housed Waukegan’s Public Library, nurtured my love affair with books and authors.”

The Waukegan Historical Society, in partnership with the Waukegan Park District, is restoring Bradbury’s long-vacant childhood library to become the new Waukegan History Museum at the Carnegie. The Children’s Reading Room where Bradbury was inspired by the magic inside the books will be lovingly re-created for a new generation of readers. The Ray Bradbury Room will convey the importance of Bradbury’s work to American literature and the infinite ways Waukegan inspired him. His personal collection will be showcased in this special room.

Transferring the collection to the Historical Society ensures its preservation, ongoing care and access to accredited researchers.

“With the full support of Bradbury’s trust and family, we are grateful to be the new stewards of this important collection and make it available for all to experience and enjoy for generations,” said Lori Nerheim, president of the Waukegan Historical Society. “We value our partnership with the Waukegan Public Library and welcome the opportunity to share Ray Bradbury’s legacy through programs, events and special displays.”

“We look forward to seeing the collection in the Ray Bradbury Room of the museum, and to seeing school visits, scholars, Bradbury fans and tourists alike visiting both the museum and library,” said Tiffany Verzani, executive director of the Waukegan Public Library.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

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