Housed in Colby College Special Collections, the Bern Porter Collection of Contemporary Letters is an eclectic mix of published and unpublished materials that reflects the complexity, creativity and humor of Porter himself.
For decades, Porter periodically added items to the collection until his death in 2004. Published books (approximately two thousand titles) represent the work of Porter, Henry Miller, the Beat Generation, and twentieth century Maine authors. The collection also includes small press items such as artist’s books, mail art and small circulation newsletters, newspapers and journals. The unpublished materials encompass correspondence between Porter and his contemporaries, scrapbooks and other artworks by or about Porter and manuscripts. A small portion of the holdings relates to Porter’s childhood in Maine.
Collections of Porter’s papers, books and art are also held by Bowdoin College, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Getty Research Institute, The Museum of Modern Art, the Maine State Library and the Belfast Free Library.