Rare Ken Kesey works go on display at UO

EUGENE, Ore. - It's a side of Ken Kesey that has rarely been seen by the public eye.

"The journals, the letters, the drawings, you know, the original artwork," said UO Head of Special Collections and University Archives James Fox.

For the first time ever, the University of Oregon put a special collection of Kesey's work, including his famous "Jail Journal" writings and drawings, on display for the community.

"So it's a unique opportunity to see," said Fox. "There are very few people who have seen these materials."

Kesey was a University of Oregon graduate, known for his literary works, including "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

He was famous for traveling around the country performing acid tests with his band of "Merry Pranksters" in the psychedelic bus known as Further.

But this collection shows a part of the famous author that many don't know.

"We wanted to show people the scope of the collections so that people in the community and at the university could step forward and say yes, this is a great collection," said Fox.

With the help of folks like Fox, the school hopes to create a permanent collection on campus.

And they're hoping by putting this work on display, it will create the type of buzz that will help create that collection on campus.

Fox said the Kesey family has given the university an opportunity to buy the collection, but he says it's a long process.

"There are copyright issues, there's ownership of this part of the collection or that part of the collection, there's privacy issues."

The "Jail Journal" project and other Kesey mementos will be on display in the Gilkey Center through April 26.

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