COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A major collection of letters, photos and publications of the late crime fiction author Dashiell Hammett has been acquired by the University of South Carolina and will be made available to students and scholars within the coming year.
Hammett was a high-school dropout who created such iconic American characters as the gritty gumshoe Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon,” and the witty and worldly couple Nick and Nora Charles in “The Thin Man.”
University officials spoke with The Associated Press about the acquisition prior to its announcement, which is scheduled for Wednesday in Columbia at the Thomas Cooper Library.
Dean of Libraries Tom McNally said the collection includes hundreds of family letters, photographs, personal effects and documents from Hammett’s daughter Josephine, 89, and two of his grandchildren. It is bolstered by more than 300 Hammett books and rare first editions, as well as dozens of screenplays, files, documents and serialized magazines compiled by Hammett biographer and Columbia publisher Richard Layman.
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