On the Road was written by Kerouac over a hectic three-week period in April 1951. Uniquely, Kerouac typed the manuscript on rolls of tracing paper, which he then taped together into a single scroll to avoid replacing paper at the end of the page and interrupting his creative flow.
It is this scroll – which measures an incredible 120 feet! – which will be on display at the British Library for the very first time in this country between October and the end of December.
The Library owns several works by and about Jack Kerouac, including a copy of On the Road. You can also find out more about the author, his life and work, and the history of the ‘Beat Generation’ of 1950′s American authors including William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, through one of our many literature databases on Library Catalogue Plus.
For further information about the exhibition, visit the British Library website here:
On the Road book image courtesy of Pesky Library, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.