eScriptor: Illuminating eLiterature through the Bill Bly Collection


The Bill Bly Collection consists of the personal papers of a living author associated with the electronic literature movement, i.e. literary experimentation that seeks to produce fiction and poetry that can be accessed and appreciated only in a digital environment. The materials include computer hardware, software in the form of CD-ROMs and 3.5" floppy diskettes, books and technical manuals, personal notes, and conference proceedings. The collection includes three computers: a Macintosh SE/30, a Macintosh PowerBook 520, and a iBook. The software in the collection includes hypertext authoring tools, Macintosh OS software, an extensive library of hypertext fiction, born-digital materials on floppy diskette, a computer game (Myst) and productivity software. The collection includes a wide range of technical manuals, including guides to using hypercard, OS manuals, and instructional books on visual editing software. It also includes books on the theory and practice of hypertext, and on the writing of hypertext fiction specifically. Many of the personal notes in the collection are stored digitally on 3.5" floppy diskettes and on an 4 gigabyte USB flash drive. There are also extensive notes written on conference proceedings for early hypertext fiction conferences, with the proceedings themselves being a valuable part of the collection.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



University of Maryland


  • Stephanie Swartz

Collection Size

10 boxes, 12 cubic feet, 12 linear feet, 330 objects

Date Range

1989 - 2004

Geographic Scope

The collection primarily includes materials from the author's home state of New York in the United States.