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Where Stars of the Night are Holy, Kerouac in SLO County

SLO Library to Host Kerouac’s Famous ‘On the Road’ Scroll

Author: Rebecca Juretic on behalf of Library Administration
Date: 9/11/2018 11:20:32 AM

The original scroll manuscript of On the Road by Jack Kerouac will be on display at the San Luis Obispo Library September 21 – November 21.

The famed 120-foot long scroll manuscript of On the Road, the classic novel written by Jack Kerouac in the 1950s, will be on display at the San Luis Obispo Library September 21 – November 21.

Patrons will be able to view the scroll on the second floor of the library at 995 Palm Street during the library’s regular operating hours. The exhibit will also include informational displays and a vintage Underwood typewriter – the same model used by Kerouac.

The exhibit is part of the Coastal Awakening Festival, which is a celebration of Central Coast-inspired artistic culture that includes creative art and literature, readings, walking tours, talks and films related to the arts. For more information about The Coastal Awakening, visit

“The County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries is excited to take part in the inaugural Coastal Awakening month by hosting the Kerouac On the Road Scroll in partnership with the Shanbrom Family Foundation,” said County of San Luis Obispo Library Director Chris Barnickel. “The opportunity to showcase a seminal work in its raw form to the community meets an important element of the department’s mission to Connect the Community to Knowledge, Culture, and Creativity Through Exceptional Service.”

Kerouac is said to have taped long strips of drawing paper together to create the scroll so that he could type without interruption. The novelist, poet and Beat Generation pioneer lived briefly in San Luis Obispo during the spring of 1953.

The Kerouac manuscript is on loan from the collection of James S. Irsay. The exhibit was made possible by The Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries, Arts Obispo, The Coastal Awakening Group, and the Shanbrom Family Foundation.