UC Berkeley—Mark Twain Papers Project
Largely funded by a Koret Foundation grant, The Autobiography of Mark Twain—edited by UC Berkeley's Mark Twain Papers Project—has achieved No. 2 on the New York Times' bestseller list and No. 4 on the Los Angeles Times' list.
Since its release in November 2010—100 years after Twain's death at the age of 74—the first volume of the planned trilogy has remained a national bestseller, with nearly half a million copies in print. As part of UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, the project is based upon the world's largest collection of Twain manuscripts and memorabilia. Most of the 20,000 items were donated to the university by Twain's daughter, Clara.
Private support was essential in augmenting federal and UC funding for the project, and the Koret Foundation was a major funder of the autobiography's first volume. Its $600,000 matching grant was responsible for $1.2 million in private gifts—27 percent of the project's $4.5 million budget. Strong sales from the first volume will be used to create an endowment to increase editorial support and cover other costs of research and publication. The book's publisher, University of California Press, now expects the second volume to be in stores by 2013 and the third by 2015.