Lewis Black donates archive to UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries

Visitors to the library may start to hear a little laughing out loud. Comedian Lewis Black ’70, a Grammy Award winner and best-selling author known for embodying cathartic anger on stage and on The Daily Show, has donated a trove of his collected papers and writings to University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The donated works include his plays, television pilot scripts, and materials from his comedy career. They will be part of the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library.

“I wrote all this stuff, I kept it all,” Black said. “I don’t know why. I was a writer, so I kept everything, to go back to it.”

Winifred Fordham Metz, media librarian and head of the Media & Design Center at the R.B. House Undergraduate Library, helped connect Black with the Southern Historical Collection. She said the Lewis Black Collection will have immediate impact on teaching and research.

“The items that Lewis has shared with us run the trajectory of his creative writing, his public service, and much of his media career,” Metz said. “Students always benefit by hearing from people who are actively working in their fields of study. The fact that he began his career while he was a student at Carolina and wants to share those beginnings is especially generous. It can inspire students and give them more confidence in their own creative projects.”