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Graubart said Conroy’s writing engages readers because he is able to “lay bare the pain from his childhood and his life’s mistakes, which most people try to hide.”

An archivist has been hired to organize the collection and it will be ready for scholars to access in about a year, McNally said.

Oddly, the collection even includes things that Conroy himself didn’t know he had, McNally said.

After the two reconciled, Conroy’s father decided to document his son’s fame in scrapbooks. McNally said the elder Conroy would go to his son’s residence to have coffee, “and go through his mail and steal things for the scrap books, including a letter from Jimmy Carter Pat never knew he’d gotten.”

The dean said the collection is more extensive than any he has ever seen in his decades of collecting. Despite advice to keep his financial papers out of the collection, Conroy insisted they be included, McNally said.

“He’s written about his family, himself. He is wide open, and he wants all of his archives to be treated just the same,” McNally said.

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