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Library Seeks Court Order to Open Trunks for Missing Manuscript

June 21, 1991

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Five trunks stored in an attic where the missing half of Mark Twain’s ″Huckleberry Finn″ manuscript was found have been dragged into a court battle over ownership of the manuscript.

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, which owns the second half of the manuscript and claims it should have the first half, wants a federal judge to open up the trunks to see what they contain.

Library chairman Roland R. Benzow said they could contain other valuable Twain mementos, or evidence to back up the library’s claim to the manuscript.

″My speculation is that there was more than just the manuscript,″ Benzow said.

A patron of the library, James Fraser Gluck, asked Twain for his manuscript in the late 1800s. The author, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, sent the second half but said he couldn’t find the first half.

Later correspondence suggests Twain had discovered the first half and sent it to Gluck. But it was not seen again until Barbara Gluck Testa and Pamela Gluck Lindholm, granddaughters of Gluck who live in California, found it in the attic last fall.

They put the manuscript up for auction, but the sale was called off after the library announced its claim. The library sued in federal court in New York when negotiations with the women broke down. The request for the trunks to be opened was filed June 3.

The manuscript, which could be worth $1.5 million, is locked away at Sotheby’s auction house in New York.

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