Mark Brown, arts correspondent IN The Guardian, Wednesday December 3, 2008
The original manuscript of one of the most important American novels of the last century, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, went on display in the UK for the first time yesterday.
Kerouac wrote it in just three weeks, furiously tapping away on his typewriter on 3.6-metre (12ft) reels of paper.
The scroll, of eight reels taped together, was unfurled at the Barber Institute in Birmingham, 50 years after the novel was published in Britain.
"We're very excited," said the exhibition's curator Dick Ellis. He said there had been a lot of competition to get the scroll, which is on something of a world tour. "This is an iconic manuscript. It is a record of the huge effort Kerouac put into composing it."
It comes to Birmingham courtesy of Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts football team, who bought it for $2.4m in 2001.