"Members of Hecate Country" my ba a best-seller, but as far as readers in the Widener Library are concerned, the book is pacifically non-existent.
Critic Edward Wilson's latest book, which has aroused legal furors in three states, with cases pending in several others, is not in the regular stacks of the library but is locked instead in a special case, once euphemistically referred to by library workers as "the Interne."
To obtain even fleeing glance at the book, which has not been on sale in Massachusetts since the first edition rolled off the presses, students who want to do a little light reading for pleasure's sake must first be interviewed by Foster M. Palmer, reference assistant in charge of the Reference Section, who holds one of the two keys to the case.
Available of Few
Sufficient reason must be given for the desire to read the book before an appointment can be had to see it. The book when finally obtained can be read only under library supervision. Students may not take the book out from widener, but officers of the University are free to do so.
"We're not protectors of morals, or the Watch and Ward Society. We Just want to save our books," said Robert L. Work, reference assistant in Widener, giving the reasons for keeping "Reeate Country" and other controversial books under cover.
He said that allowed such books to be circulated is to run the risk of having them stolen since they are unobtainable in Boston. That damage may be done to them by overly-excitable people who wish to tear pages from them is another likellihood-hood, he added.
Two states have brought suit against the publishers of "Memoirs of Hecate Country" in an effort to ban its sale within their borders. In California the book was withdrawn from sale after the state's legal action, while in New York the case is presently being appealed before the Supreme Court. It was never put on sale in Boston and surrounding environs because of existing "blue laws" and the vigilance of the Watch and Warders.
Picture magazines and post cards, as well as the books are also kept in the restricted section