When Allan and Maxine Kurtzman donated their collection of Beat literature to the UCLA Library in 1986, they didn't know that this genre would one day be an area of serious study on campus, nor that this generous act would mark the first step in a long friendship with the Library. The Kurtzmans were both alumni of Hunter College in New York, where they met as undergraduates. Mr. Kurtzman was a former president of both the Neutrogena Corporation and Max Factor.
Among the more than one thousand volumes that the Kurtzmans donated to the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections are rare editions of poetry and prose by such seminal authors as William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Diane DiPrima, William Everson (Brother Antonius), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Michael McClure, and Ed Sanders. In 1998 Mr. and Mrs. Kurtzman decided to strengthen the gift of their collection by establishing the Allan and Maxine Kurtzman Endowed Collection in Beat Literature to support the continued acquisition, preservation, and processing of materials in Beat literature and of resources about or related to the Beat Generation's contributions to twentieth-century culture. Mr. Kurtzman described the Beat movement at its best as having a "message of freedom, creativity, and nonviolence, and of poetry truly having something to say to all people."