By From the Lowell Sun
By David Perry
The 2007 summer-long exhibit of Jack Kerouac's On The Road scroll has won the most prestigious award for achievement in preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The exhibit and its coordinators were cited last month for its importance and excellence by the American Association for State and Local History.
The scroll project, which brought the legendary, typewritten, hand-marked, coffee-stained, 120-foot manuscript of Kerouac's groundbreaking 1957 novel to Lowell, was the result of a collaboration among the city, Lowell National Historical Park and UMass Lowell. The exhibit coincided with the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Road.
The scroll was displayed in the Boott Cotton Mills Museum and drew media attention from around the world. The exhibit and dozens of events surrounding it drew more than 25,000 people.
The award marks the national impact of the scroll's local stay, as well as "a classic Lowell partnership effort with our colleagues at the Park and the city," said Paul Marion, UMass Lowell's director of community outreach and a member of the planning team that brought the scroll home.