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Carl Sagan Collection Opened With Help From 'Family Guy' Creator

Carl Sagan with a model of the Viking lander.
Carl Sagan with a model of the Viking lander.

A collection of 1,705 boxes of materials from American astronomer and celebrated pop science advocate Carl Sagan was officially opened on Tuesday at the Library of Congress.

The library was able to acquire the late astronomer's papers with a donation from Seth MacFarlane, the Emmy Award-winning creator responsible for popular TV shows like Family Guy and American Dad. He worked with Ann Druyan, Sagan's widow and long-time collaborator, to release the collection.

Both Druyan and MacFarlane joined the dedication on Tuesday.

Included in the materials is correspondence between Sagan and many of the biggest figures in astronomy and science in the 20th century, early drafts of some of the articles and books for which Sagan is so well known, and even early notebooks and report cards from Sagan's academic career.

"It is exciting that the Sagan-Druyan Archive is joining other great collections of scientific knowledge from various time periods that are here at the national library," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "Now, the information it contains will be available for the inspiration of the next generation of scientific thinkers and will represent an ongoing memorial to the great ‘science exciter,’ Carl Sagan."

Sagan remains a cult-like figure among armchair scientists, having produced dozens of books aimed at getting the general public excited about science. He's also well known for promoting the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, writing the book Contact, which was later turned into a film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

The resources will be available today on the Library of Congress website.

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