Private Property sign in foreground with beach behind it | Still from "Access Denied" on SoCal Connected

A Collection of 'Wilde' Adventures

Just off of Adams Boulevard is a buried treasure most Angelenos don't even know exists.

The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is home to the largest collection of original works and witticisms penned by Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

Despite competition from neighboring book collectors, library founder William Andrews Clark, Jr. never shied away from collecting and paying tribute to Wilde's greatest written treasures in the early 1900s. Clark deeded the library to UCLA upon his death in the 1930s.

For Wilde scholars and researchers, the rare collection offers a plethora of invaluable material ranging from poems, rare manuscripts, to handwritten notebooks filled with doodles.

Wilde -- who was known for his outlandish attire and long, flowing hair -- was a leading figure in the British aesthetics movement. He is popularly known for plays and novels like "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "The Picture of Dorian Gray" -- all of which exist at the library. Later on in his career, Wilde was imprisoned and tried for gross indecency by the British crown for his homosexual relationships. The imprisonment tarnished Wilde's career as an author, but also helped him gain legions of new fans.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Conor Knighton visits this special library for a rare look inside the world's largest collection of works by Wilde.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Rebecca Fenning Marschall, librarian, Clark Memorial Library, UCLA
  • Joseph Bristow, professor of English, UCLA



Get the free PBS App

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

People vs. Kiera Newsome

One woman strives to prove her innocence from behind bars, while a team of pro-bono lawyers and students fight the odds to get her out.

  • 2020-12-02T21:00:00-08:00

Cannabis Country

State and local regulators are overwhelmed and outgunned when it comes to closing down California’s poisonous pot pipeline.

  • 2020-12-09T21:00:00-08:00

Fire Station 9

Take a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the busiest fire station in the country, where firefighters act as both primary care providers and emergency responders for the nearly 5,000 people living on Skid Row.

  • 2020-12-16T21:00:00-08:00

Access Denied

An investigation reveals how the state and many cities have let developers get away for decades with not paying their fair share when they replace affordable lodging with luxury hotels up and down California’s coast.

  • 2020-12-23T21:00:00-08:00

The Fight to Know

In the beginning of 2019, California, one of the nation’s most secretive states when it comes to police files, put Senate Bill 1421 into effect. The new law made public thousands of police records pertaining to police dishonesty, sexual assault and use of force. And in an unprecedented move, forty news groups partner to dig into these once-secret police files. But even after a year into the new transparency law, journalists and the public are realizing that the law has its limits when it comes to investigating police misconduct.

  • 2020-12-30T21:00:00-08:00