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School to unveil writer's 'Death Collection'

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DON BABWIN | October 31, 2013 01:40 AM EST | AP


EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Michael McDowell couldn't get enough of death.

In the decades before his own death in 1999, the acclaimed writer assembled a collection of 76 boxes of photos of the dead — and even locks of hair.

Now Northwestern University is set to open McDowell's "Death Collection" to researchers similarly interested in the departed.

One painting dates to the 16th century. Others are gruesome, including one of a man whose legs are on one side of the train tracks and the rest of him in the middle.

But most chronicle the deaths of regular Americans and how they were memorialized.

McDowell's long career included writing screenplays for author Stephen King, director Tim Burton and television episodes including for "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."