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Robert A. W. Lowndes Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Lowndes, Robert W.
Title: Robert A. W. Lowndes Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1923-1996
Quantity: 2.75 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, printed material and memorabilia of the American science fiction author, editor and fan.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Robert Augustine Ward "Doc" Lowndes (1916-1998), also known by the nicknames "Rawl," was an American science fiction and horror author, editor and fan. He was a notable member of the Futurians, a group influential in the development and recognition of science fiction, and received the First Fandom Hall of Fame award in 1991.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robert A. W. Lowndes Papers consists of biographical material, correspondence, financial material, memorabilia, printed material and writings.

Biographical material consists of the Spring 2000 issue of Fantasy Commentator; published shortly after Lowndes' death, it contains numerous tributes to Lowndes by science fiction authors and colleagues, as well as one of Lowndes' poems.

Correspondence spans nearly forty years and includes both incoming and outgoing letters. Represented are some of the best-known names in science fiction, including Isaac Asimov, John Brunner, Lin Carter, Stanton Coblentz, L. Sprague de Camp, Lester del Rey, Damon Knight, Frederik Pohl, Donald Wollheim and others. Also present is correspondence with Lowndes' agent Virginia Kiddl; a few from noted Neopagan Leo Martello, and a copious (though short-lived) correspondence with astrologer Jerryl Keane.

Financial material consist of a few years of tax information.

Memorabilia includes Lowndes' baptism and confirmation records, a genealogy of the Lowndes family, a horoscope prepared for Lowndes by Jerryl Keane, report cards, and a scrapbook of Walt Kelly's Pogo cartoons.

Printed material consists of issues of various publications, for some of which Lowndes was the editor. Most relate to science fiction but there are also submissions and issues of The Scandal Sheet, a zine published by the Scandalous Bohemians of New Jersey who appear to have been a Sherlock Holmes fan club.

Writings includes typescripts, carbons, notes and other material relating to articles, books, short stories, zines and other assorted genres. Of particular interest is the relatively complete draft of a book on Hugo Gernsback and typescripts of two of Lowndes' novels. The miscellaneous material includes a summary of a sermon and the rules for a game called "Seven Seas" based around the idea of insurance for ships on the high seas.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by name of correspondence; material within each folder is arranged chronologically with the exception of the miscellaneous letter files, which are arranged A-Z by surname, and the unidentified items, which are arranged A-Z by first name. Writings are subdivided by type and then alphabetical by title. All other series are arranged alphabetically by type or title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of a numner of important authors, editors and publishers of early science fiction, including Mercury Press, Spiral Press, Street and Smith, Hugo Gernsback, Forrest Ackerman, and more. For a complete listing, please refer to our the SCRC Subject Index .

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Subject Headings


Ashley, Michael.
Asimov, Isaac, 1920-1992.
Bergeron, Richard.
Blish, James.
Coblentz, Stanton A. (Stanton Arthur), 1896-1982.
De Camp, L. Sprague (Lyon Sprague), 1907-2000.
Del Rey, Lester, 1915-1993.
Dziemianowicz, Stefan R.
Geis, Richard.
Gernsback, Hugo, 1884-1967.
Keane, Jerryl L.
Knight, Damon, 1922-2002.
Lowndes, Robert W.
Martello, Leo Louis.
Moskovitz, Sam.
Payes, Rachel Cosgrove.
Pohl, Frederik.
Searles, A. Langley.
Weinberg, Robert E.
Wollheim, Donald A.

Associated Titles

Believer's worlds.
Fantasy Commentator.
Mystery of the third mine.


Holmes, Sherlock (Fictitious character) -- Societies, etc.
Science fiction fans.
Science fiction, American -- History and criticism.
Science fiction, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robert A. W. Lowndes Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ruth Lowndes, 2000.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 19 Apr 2010
Revision history:

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Biographical material
Box 1 Memorials 2000 - Spring 2000 issue of Fantasy Commentator, with numerous tributes to Lowndes by science fiction authors and colleagues, also includes one of Lowndes' poems
Box 1 —, Spike and Peggy 1961-1962 - includes "Criticism and the community theatre" by Lowndes
Box 1 Abe, Masaki 1983
Box 1 Asimov, Isaac 1987
Box 1 Ashley, Mike 1976-1983, 1990-1993 - includes draft of Ashley's bibliography of Lowndes
Box 1 A, miscellaneous
Box 1 Bergeron, Richard 1961-1964, 1968-1971, 1980 - includes issues of Warhoon and other zines; photostats of letters to Bergeron from other authors, e.g. Larry Pournelle
Box 1 Bowers, Bill 1974, 1984-1987 - includes two short articles by Lowndes (part of a series called "Understandings") and a list of the full series
Box 1 Brunkhurst, Donna and Scott 1974-1979
Box 1 Brunner, John 1992
Box 1 Budrys, Algis 1982
Box 1 Busby, F. M. 1984
Box 1 B, miscellaneous
Box 1 C. S. Lewis Society 1971
Box 1 Cannon, Peter Hughes 1990, 1994
Box 1 Carr, Terry 1977
Box 1 Carter, Lin 1980
Box 1 Chauvin, Cy 1981
Box 1 Coblentz, Stanton 1964
Box 1 Cook, Michael 1981 - includes two articles by Lowndes
Box 1 Cox, Arthur Jean 1985 - includes photocopy of 1967 article by Cox, "If I hide my watch..."
Box 1 C, miscellaneous
Box 1 Danner, Bill 1975-1987
Box 1 de Camp, L. Sprague 1961-1962, 1975, 1980 - includes reprint of de Camp's "Master Gunner Appollonius"
Box 1 de la Ree, Gerry 1974
Del Rey, Judy-Lynn
See Del Rey, Lester.
Box 1 Del Rey, Lester 1967, 1978-1980
Box 1 Dziemianowicz, Stefan 1992 - includes typescript of article, "The Horror Pulpit"
Box 1 D, miscellaneous
Box 1 Elliot, Jeffrey M. 1979-1980 - includes transcript of interview with Lowndes, photocopies of photographs
Box 2 Eschbach, Lloyd Arthur 1983
Box 2 E, miscellaneous
Box 2 Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine 1971
Box 2 Feeley, Gregory 1983-1986 - includes essay on James Blish by Feeley
Box 2 Folsom, Henry T. 1970 - includes typescript, "Through the Years at Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Chronology" by Folsom
Box 2 Geis, Richard 1970-1975, 1986, 1996 - includes several issues of "The Geis Letter" and an essay on James Blish by Geis
Box 2 Gould, William (Bill) 1978-1979, 1982
See also Writings : Miscellaneous : Historical pageant.
Box 2 G, miscellaneous
Box 2 Hoch, Edward D. 1971-1975, 1983
Box 2 Hubin, Allen 1971-1972, 1976, 1979
Box 2 H, miscellaneous
Box 2 I, miscellaneous
Box 2 Jacks, Herman R. 1983-1984
Box 2 Keane, Jerryl 1963-1964, 1983-1987 (4 folders)
Box 3 Ketterer, David 1983-1984, 1987 - includes two articles by Ketterer on James Blish
See also Memorabilia : Horoscope.
Box 3 Kidd, Virginia 1966-1967, 1971-1973, 1976-1986 - Lowndes' agent
Box 3 Knight, Damon 1975-1977 - includes typescript of Knight's short story "Resilience"
Box 3 Kyle, Richard 1959-1960
Box 3 Lupoff, Richard 1973, 1977
Box 3 L, miscellaneous
Box 3 Madle, Robert 1971, 1977, 1979-1981 - includes "apprecation" piece on Stanton Coblentz by Madle
Box 3 Martello, Leo 1971
Box 3 Michel, Johnny 1960-1963 - includes some of Lowndes' poetry
Morrow, Dan
See Scandalous Bohemians of New Jersey
Box 3 Moskovitz, Sam 1967, 1984-1985
Box 3 Muller, Marya 1985-1987
Box 3 M, miscellaneous
Box 3 Nevins, Francis 1969-1971 - includes typescript and reprint of Nevins' "The wild and woolly world of Harry Stephen Keeler"
Box 3 New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) 1972-1973, 1977
Box 3 N, miscellaneous
Box 3 Payes, Rachel Cosgrove 1971, 1980
Box 3 Pohl, Frederik 1969, 1974, 1978, 1981, 1993
Box 3 Porianda, Alex (Alexei) 1976-1978, 1993, undated
Box 3 Pugmire, William 1974-1976
Box 3 P, miscellaneous
Box 3 Quinn, Margaret (Mrs. Seabury Quinn) 1975, undated
Box 3 Ramsey, Shawn 1987
Box 3 R, miscellaneous
Box 3 Scandalous Bohemians of New Jersey 1971-1978, 1993 - see also Printed material : Scandal Sheet
Box 3 Searles, A. Langley 1986, 1993 - includes two issues of Fantasy Commentator with a note from Searles to Lowndes
Box 4 Slawson, Winifred (Winnie) 1985-1987, 1992-1993
Box 4 Smith, Curtis 1979-1980, 1985 - St. James (publisher)
Box 4 Spencer, Paul 1971, 1975, 1978, 1984
Box 4 Stone, Graham 1987
Box 4 Stone, Leslie 1965-1966
Box 4 S, miscellaneous
Box 4 T, miscellaneous
Box 4 Waller, Gabrielle 1964-1965 - includes detailed critique by Lowndes of unnamed novel by Waller
Box 4 Weinberg, Robert and Phyllis 1960, 1968-1983, undated - includes photocopy of article by Will Murray on John Nanovic, "The man who almost edited Astounding"
Box 4 Wellman, Manly Wade 1960
Box 4 Wollheim, Donald 1987
Box 4 W, miscellaneous
Box 4 Unidentified, A-Z by first name
Financial material
Box 4 Taxes 1977-1979
Box 4 Confirmation and baptism 1956-1957
Box 4 Genealogy of the Lowndes family undated
Box 4 Horoscope 1965 - "for Rawl on his 1965 birthday with affection and best wishes from Jupiter, Nefertiti, Bouncing Besty, Funny Face, and Jerryl"
Box 4 School days 1923-1933 - grade cards; diploma and class photo from Darien High School, Darien, Connecticut
Box 4 Scrapbook of "Pogo" cartoons undated - newspaper clippings of Walt Kelly's "Pogo" cartoon
Printed material
Fantasy Commentator - see
See Correspondence : Searles, Langley; Biographical material : Memorials
Box 4 Renascence, volumes 1 and 2 1945-1946
Box 4 The Scandal Sheet, volumes 1 and 2 1971-1976
Box 4 The Scandal Sheet submissions 1971-1976 - assorted articles, essays, puzzles, etc. submitted to the zine, many be Dan Morrow; some have notes or letters attached
See Correspondence : Bergeron, Richard.
Box 4 Miscellaneous clippings 1965, 1979, undated - originals and photocopies, includes several by Arnold Lieberman, M.D.
Box 4 Miscellaneous 1944, 1971 - issue of "True Confessions," issue of "Luna Monthly" with cover piece on August Derleth
Box 5 Aufgeknopft undated - typescript carbon with corrections
Criticism and the community theater - see
See Correspondence : —, Spike and Peggy.
Box 5 Damon Knight 1978 - galleys of column about Knight, written for Noreascon
Box 5 G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown undated - photocopy of 1970 printing with corrections
Box 5 The horror out of print undated - typescript photocopy
Box 5 Hugo Gernsback: A man with a vision undated - photocopy of galleys
Profile of Detective Science Monthly
See Correspondence : Cook, Michael.
Profile of Weird Terror Tales
See Correspondence : Cook, Michael.
Box 5 Scientific Detective Monthly undated
Understandings [series of articles]
See Correspondence : Bowers, Bill.
Box 5 Weird fiction, horror fiction -- what's the difference? undated
Box 5 You know my methods, Watson undated
Box 5 [untitled, on horror] undated - missing page 1
Box 5 Believer's Worlds - typescript carbon, with corrections
Box 5 Mystery of the Third Mine - typescript carbon, with corrections; original title appears to have been "Bonanza in the Sky" (2 folders)
Box 5 Hugo Gernsback, Prophet of Science - typescripts (multiple of each chapter), some with corrections, plus research material (3 folders)
Box 6 The Puzzle Planet - typescript carbon, minor corrections
Box 6 Immortal Sleuths - drafts, notes
Box 6 [short story collection] 1970 - includes letter to Forrest Ackerman
See also Printed material : Renascence; Printed material : The Scandal Sheet, for both of which Lowndes was editor.
Box 6 Afterthoughts - issue #1
Box 6 Agenbite of Inwit 1945-1949 - no actual issues, but correspondence with S. I. Hayakawa, Hayden Carruth, Jules Kolodny, and other regarding permission to reprint articles; also copyright certificates
Box 6 New Annals of Arkya 1944-1945 - 1944 issue is a photocopy, 1945 issue is original
Box 6 Venal 1946 - issue #1 and #2
Box 6 Catechism for "A matter of faith" undated - background notes on the religions of the world of Ein
Box 6 Historical pageant (with William Gould) 1960
Box 6 Index to James Blish's contributions to the mailings of the Vanguard Amateur Press Association 1979 - also includes research material (copies of some articles by Blish an a clipping about him)
Box 6 Sermon summary 1969 - summary of a sermon by Rev. Leland Stark and a letter from Stark complimenting him on it
Box 6 Seven Seas undated - outline of and rules for a game
Box 6 Fragments undated
Box 6 Author undetermined undated - three items, author unknown

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