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Theodore R. Cogswell Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 1990-05-30

Biographical History

Theodore R. Cogswell (1918-1987) was an American science fiction author. In 1937 he joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (formally known as the XV International Brigade) and served as an ambulance driver during the Spanish Civil war. During World War II he served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in Asia.

His first published story was "The Specter General" in Astounding in 1952. Most of his stories were light-hearted humorous pieces; he also co-authored (with Charles A. Spano) the Star Trek novel Spock, Messiah!.

Cogswell had a master's degree in English and taught at Keystone Junior College in Pennsylvania and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. In 1959 he launched the long-running (1962-1979) fanzine Proceedings of the Institute for Twenty-First Century Studies, in which writers and editors discussed their own and each other's works, and he was for several years secretary for the Science Fiction Writers of America and editor of its Forum.

Cogswell was married three times: to Marjorie Mills (1948), to Coralie Norris (1964), and to George (or Georgia) Rae Marsh (1972). He had two daughters, Megan and Cathe.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Theodore R. Cogswell Papers contains correspondence, memorabilia, printed material, and writings.

Correspondence consists of both incoming and outgoing correspondence with publishers, agents, fellow authors, friends and family. Notable correspondents represented in the collection include Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Ben Bova, Ray Bradbury, John W. Campbell, Suzy McKee Charnas, Arthur C. Clarke, Avram Davidson, Gordon R. Dickson, G. C. Edmondson, Philip Jose Farmer, James Gunn, Harry Harrison, Robert Heinlein, Damon Knight, Jay Klein ("Jay Kay"), Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Vonda McIntyre, Andrew Offutt, Alexei Panshin, Frederik Pohl, Gene Roddenberry, Joanna Russ, Pamela Sargent, James Tiptree, Kurt Vonnegut, Kate Wilhelm, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, among others. A large segment of correspondence relates to offices Cogswell held in the Science Fiction Writers of America, including discussions of dues, membership requirements, the SFWA publication Forum, and resolution of intra-society disagreements. There is also material from Cogswell's Institute for Twenty First Century Studies (ITCFS), including several issues of its Proceedings. Unrelated to science fiction, but of historical interest, is Cogswell's correspondence with fellow veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, more properly known as the XV International Brigade, with whom he served in the 1930s (e.g. Ben Iceland, Irving Weissman).

Memorabilia includes items related to Cogswell's military service in both the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the 1930s and the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. There are also clippings about him and by him, and several facetious Who's Who application forms.

Printed material contains a number of fanzines, at least one of which (Citadel) contains a piece by Cogswell, as well as issues of various publications containing stories by Cogswell. There is also some military miscellany and a small booklet published by Hugo Gernsback.

Writings encompasses articles, book reviews, essays, plays/scripts, poems, songs and stories. Several of the songs include both lyrics and music. The material is a mix of handwritten drafts and notes, typed drafts, typed final copy, typescript carbons and (very occasionally) a few bits of correspondence pertaining to the item. Essays include a piece on Soviet bloc science fiction. Plays/scripts include a number of murder mysteries ("The W. S. Murder Case" and "Rocky King, Detective: Murder on the Midway"). Stories encompasses short stories, novellas and novels, including extensive material -- handwritten drafts, typed drafts, etc. -- relating to Spock, Messiah, one of the first Star Trek novels, which Cogswell co-wrote with Charles Spano.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by name, subject, or title. Within each individual correspondent folder, correspondence is arranged chronologically.


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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of a number of science fiction and fantasy authors as well as an extensive collection of early science fiction and fantasy magazines and 'zines and a large book collection. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing of manuscript collections; for more information on the magazines, 'zines, and books please contact the repository listed above.

Subject Headings


Anderson, Poul, 1926-2001.
Asimov, Isaac, 1920-1992.
Charnas, Suzy McKee.
Clarke, Arthur C. (Arthur Charles), 1917-2008.
Cogswell, Theodore R.
Davidson, Avram.
Derleth, August, 1909-1971.
Edmondson, G. C.
Ellison, Harlan.
Farmer, Philip José.
Gunn, James E., 1923-
Harrison, Harry, 1925-2012.
Heinlein, Robert A. (Robert Anson), 1907-1988.
Kidd, Virginia.
Knight, Damon, 1922-2002.
Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-
McCaffrey, Anne.
McIntyre, Vonda N.
Offutt, Andrew J.
Pohl, Frederik.
Pournelle, Jerry, 1933-
Reynolds, Mack.
Russ, Joanna, 1937-2011.
Sargent, Pamela.
Seeger, Pete, 1919-2014.
Simak, Clifford D., 1904-1988.
Tiptree, James, Jr., 1915-1987.
Vonnegut, Kurt.
Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn, 1942-

Corporate Bodies

Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
Institute for Twenty-first Century Studies.
Kerista Commune.
Science Fiction Writers of America.

Associated Titles

Spock, messiah.


American literature -- 20th century.
Authors, American.
Science fiction plays, American.
Science fiction poetry, American.
Science fiction, American.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Burma.

Genres and Forms

Book reviews.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drafts (documents)
Manuscripts for publication.
Scripts (documents)
Sound recordings.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Theodore R. Cogswell Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Theodore Cogswell, 1971.

Gift of George Rae (Mrs. Theodore) Cogswell, 1987.

Table of Contents



Printed material