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August Derleth Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 14 Mar 2012

Biographical History

August Derleth (1909-1971) was an American anthologist, publisher and author from Sauk City, Wisconsin. Best known for being the first publisher of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, under his Arkham House imprint, Derleth also wrote more than 150 books in many genres, including history, historical fiction, mysteries, science fiction and more. His Sac Prairie Saga is a sprawling multi-genre exploration of life in his native Wisconsin. The August Derleth Society was formed in 1977, "to promote and preserve his memory."

Nelson Bond (1908-2006) was a Canadian-American author and an early writer of science fiction and fantasy. In addition to his many short stories, which were published primarily in pulp magazines such as Blue Book, he also wrote for radio, television and the stage.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The August Derleth Collection consists of August Derleth Society material, correspondence, memorabilia and miscellany.

The August Derleth Society material comprises a complete run of the Society's newsletter, from Vol. 1, no. 1 to Vol. 16, no. 4. The volumes are undated until 1994 (Volume 15), so the date range is uncertain. Assuming the newsletters were published continuously, that would date the first issue of Volume 1 to 1980. The Society material also includes a small amount of correspondence with its members and a few printed items such as fliers, brochures, membership postcard, etc.

Correspondence consists entirely of letters between Derleth and author Nelson Bond. Much of it relates to Arkham House's publication of Bond's short stories in various anthologies, but the men were also friends and colleagues so there is a good deal of personal conversation as well. The letters highlight both men's humor and skill with words.

Memorabilia contains a letter from Roderic Meng to Arkham House patrons regarding Derleth's death, a printed flyer listing Derleth's books with a photograph of Derleth and his children on the front, and a large publicity piece from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for a 1992 program entitled "Wisconsin in His Bones: Remembering August Derleth."

A small amount of Miscellany completes the collection: several Arkham House book lists published by the company, and a typed list of Bond stories that appeared in anthologies edited by Derleth.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by topic/subject; within that, newsletters and correspondence are 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 authors as well as pulp-related books and collections. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing of manuscript collections and to the Classic Catalog for cataloged books, periodicals, fanzines and other works.

Subject Headings


Bond, Nelson Slade, 1908-
Derleth, August William, 1909-1971.

Corporate Bodies

Arkham House.
August Derleth Society.


Fans (Persons)
Fantasy fiction -- Societies, etc.
Fantasy fiction, American.
Horror tales, American.
Novelists, American -- 20th century.
Publishers and publishing -- United States.
Science fiction -- Societies, etc.
Science fiction, American.

Genres and Forms

Catalogs (documents)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Price lists.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

August Derleth Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2012.

Table of Contents

August Derleth Society