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Arnold Gates Collection of Andre Norton Correspondence

An inventory of her correspondence at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MCI
Date: 25 May 2016

Biographical History

Alice Mary Norton (1912-2005) was an award-winning American science fiction and fantasy author, poet and editor. Born and educated in Cleveland, Ohio, she began writing and editing at a young age, producing her first novel (which became her second published book) while still in high school. She attended Western Reserve University, although she never graduated due to finances. She worked as assistant librarian and children's librarian at the Cleveland Public Libraries from 1932-1950, working in 38 of their 40 branches, with a brief interruption during World War II to work at the Library of Congress. She left the Cleveland Public Libraries in 1950 to be a reader for Gnome Press, a science fiction publishing house in Hicksville, Long Island, but by 1958 she had published 23 novels and several short stories, and felt confident enough to devote her full time to freelance writing.

Although best known as a science fiction writer under the pseudonym Andre Norton (her other pen name is Andrew North), she has also written mystery, fantasy, historical novels, and westerns. Ms. Norton wrote more than 130 novels, nearly one hundred short stories, and edited numerous anthologies in the science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, and western genres, and her work has been translated into eight languages, including Arabic. She was the first woman to be a Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) Grand Master and to be inducted in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. She received Skylark, Balrog, and World Fantasy awards, and was the first woman to win the Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy award. She was a member of the Women's National Book Association, Theta Sigma Phi, and encouraged beginning writers with "High Hallack," a retreat and research library for writers which she opened and ran from 1999-2004. The SFWA named an award in her honor, the Andre Norton Award for young adult novels, first given in 2006.

Arnold Francis Gates (1914-1993) was a serious and well-respected Lincoln and Civil War scholar. These endeavors included being a long-time book review editor of the Lincoln Herald, a member of the Civil War Round Table of New York, and a contributor to numerous books and anthologies focused on Lincoln and the Civil War. Starting from a young age, Gates started requesting and collecting autographs from a many different authors, which has led to a number of his letters being found in special collections of various institutions. This is presumably how Norton and Gates first became acquainted with one another. Gates' published works include Amberglow of Abraham Lincoln and Ann Rutledge, Amberglow of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed, Song of the Leaves: Quest of Johnny Appleseed and The Weaver.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Arnold Gates Collection of Andre Norton Correspondence consists of letters sent by Andre Norton to Arnold Francis Gates, a friend and fellow author. The letters provide insight into the daily life and work of Norton, who describes her efforts in writing and expresses interests in a wide variety of topics, including popular movies, World War II, conspiracy theorists and science fiction panels.

There is also a single undated photograph of Andre Norton as a young adult.

Arrangement of the Collection

The series are arranged in alphabetical order by type. Correspondence is ordered 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

See also the Andre (Alice Mary) Norton Papers within the Special Collections Research Center for additional correspondence, drafts, manuscripts and published materials from Andre Norton. The library has many Norton-related books and monographs cataloged in our Rare Books holdings and in the general collection; please refer to the Classic Catalog for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Gates, Arnold Francis.
North, Andrew.
Norton, Alice Mary.
Norton, Andre.
Weston, Allen.


Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence
Authors, American -- Correspondence.
Novelists, American.
Science fiction -- Women authors.
Science fiction, American.
Women authors, American.
Women novelists, American.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Arnold Gates Collection of Andre Norton Correspondence,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2016.

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