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Will Jenkins (Murray Leinster) Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

William Fitzgerald Jenkins (1896-1975), better known to science fiction readers by his pseudonym Murray Leinster, was an American author of adventure, detective, Western, and science fiction short stories and novels. He is best known for his science fiction and alternate history work (he is credited with the invention of parallel universe stories); these won numerous awards and accolades, including the Liberty Award (1937), Hugo Award (1956), and a retro-Hugo (1996). The Sidewise Award for Alternate History, established in 1995, was named after his short story "Sidewise in Time."

Jenkins was born in Norfolk, Virginia on June 16, 1896 to George Briggs Jenkins and his wife Mary Louis Murray Jenkins. After attending public and private schools in Norfolk, Jenkins served during World War I with the Committee on Public Information and with the 98th Division of the United States Army and during World War II as an editor in the Office of War Information.

From 1915 to 1932 Jenkins wrote short stories for pulp and science fiction magazines under the pseudonym Murray Leinster. After 1930 he resumed the use of his own name for stories published in national magazines. Other pseudonyms include William Fitsgerald, Louisa Carter Lee, and Jean Farquar. He also wrote as Major Owen Hatteras, a "house name" often used by H. L. Mencken in their Smart Set magazine, for which Jenkins wrote fillers, epigrams, poems, etc.

Bibliographies of Jenkins' work are widely available online; see for example the listing for Murray Leinster on and the Murray Leinster page at

Jenkins' works have been published in fifteen languages and Braille, and have appeared in numerous anthologies. He also wrote the screenplays for more than a dozen movies, including Owner of the Aztec and Murder Will Out.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Will Jenkins (Murray Leinster) Papers consists of correspondence, writings, ephemera and published material.

Correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, is with authors, fans, literary agents, periodical editors, and publishers. The letters relate particularly to Jenkins' activities as a writer, although letters from Bruce Crawford (1932-1933) are concerned with his views on Communism and on Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt. Notable correspondents include Forrest J Ackerman, Alonzo Deen Cole, Viola Irene Cooper, Bruce Crawford, Roger Elwood, Harold Hersey, Frederik Pohl, Percy Waxman, and Mort Weisinger.

Note: Note: The Correspondence section of this collection contains some items that users may find objectionable due to racist language. The language contained in this collection was prevalent at the time of its creation, although no less harmful and inaccurate than it is today. The material is preserved and presented for its historic and research value.

Writings consists of the manuscripts for articles, books and short stories by Jenkins. Many were published under the Murray Leinster name, and a few under other pseudonyms. Where correspondence is present concerning a particular item, it is filed with the item and the folder labeled accordingly. Information on published versions is indicated when known. In a few cases all that is present is the published version. A partial bibliography, prepared in the 1960s and therefore incomplete, may be found at the beginning of this section and unidentified material at the end.

Manuscripts of others contains of approximately 25 manuscripts by other authors. Notable names include Robert Block, Ray Bradbury, Daphne Du Maurier and Anthony Wilson.

Ephemera contains programs from various events.

Published material consists of scattered issues of a number of science fiction magazines and fanzines. Of particular interest to researchers may be the complete index to Ace Books by Roger Alan Cox (Oct 1964), an index to science fiction magazines (1962), and an index to the first 31 issues of Science Fiction Review. Titles include Fanscient, First Fandom, Galactic Outpost, Mana, Scientification, Titania and more. There are also two items from the Publications of the Institute of Twenty-First Century Studies.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by name or title.


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 several science fiction authors and publishers as well as collections of science fiction fanzines and ephemera. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing. In addition, our Rare Books holdings contain a considerable number of cataloged items relating to science fiction; please search the Classic Catalog for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Ackerman, Forrest J.
Bloch, Robert, 1917-1994.
Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
Cole, Alonzo Dean.
Cooper, Viola Irene.
Du Maurier, Daphne, 1907-1989.
Elwood, Roger.
Hersey, Harold Brainerd, 1893-1956.
Jenkins, Will, 1896-1975.
Leinster, Murray, 1896-1975.
Pohl, Frederik.
Waxman, Percy.
Weisinger, Mort, 1915-1978.


Adventure stories, American.
American literature -- 20th century.
Authors, American.
Detective and mystery stories, American.
Novelists, American.
Popular literature -- United States.
Science fiction, American.
Short stories, American.
Western stories.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Manuscripts for publication.
Radio scripts.
Television scripts.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Will Jenkins (Murray Leinster) Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of William F. Jenkins, 1968, 1982, 1986, 1987.

Table of Contents



Manuscripts of others


Science fiction publications