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Andre (Alice Mary) Norton Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: AMV
Date: Jan 1971

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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alice Mary Norton Papers consist of two accessions which have not been integrated. There are also a small number of unprocessed additions not reflected in this inventory.

Accession I, acquired in the early 1970s, consists of incoming correspondence, writings, and printed material, including books and fanzines. Inclusive dates of the material are 1962-1969, with bulk dates of 1967-1969. The material is arranged in three groups.

Correspondence consists of incoming letters, arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent. Within each name, letters are arranged chronologically.

Writings constitute the bulk of the collection and includes manuscripts and printed material, arranged alphabetically by title with all stages of a work arranged together in order of creation. There is generally only one draft of a manuscript, usually a revised typescript. Title entries on the shelf list are the published titles. If the book has not been published, the shelf list title is that of the last draft. Titles of drafts and foreign editions are given if they are different from the main entry. The date given for the manuscript is one of three; in descending order of preferences, it is either 1) composition 2) copyright or 3) publication. The number of folders is indicated by a number in parentheses following the entry.

Published material includes printed copies of Ms. Norton's books, the manuscripts of which are not in the collection, and fanzines subscribed to by Ms. Norton. Books are arranged alphabetically by title with publication information given. Fanzines are arranged alphabetically by title and chronologically within each title.

Accession II, acquired ca. 1978, consists of correspondence, memorabilia, published material, and writings.

Correspondence contains mostly fan mail but also some correspondence from other authors and publishers including John Jakes, Forrest J. Ackerman, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Isaac Asimov. Memorabilia consists of one book jacket and one business card. Published material contains the galley of a book by Jane Louise Curry and a pamphlet relating to science fiction.

The bulk of this accession is Writings, which contains foreign language editions of several books as well as galleys, proofs, and typescripts for more than 30 of Ms. Norton's books.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence in accession I is separated into general correspondence and correspondence from authors/publishers; within each subseries it is arranged chronologically. Correspondence in accession II is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. In both accessions, Published material and Writings are arranged alphabetically by type and, within that, alphabetically by 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 papers of a number of science fiction authors as well as numerous books, periodicals, fanzines, and other material. For manuscript collections, please see the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing. For additional material, refer to the Classic Catalog or contact us for further information.

In particular, see the Arnold Gates Collection of Andre Norton Correspondence and the Gnome Press Records (1948-1952).

Texas A&M holds several collections related to Norton.

Subject Headings


North, Andrew.
Norton, Alice Mary Archives.
Norton, Andre.
Weston, Allen.


Fantasy fiction -- Women authors.
Fantasy fiction, American.
Science fiction -- Women authors.
Science fiction, American.
Women authors, American.
Women novelists, American.

Genres and Forms

Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Andre (Alice Mary) Norton Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alice Mary Norton. Rodney Lesher correspondence, purchased, 2009.

Table of Contents

Correspondence (I)

Writings (I)

Published material (I)

Correspondence (II)

Memorabilia (II)

Published material (II)

Writings (II)