Special Collections and Archives

August Derleth papers

August Derleth, Papers, 1961-1966

Inventory

Prepared by Cara Gilgenbach, May 23, 2002
2 document cases, .5 cubic feet, 11th floor


Biographical Note

Poet, short story writer, novelist, biographer, and publisher August Derleth was born February 24, 1909 in Sauk City, Wisconsin, a country village on the Wisconsin River where he lived the majority of his life. Derleth began his prolific writing career as a teenager and had hundreds of his works published up until his death in 1971. His formal education included earning a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1930. In 1939, Derleth and Donald Wandrei founded the Arkham House publishing house which specializes in mystery and occult titles including posthumous publications of some works by H. P. Lovecraft with whom Derleth had a long friendship through correspondence.

One of Derleth's major writing projects, Sac Prairie Saga, included 38 books all of which contributed to his telling of the "life story of his area of Wisconsin from the early 1800s to the 1950s."* Walden West, included in this collection in manuscript form, is part of the Sac Prarie Saga.

*American Novelists, 1910-1945. Edited by James J. Martine. Dictionary of Literary Biography, v. 9. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1981, p. 204.


Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence and manuscripts, including the only complete manuscript of Walden West, by August Derleth. Materials date from 1961-1966, but many items are undated.


Box 1: Correspondence, various typed manuscripts

Folder -- Contents
  1. 1966, Mar.-Apr. 5 miscellaneous letters to Lee Prosser, various correspondents

  2. 1966, Mar. 29. Derleth, August. To Lee Prosser [typed letter, signed], 1p.
    Answers questions about the works of H. P. Lovecraft.

  3. 1966, Apr. 25. Derleth, August. To Lee Prosser [typed letter, signed], 1p.
    About the books of H. P. Lovecraft.

  4. 1966, May 12. Derleth, August. To [Lee] Prosser [typed letter, signed], 1p.
    Details vacation plans; mentions H. P. Lovecraft's ex-wife.

  5. 1966, July 23. Derleth, August. To William J. Luetge [typed letter, signed], 1p.
    Gives titles, prices and publication dates of his forthcoming books.

  6. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "A Battle Over the Teacups" [short story] [typed document, signed], 5p.

  7. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "The Boundary of Now" [short story] [typed document, signed], 8p.
    Published in his Wisconsin in Their Bones, New York, 1961.

  8. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "Crow Call" [poem] [typed document, signed], 1p.

  9. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "The Dam Builder" [poem] [typed document, signed], 1p.
    Published in his Hawk on the Wind, Philadelphia, 1938.

  10. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "Man Track Here" [poem] [typed document, sigend], 1p.
    Published in his Man Track Here, Philadelphia, 1939.

  11. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "The Mouse on the Train" [short story] [typed document, signed], 11p.
    Published in his Wisconsin in Their Bones, New York, 1961.

  12. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "The Revolt of the Worm" [short story] [typed document, signed], 11p.
    Published in his Wisconsin in Their Bones, New York, 1961.

  13. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "Spring Evening: Wild Crabapple Blooming" [poem] [typed document, signed], 1p.
    Published in his Hawk on the Wind, Philadelphia, 1938.

  14. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "The Tail of the Dog" [short story] [typed document, signed], 13p.
    Published in his Wisconsin in Their Bones, New York, 1961.

  15. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "The Telescope" [short story] [typed document, signed], 11p.
    Published in his Wisconsin in Their Bones, New York, 1961.

  16. [n.d.] Derleth, August. "Woodpile" [poem] [typed document signed], 1p.

Box 2: Walden West, manuscript

Note: "The final draft of Walden West--and the only complete ms." Corrections and printers directions throughout. Signed by the author. Accompanied by a set of galley proofs and a set of page proofs, heavily corrected and signed by the author. Proofs of Grisha Dotzenko's woodcuts included in the page proofs. Published in New York by Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1961.

Folder -- Contents

  1. 1961. Derleth, August. Walden West [printer's copy] [typed document, signed], pp. 1-59.
  2. 1961. Derleth, August. Walden West [printer's copy] [typed document, signed], pp. 60-190.
  3. 1961. Derleth, August. Walden West [printer's copy] [typed document, signed], pp. 191-283.
  4. 1961. Derleth, August. Walden West [galley proofs]
  5. 1961. Derleth, August. Walden West [page proofs, including proofs of woodcut illustrations]

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