Everett F. Bleiler Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

TxAM-CRS C000015

Name and location of repository

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Everett F. Bleiler Collection


  • 1937-2008 (Creation)
  • 1839-2008 (Creation)


22.00 Boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Everett Franklin Bleiler was born in Boston, Massachusetts on April 30, 1920. He graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. in anthropology in 1942 and received an M.A. in the History of Culture from the University of Chicago in 1950. In addition, Bleiler was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 1951-1952.

He served in the United States Army from 1942-1946, doing mostly clerical work in military intelligence, and he also attended the Japanese Language School in Ann Arbor, MI. He attained the rank of Sergeant.

After leaving the military, Bleiler embarked on what would become a long and productive career as an editor, bibliographer, and scholar in the fields of science fiction and fantasy literature and of detective fiction. He did editorial work for Shasta Publishers in Chicago from 1947-1950 while attending the University of Chicago, such work including manuscript selection and rewriting. He worked as a freelance writer from 1952-1955 and was then hired in 1955 by Dover Publications, a noted New York City publishing company known mainly for publishing reissued works.

This event marked the start of a career of more than 20 years with Dover, during which Bleiler worked as advertising manager from 1955-1960; managing director from 1960-1965; and finally, executive vice-president from 1965-1978. After leaving Dover, Bleiler served as an editorial consultant for Charles Scribners Sons from 1978-1987.

In the course of his career, Bleiler was responsible for a large and significant number of works. He cooperated with T.E. Dikty on editing the anthology series The Best Science Fiction Stories between 1949-1954, which was the first published anthology to present the best science fiction stories for a given year. The two also edited Year's Best Science Fiction Novels between 1952-1954. Between 1952-1981, Bleiler edited a number of other detective and supernatural fiction anthologies, including Three Gothic Novels (1966), Five Victorian Ghost Novels (1971), Eight Dime Novels (1974), Three Supernatural Novels of the Victorian Period (1975), Three Victorian Detective Novels(1978), A Treasury of Victorian Detective Stories (1979), and A Treasury of Victorian Ghost Stories (1981). He also edited many anthologies of works between 1960-1980 by individual authors, including H.G. Wells, Ambrose Bierce, E.T.A. Hoffmann, M.R. James, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Most of these works were marked by what Mike Ashley called "detailed and exemplary introductions" by Bleiler as well.

Bleiler's most important contributions to scholarship of the literature of the fantastic include his editorship and production of a corpus of reference works that include The Checklist of Fantastic Literature: A Bibliography of Fantasy, Weird and Science Fiction Books Published in the English Language (1948, revised in 1978 as The Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction); Science Fiction Writers (1982); The Guide to Supernatural Fiction (1983); Supernatural Fiction Writers (1985); Science-Fiction: The Early Years (1990); and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years (1998).

In addition to his many nonfiction works, which also include numerous articles, reviews, introductions and translations (most notably a scholarly translation of Nostradamus in 1979),  Bleiler also wrote two works of fiction, written in the 1970s but not published until 2006 by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box Press (BSBD), an independent Canadian publishing company. The works include  Firegang: A Mythic Fantasy, and Magistrate Mai and the Invisible Murderer.

Everett Bleiler received several important awards and accolades over the course of his career, including the Pilgrim Award, presented by the Science Fiction Research Association in 1984 for lifetime achievement in the field of science fiction scholarship. He also received a World Fantasy Award (Special Award, Professional) in 1978, the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1988, the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 1994, and the International Horror Guild Living Legend Award in 2004. He was also nominated for 5 Locus Poll Awards, and 2 Hugo Awards.

Bleiler married Ellan Haas in 1956, and the two had four children: Richard (himself a science fiction historian, with whom Bleiler collaborated on several works), John, Constance, and Dorothy. He died on June 13, 2010, in Interlaken, New York.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of documentation relating to the life and editorial/bibliographical career of Everett Franklin Bleiler (1920-2010), including correspondence, subject files, notebooks, files documenting Bleiler's editorial reviews of works for Dover Publications, and other materials.

All materials dating before 1938 are photocopies of originals.

Series I: Correspondence, includes letters exchanged between Bleiler and such literary luminaries as Jacques Barzun, Anthony Boucher, Jack Chalker, August Derleth, L. Sprague De Camp, Philip Jose Farmer, James Gunn, A. Langley Searles, and Colin Wilson. There are also numerous letters to and from Bleiler's friend Martin Gardner.

Series II: Subject Files, and Series V: Other Materials, both consist of various subject files. The former were alphabetically organized in boxes into distinct subject files at the time of processing, whereas the latter were distributed throughout the collection in no particular arrangement.

Series III: Potential Publications Files, consists of individual reviews by Bleiler of works being considered for publication (or republication) by Dover Publications, for whom Bleiler worked in various capacities from 1955-1978.

Series V: Other Materials, includes, among other items, issues of the notorious pro-Nazi newspaper The Free American and Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter, from the German American Bund. It is unknown when, why and how Bleiler acquired these, although we know he had no connection of any kind to the Bund.

Series VII consists of numerous 3 1/2 ' floppy disks, containing files that were created in various versions of Microsoft Word.


System of arrangement

Series 1, Correspondence arranged chronologically.

Series 2, Subject Files arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 3, Potential Publication Files arranged alphabetically by author of work.

Series 4, Other Materials arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 5, Index Card File materials arranged within chronologically (Boxes 18-19), and alphabetically by title (Box 20).

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No restrictions.

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These materials are stored offsite and require additional time for retrieval.

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Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

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Other Information:

Bib ID 3972707

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Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: Brett, Jeremy.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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