Joe R. Lansdale Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

TxAM-CRS C000207

Name and location of repository

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Joe R. Lansdale Collection



18 boxes (16 linear feet)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Joe Richard Harold Lansdale was born on October 28, 1951, in Gladewater Texas. After a variety of work experience, he became a free-lance writer in 1981, after publishing his first novel in 1980. Lansdale notes his first publication was in 1974, written in 1973.

Lansdale writes horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and suspense, often intermixing genre elements in a single work. His stated preference is the fantastic, most often presented in a darker vein. As a sideline, Lansdale teaches a version of the martial arts he developed. Lansdale has written extensively in the short fiction field, in all genres, and often under pseudonyms he did not record.

Joe Richard Lansdale's long and multifaceted literary career began in 1980, with the publication of his short story "The Princess". From that small seed has grown a legendary body of work, ranging from horror to Western to crime to mystery to suspense to science fiction, and which includes novels, short stories, comic books, and screenplays. Lansdale has written over 25 novels and hundreds of short stories (collected into nearly 30 different story collections), several of which have been adapted for film and television. His work is noted for his frequent use of humor and deeply absurd (while still dark and violent) situations and characters.

Among his most famous genre works are the novellas "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert With Dead Folks" (1989, winner of the 1989 British Fantasy Award and a 1989 Bram Stoker Award) and "Bubba Ho-Tep" (1994, chronicling a battle fought between Elvis Presley and a mummy), the Drive-In series (1988-2005), and the "Ned The Seal" trilogy (2001-2010). Lansdale's most famous crime fiction includes the Hap & Leonard series of mysteries (11 novels as of 2018, and several novellas and stories), which tell the adventures of two mismatched friends and amateur detectives, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. The series, like much of Lansdale's work, is set in his home territory of East Texas. Other non-SF/non-horror works of Lansdale of note include The Bottoms (2000), The Thicket (2013), and Paradise Sky (2015).

Lansdale has written a number of works for the comic book industry as well, most notably in the Weird West subgenre, including stories about the bounty hunter Jonah Hex. He has written several novels and stories about Batman, and episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.

Several of Lansdale's works have been adapted into film and television, including the Sundance series Hap & Leonard (2016-2018), "Incident On and Off A Mountain Road" (for the television series Masters of Horror (2005), and the films Bubba Ho-Tep (2002, starring Bruce Campbell), the zombie film Christmas For The Dead (2012, co-starring and featuring music from Lansdale's daughter and sometimes co-author Kasey), and the crime drama Cold in July (2014, starring Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard).

Lansdale has won numerous awards for his body of work, including 10 Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award, the British Fantasy Award, the 2001 Edgar Award, the 2007 World Horror Convention Grand Master Award, the 2015 Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 Spur Award for Best Historical Western Novel, and the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame in 2012. He has been nominated for 8 additional Stoker Awards, 6 World Fantasy Awards, and multiple Locus Awards.

Lansdale now resides in Nacogdoches, TX with his wife Karen. They have two children: writer and musician Kasey Lansdale, and reporter and screenwriter Keith Lansdale.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, books, magazines, and other material related to Lansdale's writing career, circa 1989-2003.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged as provided by the author, with some refilling where related material was separated.
The arrangement is as follows: Manuscripts, Correspondence, Books, Magazines and Magazine Articles, Miscellaneous

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

These materials are housed at an off-site facility and can take a minimum of 7 business days for retrieval.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Received from Joe Lansdale, 2002.


Additions are received periodically.

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Related archival materials

A collection of Lansdale's materials is also held at the Albert K. Alkek Library at Texas State University, San Marcos.

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Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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