Liz Danforth Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

TxAM-CRS C000591

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Liz Danforth Collection


  • 1966-2023, undated (Creation)


5 boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Elizabeth (Liz) Danforth, an illustrator, editor, writer, and scenario designer for role-playing games and video games, was born and raised in Arizona. She received her BA in Anthropology from Arizona State University, and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Arizona.

Danforth was hired by the RPG company Flying Buffalo as a staff artist and for production work in 1978, and during this time she published the magazine Sorcerer's Apprentice from 1978-1983 . While employed with Flying Buffalo, she edited and developed the Fifth Edition of Flying Buffalo's flagship role playing game, Tunnels & Trolls. She returned to the T&T universe in 2013 to assist with developing the She reprised this role in 2013 for the development of the new edition, Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls.

Danforth is renowned as a freelance artist in the fantasy and science fiction genres, most of it involving illustration for the game industry from 1976-2004. She has created book covers, maps, and illustrations for many of the significant game publishers including Wizards of the Coast, TSR, Inc, Alderac Entertainment Group, FASA Corporation, Iron Crown Enterprises, GDW, and more. She produced over 50 pieces of art for the collectible card game Magic: the Gathering,as well as artwork for the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game, Legend of the Five Rings, and others. Her maps and illustrations appear in novels and anthologies from Bantam Spectra, Tor Books, DAW Books, and St Martin's Press.

She has also done freelance work for the computer game industry, developing scenarios for Wasteland, Wasteland 2, and two licensed Star Trek computer games from Interplay. She was the lead developer for New World Computing's Tunnels & Trolls computer game, and worked on projects with Electronic Arts.

At the 1995 Origins Awards, Danforth was inducted into the Academy of Gaming Arts and Design's Hall of Fame. She is a lifetime member of ASFA, the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. In 2014, she was chosen by vote as a "famous game designer" to be featured as the king of hearts in Flying Buffalo's 2014 Famous Game Designers Playing Card Deck.[15][16]

Danforth has been a Guest of Honor at numerous science fiction conventions over the past decades, as well as a participating artist.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of materials from the life and work of role-playing game and video game industries artist and designer Liz (Elizabeth T.) Danforth. Materials include correspondence, issues of fanzines and gaming magazines, convention materials such as program books and con badges, and miscellaneous other materials. Also included are several audio recordings of conversations Danforth had in the spring of 1984 with several authors concerning a possible new book series.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

These materials are stored offsite and require additional time 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

The initial accession for this collection was donated by Danforth in 2015. The August 2023 Addendum (2023_0116) was donated by Danforth on August 29, 2023.

Immediate source of acquisition


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Accession area