Name and location of repository
Level of description
Robert Duncan Milne Collection
- 1879-1889 (Creation)
Name of creator
Robert Duncan Milne, a Scottish emigrant who settled in San Francisco after attending Oxford and traveling around the West Coast of America. He had an engineering background and his science fiction stories usually are very technically detailed. He became part of the Bay Area writing culture and contributed frequently to periodicals, especially The Argonaut.
"One of the greatest idea-men in the history of science-fiction, in this respect on a par with H. G. Wells, but his literary abilities did not match his ideas. His stories are often flat and a little crude, without the finish attained in the work of certain of his West Coast colleagues." Bleiler, Science-Fiction: the Early Years, p. 502.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection consists of a group of thirty issues of The Argonaut (1879-1889) containing twenty-three science-fiction stories by Robert Duncan Milne, some in two or three parts. References to "Moskowitz" indicate his edition of eleven stories by Milne, Into the Sun (West Kingston, RI: Donald M. Grant, Publisher, 1980). Eighteen of the stories in this lot were not published in Moskowitz's edition and have never been reprinted, to the best of our knowledge.
The time period covered in this lot is 1879 to 1889. The Argonaut was generally printed on good, non-pulpy paper and, barring abuse, remains in good condition and can be handled with due care without fear of crumbling paper. The Argonaut was a weekly literary newspaper published in San Francisco starting in 1878 and running well into the 20th century. It contained political commentary as well as departmental reviews of books, drama, food, fashion, etc. Ambrose Bierce wrote weekly columns during the first two and a half years of its existence. The editors had a penchant for weird and fantastic fiction and published such material by W. C. Morrow, Emma Frances Dawson, Robert Duncan Milne and a host of other minor authors, as well as offering translations of European material in this vein. Milne was evidently popular among The Argonaut readers, for his stories are often featured on the front page.
System of arrangement
This collection is arranged chronologically.
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing 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
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
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Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Description control element
Rules or conventions
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