Sheldon R. Jaffrey Collection
Saturday March 17th 2007, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Collection Announcements

The Browne Library at Bowling Green State University has an important collection of books and manuscript materials in the field of science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature donated by Sheldon R. Jaffery, of Cleveland, Ohio.

A special strength of the collection is Jaffery’s near complete series of Arkham House books, the oldest and most prestigious publisher of weird and supernatural fiction. Founded in 1939 for the express purpose of perpetuating the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, this specialized press became the foremost showcase for the greatest writers in the genre of macabre fiction. Arkham House was where the works of Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, A.E. Van Vogt, Ramsey Campbell, and Fritz Leiber, for example, were first published in book form. These rarities are included in the Jaffery Collection at the Browne Library.

The collection also includes correspondence, manuscripts, research files, and notes that Jaffery used in writing his own books, research guides, and anthologies. Of particular value is the correspondence Jaffery conducted with many of the Arkham House authors while compiling his book Horrors and Unpleasantries: A Collector’s Price Guide and Bibliography of Arkham House (1982) and the revised edition, The Arkham House Companion (1989).

Manuscript materials for Jaffery’s The Corpse-Maker (1988), an anthology of pulp magazine short stories by Hugh B. Cave, and Future and Fantastic Worlds: A Bibliographical (1972-1987) Retrospective of DAW Books (1987) are also included in the collection.

A 722-volume run of the DAW book series, a contemporary popular science fiction and fantasy line, is also part of the Jaffery Collection. DAW Books, Inc., founded in 1971 by Donald A. Wollheim, has introduced many new writers, including C.J. Cherryh, Tanith Lee, and Brian M. Stableford. Wollheim’s active involvement in the field as a prominent author, editor, fan, and collector helped to make science fiction and fantasy a respectable research endeavor.

A variety of other occult and supernatural related books are included in the Jaffery collection, along with numerous specialty periodicals, fanzines, and catalogs, such as rare Arkham House catalogs dating back to the 1940s.

All monographs and periodicals from the Sheldon R. Jaffery Collection have been cataloged and information about them is available through the BGSU Libraries Catalog. A detailed inventory of manuscripts in the Jaffery Collection is also available, and all materials are available for research.