Brown University Library (BUL) and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. (ITW) are collaborating to identify, acquire, preserve, promote and make accessible for scholarly research ITW’s organizational records that have long-term research potential and the personal and professional papers of selected authors who are members of ITW. Together, ITW and BUL are developing a Thriller Writers Archive to join the Brown University Library’s Special Collections.
Brown University Library’s Special Collections are located at the John Hay Library and are available to all members of the public with valid photo identification. The Hay’s literary collections are quite extensive and highly regarded. The most well-known of its literary collections is the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays, composed of approximately 250,000 volumes of American and Canadian poetry, plays, and vocal music dating from 1609 to the present day.
The John Hay Library has the personal and professional papers of several prominent literary figures, including H.P. Lovecraft, the father of modern fantasy and science fiction literature. Other notables include Martha Dickinson Bianchi, the niece of Emily Dickinson; Clark Ashton Smith, science fiction author and friend of H. P. Lovecraft; Sarah Helen Whitman, poet and intimate of Edgar Allan Poe; Robin Moore, author of The French Connection and The Green Berets; Florence Howe, founder of the Feminist Press; Bradford Morrow, founder of Conjunctions magazine; Florence King, novelist, essayist, and columnist; and Lowell B. Ames, a writer of detective stories. There are also papers of poets: S. Foster Damon, poet and curator of the Harris Collection; A. D. Winans, beat poet and publisher of the Second Coming Press; and Curt Johnson, editor and publisher of December Press. In addition to the personal papers of individual authors are the records of numerous small presses, including the Second Coming Press, Third and Elm Press, Carcosa Press, and December Press, as well as the archives of several literary magazines, such as the San Fernando Poetry Journal, West Coast Poetry Review, and Blue Cloud Quarterly. Special Collections also maintains the records of publishing houses such as St. Martin's Press and Feminist Press.
Originally suggested by Jon Land, a Brown alum, thriller writer, and Friend of the Library, the Thriller Writers Archive will be a new and unique addition to the John Hay’s holdings. Its presence on the Brown campus will preserve the work of writers and make that work accessible in the long-term to the public, thereby enabling greater understanding of and new scholarship on the thriller genre. For more information on how to contribute to the Thriller Writers Archives, please contact Jennifer Betts, Brown University Archivist: Jennifer_Betts@brown.edu or 401-863-6414.
To celebrate the creation of Brown University's Thriller Archive, on November 15, 2012, Brown University Library hosted From the Cradle to the Grave: A Conversation Among Thriller Writers featuring several of America’s most successful and renowned authors. Author Jon Land ’79, moderated discussion between David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Nelson DeMille, Lisa Gardner, and R.L. Stine in Salomon Hall. A book signing and reception followed in Sayles Hall. Photographs and video of the event are below.
This event was supported by Friends of the Library, Brown University Library, Brown University Bookstore, and Brown’s Office of University Event and Conference Services.