Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Leiber, F. mss., 1932-1974, consist of the papers of science fiction and short story writer Fritz Leiber, 1910-1992. Leiber is the son of noted Shakespearean actor Fritz Leiber, 1882-1949, and himself appeared in several plays and movies as a young man. His writing began prior to World War II and was published in Weird Tales, Unknown, and Astounding Science Fiction during that period. Following the war Leiber edited Science Digest through the early 1950's before moving from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. From 1959 to 1961 he wrote the comic serialization for the Buck Rogers newspaper strip, as well as numerous stories and a novel. He won a Hugo in 1959 for the novel Big Time, another in 1965 for The Wanderer, and again in 1968 for the novelette "Gonna Roll the Bones." Leiber has lived in San Francisco since 1969.

The collection includes correspondence, writings, and memorabilia of Leiber and his family. The correspondence and manuscripts are mostly from the Santa Monica years, particularly 1964-1968, although there are some letters, stories, notebooks, clippings, and photographs that date from the earlier period.

Correspondents present include: Brian Wilson Aldiss, Courtney Anderson, Nigel Balchin, John Kilian Houston Brunner, Edmund Crispin, Lyon Sprague De Camp, August Derleth, Viki Edson, Attilio Anthony Favorini, Harry Otto Fischer, Harry Maxwell Harrison, Rupert Hughes, Laurence Mark Janifer, Clarence John Laughlin, Fritz Leiber, Myna Lockwood, Franklin Collester MacKnight, Georg Karl Friedrich Mann, Judith Merril, Robert Park Mills, Samuel Moskowitz, Luther Leon Norris, Barratt O'Hara, William Rostler, Margo Skinner, Robert Silverberg, John Stefanski, Rex Stout, and Theodore Sturgeon.

Writings by Leiber that are present include typescripts for the Buck Rogers strips he wrote, an outline and brief correspondence relating to his Tarzan book (Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, Ballantine, 1967), and approximately 35 stories or fragments of stories, many apparently never published. Several notebooks and an extensive journal, Oct. 1947-May 1964, indicate additional plot outlines and story ideas developed through the years. Also present is a taped interview with Leiber made at a Science Fiction Convention, Sept. 3, 1969.

The memorabilia material consists of clippings of Leiber's writings, including book reviews written by him, and articles about him and/or his work; photographs of himself, family, and friends; and a sizeable quantity of clippings and photographs of his father, Fritz Leiber, Sr.

Collection size: 1,065 items

Related manuscripts: Leiber, F. mss. II

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.