Mysterious Press Archive

The Mysterious Press was founded and edited by Otto Penzler who is universally deemed the world’s foremost authority on and publisher of mystery fiction, a man about whom Robert B. Parker has written, “[He] knows more about crime fiction than most people know about anything.” The archives represent not only the complete manuscripts, corrected proofs, and correspondence of the Mysterious Press’ publications, but pristine copies of all galleys, limited editions, and first editions of the press, as well as other items.  Among the many important and influential writers represented in this unique archive are Eric Ambler, Kingsley Amis, Isaac Asimov, Lawrence Block, Jerome Charyn, Len Deighton, Harlan Ellison, James Ellroy (6 titles altogether, including The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential), Erle Stanley Gardner, Patricia Highsmith, Elmore Leonard (represented by important miscellaneous materials). Ed McBain, John D. McDonald, Ruth Rendell, Rex Stout, Donald E. Westlake (some 9 titles are included), Gahan Wilson, and numerous others. No other comparable collection of papers representing such breadth and depth of mystery fiction has been, or is likely ever to be offered for institutional sale. Among Mr. Penzler’s many awards are an Edgar Award, the Raven Award given by the Mystery Writers of America for Lifetime Achievement, the Ellery Queen Award given by the Mystery Writers of America for contributions to the world of mystery publishing, and most recently, as the editor of The Lineup—named by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2009.

The finding aid for the original archive has been completed, but additional materials were received in 2013, so please check back later for those added items.  To see titles that were included with the collection but cataloged individually search  "Mysterious Press Collection" by title in the Libraries' catalog.

Bibliographic record for the boxed papers in the Libraries catalog.

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