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Papers of A. E. van Vogt

Call Number: MS 322


This collection includes the correspondence between A. E. van Vogt and his publishers, a copy of the manuscript, “The Anarchist Colossus”, and signed published books under the same title.


  • Creation: 1953 - 1984


Language of Materials

English; French; Portuguese

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of A. E. van Vogt

A. E. (Alfred Elton) van Vogt was born on April 26, 1912 in a small community east of Gretna, Manitoba, located just north of the Canadian-American border. During his childhood, his family moved several times due to finances, which van Vogt found difficult. Unable to afford college, he worked as a truck driver, farm-hand, and freelance writer. In his early twenties, van Vogt began writing for pulp magazines, but switched to science fiction in 1938. One year later, he married his first wife, Edna Mayne Hull, who also was a science fiction writer. Up until 1941, van Vogt worked at the Canadian Department of National Defense, but quit to write full time. Three years later, Hull and Vogt moved to Hollywood, California.

Throughout the years, van Vogt became a prolific science fiction writer, and helped to usher in the “Golden Age of Science Fiction” (which took place roughly from 1938-1946), penning nearly forty novels and short stories. Some of his stories became the inspiration for popular science fiction movies, such as “Star Trek” and “Alien”. On occasion, Hull and van Vogt worked together on novels.

After Hull’s death in 1975 due to cancer, van Vogt married Lydia Bereginsky. He had no children from either marriage. Van Vogt continued writing, and his final published novel came out in 1985. He also received many science fiction literary awards, including Canada’s “Casper Award” for Lifetime Achievement in 1980 (now called the Prix Aurora Award), and "Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master" award in 1995. At this time, he began suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, which ultimately led to his passing on January 26, 2000.


1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the manuscripts from the novel, “The Anarchist Colossus” by A. E. van Vogt, published first in America in 1977, followed by publications in other countries. A selection of these published books can be found in this collection, each signed by the author.

This collection also includes the correspondence between A. E. van Vogt and various publishers, agencies, colleagues, and science fiction writers. The following includes the names of these individuals, and their places of work and/or association with van Vogt:

Forrest J Ackerman (collaborated with van Vogt on some projects); August Derleth: Arkham House Publishers; Ted Dikty: Shasta Publishers; Pat van Doren: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, Inc.; Lloyd A. Eshback: Fantasy Press, Inc.;

Lou Goldberg: William Morris Agency; Martain Greenberg: Gnome Press; James Gunn: KU English Department; Tom Hicks: WDSU TV, New Orleans; Shoji Kimura: Nippon Times, LTD.; Alexandra Mason: Spencer Research Library Librarian; Thomas Calvert McClary (American Science Fiction writer); Pat McLaughlin: Farrar, Straus & Young; Norman Monath: Sunib & Schuste; Francisco Porrua (Argentinian publisher); Helen Strauss: William Morris Agency; Rick Strauss: Canterbury Productions, Inc.; Charles C. Strong: Standard Magazines Inc., Best Publications Inc.; Truman M. Talley: New American Library; Jane Wilson: William Morris Agency; Sam Wohl: Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Don Wollheim: ACE Books

Physical Location

MS 322

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, A. E. Van Vogt, 1984.

See correspondence in Box 1 folders 5 and 6 from James Gunn and Alexandra Mason regarding the donation of this collection.


There are four separate publications of "The Anarchist Colossus", including American, Brazilian, British, and French editions. Each copy is signed by the author.
  • Van Vogt, A. E. 1977. "The Anarchist Colossus". New York: ACE Books, Charter Communications Inc.
  • Van Vogt, A. E. 1978. "O Colosso Anarquista". Lisbon, Portugal: Coleccao Argonauta.
  • Van Vogt, A. E. 1978. "The Anarchist Colossus".London, England: Sidgwick & Jackson Limited.
  • Van Vogt, A. E. 1979. "Le Colosse Anarchique". Paris, France: Albin Michel Editions.
Guide to the A. E. van Vogt Collection
Papers of A. E. van Vogt
Finding aid prepared by aam. Finding aid encoded by aam.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
A. E. van Vogt Collection, MS 322, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States