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Donald Moffitt papers

Call Number: MS 360


Donald Moffitt was an author whose writing career spanned the late 1950s through the 2010s. Best-known for works of science fiction, his writing spanned a variety of genres, including pulp, mysteries, and espionage and historical fiction. His papers provide valuable insight into his life and creative process through a comprehensive collection of his manuscripts, both published and unpublished, in addition to select correspondence and other personal materials.


  • Creation: 1946 - 2015


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 Donald Moffitt

Donald Moffitt was born on July 20, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Chelsea High School in 1947 and in 1948 began commuting from his parents' home in Waltham, Massachusetts to Brandeis University as a member of its small first class. He attended only the first two years before moving to New York City to work.

Shortly after arriving in New York, Moffitt met singer Ann Tierney, whom he married in 1954. Moffitt worked for trade magazines, including National Jeweler, and as a public relations executive at Rumrill-Hoyt in Rochester. He and Ann moved to Monroe, Maine in the 1980s, where Moffitt began to focus more intently on his science fiction writing career. He devoted the remainder of his time to exploring his interest in Maine marine history by working as a docent at the Penobscot Marine Museum. Moffitt died on December 10, 2014 in Monroe, Maine.

Moffitt showed an early interest in writing, particularly in the mystery, science fiction, and fantasy genres, and began submitting short stories to a variety of publications in the late 1940s. His first stories were published in pulp magazines under a variety of pseudonyms in the early 1950s, and his first pulp novels, Convention Girl (1959) written as Donald M. Wright and Passion Slave (1960) written as Wilson MacDonald, followed soon after.

In the later 1960s and early 1970s, Moffitt began publishing stories in well-established digest magazines, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Analog Science Fiction and Fact. The mid-1970s also saw the rapid publication of an eight-part series of espionage novels called The Baroness, written as Paul Kenyon.

In 1977, Moffitt published his first stand-alone novel under his own name, The Jupiter Theft. This novel marked Moffitt's ultimate move away from pulp fiction into the scientifically accurate science fiction, known as hard science fiction.

Moffitt published several novels in the 1980s and 1990s, including his historical fiction works, Inheritors of the Storm (1981), written as Victor Sondheim, and The Dreamers (1992) and The Voyager (1994), both written as Paul King, Moffitt's final pseudonym. Moffitt published two hard science fiction series--The Genesis Quest and The Mechanical Sky--under his own name between 1986 and 1990. Moffitt's last novel published during his lifetime was Jovian (2003). Moffitt continued writing both short stories and novels until his death, and his novel Children of the Comet, as well as two short stories, "The Color of Gold" and "A Handful of Clay," were published posthumously in 2015.

[Information retrieved from materials in collection and Donald Moffitt's website,]


16 Linear Feet (16 boxes + 2 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The first two series of Donald Moffitt's papers comprise correspondence with editors, friends, and family, and personal materials such as resumes and jobseeking documents, school records, and diaries.

The bulk of the collection, contained in the third series, relates to Moffitt's creative works, encompassing magazine articles, film scripts, musical compositions, plays, poetry, novels, and short stories. Short stories and novels, constituting the majority of Moffitt's oeuvre, each have a separate sub-series. Files relating to these works include preparatory notes and research materials, manuscripts, and some correspondence.

Throughout this finding aid, anything in [brackets] indicates the processor provided the folder title or added information to the title provided by the donor.

Physical Location

MS 360

Physical Location

MS Q90

Physical Location

MS Qa32

Physical Location

MS R25

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Joan Larkin on behalf of the Donald Moffitt estate, 2015, 2016.

Separated Materials

Published volumes and commercially produced audiovisual materials have been removed from the collection to be cataloged individually. They can be located by searching "Donald Moffitt" in the KU Libraries online catalog.



Guide to the Donald Moffitt Collection
Donald Moffitt papers
Finding aid prepared by vej. Finding aid encoded by vej.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
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Preferred citation
Donald Moffitt papers, MS 360, 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