Wallace, Aitken, & Sheil was founded in 1974 as a partnership between
literary agents Gillon Aitken, Anthony Sheil, and Lois Wallace, with Wallace being
the primary United States agent for the clients of the British agency, Anthony Sheil
Associates, Ltd. The agency was changed in 1978 to the Wallace & Sheil
Agency, Inc. when Aitken departed the partnership. The firm remained the Wallace
& Sheil Agency, Inc. until 1988, when the partnership between Lois Wallace
and Anthony Sheil was dissolved. At that time, the agency took its current name, the
Wallace Literary Agency. From 1987 to 1998, Lois Wallace's husband, Tom Wallace, was
an agent with the firm.
The Wallace Literary Agency Records comprise the working papers of the agency, mainly
1974-2002. The bulk of the papers are correspondence files, although there are boxes
of clippings and reviews. There are few contracts or manuscripts in the files; most
of these were filed separately by the agency. The Papers are divided into two
series: I. Correspondence, 1974-2005, and II. Printed Materials and Agency
Series I. is divided into four subseries: A. Chronological Files, 1974-2002; B. Don
DeLillo Files, 1974-2005; C. Tom Wallace Files, 1989-1990, 1992; and D. Foreign
Files, 1974-1985. Subseries A. (155 boxes) consists primarily of Lois Wallace's
correspondence with authors and publishers. The files are arranged chronologically
by year and alphabetically by author within each year. Within each file the papers
are generally arranged in reverse chronological order. Some of the prominent clients
represented in the correspondence files are William F. Buckley, Jr., Joan Didion,
K. Narayan, Marge Piercy, William Trogdon (pseudonym William Least Heat-Moon), and
Simon Winchester. A number of files in both 1980 and 1990 have been affected by
mold; see the Condition Note for access information. The following groups of files
are lacking from the correspondence: 1982 L-W, 1986 G-Z, and 1987 H-O.
Subseries B. (19 boxes) contains all of the agency's files that relate to author Don
DeLillo, which were acquired separately. He has been Lois Wallace's client since at
least 1974, when she started the agency. Materials present include correspondence
between Wallace and DeLillo, correspondence with U.S. and foreign publishers,
manuscripts of articles by DeLillo, foreign reviews and clippings regarding
DeLillo's works, and stage and screenplay adaptations of DeLillo's works by other
authors. Preservation photocopies have been made of mold damaged originals in the
files for 1977-1984 foreign correspondence, and for the 1990 files. The originals
are quarantined and housed in boxes 219-220, pending cleaning.
Subseries C. (9 boxes) is the papers of Tom Wallace, a member of the agency from 1987
until 1998. The files in this subseries span 1989-1990, and 1992. His 1987, 1988,
and 1991 files were interfiled with the general agency correspondence in Subseries
A. These have been marked with an asterisk in the folder list.
Subseries D. (5 boxes) comprises correspondence files relating to the foreign
publishing of agency clients' works. These were filed separately until approximately
1985; after that date, such correspondence is a part of the larger chronological
file in Subseries A. for each author. The foreign files are arranged alphabetically
by author's last name. Some files remain quarantined due to mold; see the Condition
Note for access information.
The bulk of the material in Series II. Printed Materials and Agency Miscellaneous
boxes) is comprised of reviews of authors' works and tearsheets of individual
author's works from magazines and newspapers. There are several boxes of author
biographies taken from tearsheets and various publications. Also included are Ms.
Wallace's appointment books from 1974 to 2003, and a few agency brochures for
Wallace and Sheil.