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University of Texas at Austin

Glenn Lord Collection of Robert E. Howard:

A Preliminary Inventory of the Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Lord, Glenn, 1931-2011
Title: Glenn Lord Collection of Robert E. Howard
Dates: 1920-1965, undated
Extent: 32 boxes (13.44 linear feet)
Abstract: Manuscripts, poetry, and correspondence of American pulp fiction author Robert E. Howard collected by Glenn Lord.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-05314
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.


Administrative Information


Preferred Citation Glenn Lord Collection of Robert E. Howard (Manuscript Collection MS-05314). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition: Gifts, 2013, 2016, 2017 (2013-07-019-G, 2016-07-003-G, 2017-06-023-G)
Processed by: Stephen Cooper, Grace Hansen, Alex Jasinski, 2016; Christine Bethke, 2018
Repository:

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin,

Biographical Sketch


Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936) was born in Texas, living primarily in Cross Plains. He was eighteen when he had his first professional publication, but had published works as early as age fifteen. He wrote mainly for pulp fiction publications in the 1920s and1930s, such as Weird Tales, and is perhaps most famous for his stories of Conan the Barbarian. Over the span of his tragically short career, he wrote 600 stories, 700 poems, and more than 300 letters before committing suicide at age 30.
Glenn Lord (1931-2011) was an American literary agent who became the agent for the Robert E. Howard heirs in 1965. As he collected and sorted all the Howard material he could find, Lord sent works to be published in magazines, fan publications, and books. Lord also published bibliographies of Howard’s works and collections of Howard’s poetry, at times using his own funds to support the printing costs.

Sources:


In addition to material found within the Glenn Lord Collection of Robert E. Howard, the following sources were used:
Herman, Paul, ed. The Neverending Hunt: A bibliography of Robert E. Howard. (Wildside Press, 2006, 2008)
Louinet, Patrice, ed. The Last of the Trunk/Robert E. Howard. (The Robert E. Howard Foundation Press, 2007)
Roehm, Rob, ed. The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard; introduction and annotations by Rusty Burke. (The Robert E. Howard Foundation Press, 2007-2008)
Herman, Paul, The Robert E. Howard Foundation. Notes on the Glenn Lord Collection.

Scope and Contents


The Glenn Lord Collection of Robert E. Howard includes numerous drafts of Howard’s short fiction and poetry. The majority of the drafts are fair-copy typescripts or carbons, although handwritten drafts are also present, as are photocopies and “retypes” created by Lord. Although generally in good condition, the drafts are often on acidic and brittle paper and some are heavily yellowed. Also present in the collection is correspondence between Howard, publishers, friends, family, and other authors, third-party correspondence dating into the 1960s, and some of Howard’s school work and personal records.
To save paper, Howard often left small margins on the sides and bottom of pages, and he would write new drafts on the back of older material. Howard did not always title his stories, and he frequently did not number pages. If a work did not sell in one genre, Howard sometimes reworked his material, even just part of a story, to fit a different genre. Both he and his editors often changed the titles of stories when submitting works to different publications. Early in his career, Howard would send his original drafts to publishers. These drafts were not often returned, so he began to use carbons to make copies of the drafts.
Howard made little effort to organize his papers. After his untimely death, his father (Dr. I. M. Howard) and an assistant spent several days attempting to sort the papers in order to send them to an agent, Otis Adelbert Kline. Kline only kept a small number of the transcripts, returning the majority which were stored in a large trunk. Following the death of I. M. Howard, the trunk passed to E. Hoffman Price in California. Price shared the stories with friends, and the material was not always returned.
Beginning in 1965, Glenn Lord became the agent for the Howard heirs and began gathering back the drafts and organizing and identifying the materials. During this process, if one of the stories was untitled, Lord would often create one. He also made notes when he found stories typed on the reverse of other stories. Lord (or someone else) also replaced damaged pages in the middle of stories. They are typed in a similar way to Howard’s pages, and on similar paper, but the straightness of the lines and the lack of damaged keys indicates these replacements (referred to as clone pages on a spreadsheet created by Paul Herman: see below). Almost all of the poetry was retyped by Lord, and he retyped a few of the stories. Some of the transcripts were later destroyed in flooding and only exist as photocopies in the possession of Patrice Louinet, the Harvard scholar and French editor of Howard’s books whom Lord had provided with copies before the original’s destruction.
A spreadsheet created by Paul Herman of the Robert E. Howard Foundation, and editor of a Howard bibliography, contains detailed information about the titles of the works and types of materials in the collection. All of the materials were given five digit “Bates” numbers that are listed on the folders in the collection and are organized in ascending order. The spreadsheet includes some documents not in the possession of the Ransom Center, such as those held by Louinet. At some point, much of the material was scanned and in some cases only these scans are in the Ransom Center holdings. If there are originals along with the scans, the original will typically have a lower Bates number.
The physical organization of the collection by Bates numbers was retained by the Ransom Center, however, the finding aid is organized intellectually into three series: I. Works, 1920-1936, undated; II. Correspondence, 1924-1965; and III. Personal and Career Papers, 1920-1922, undated.
Series I. Works consists mostly of typescripts of short fiction and poetry, as well as drawings of maps and cartoons. All drafts are complete unless otherwise noted. The series is divided into three subseries: A. Short Fiction, 1920-1936, B. Untitled Short Fiction, undated; and C. Poetry, undated.
Series II. Correspondence is divided into three subseries: A. Outgoing, 1925-1965; B. Incoming, 1925-1936; and C. Third Party Correspondence, 1925-1945. Howard’s correspondents include several of his contemporaries: H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, and E. Hoffman Price, among others. Third party correspondence between Dr. I. M. Howard, Ed Price, and others is included, some of which is filed in the outgoing and the incoming subseries. Letter dates, when not provided, were taken from The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard .
Series III. Personal and Career Papers includes a relatively small volume of notes, drawings, inventories, and reports. Of note are several folders of Howard’s schoolwork from the early 1920s and three works by other authors.

Related Material


Related materials held at the Harry Ransom Center are located in the L. W. Currey Book Collection, the L. W. Currey Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection, and the L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Cook Collection.
Additional collections of Robert E. Howard are held at Ohio State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of California, Berkley.

Index Terms


People

Howard, Robert E. (Robert Ervin), 1906-1936.
Lovecraft, H. P. (Howard Phillips), 1890-1937.

Organizations

Weird tales.

Additional Description


A spreadsheet listing titles, inventory numbers, and sources of materials in the Howard Collection was created by the Robert E. Howard Foundation prior to the Ransom Center's acquisition. It is available at Robert E. Howard Collection Spreadsheet.

Container List