Browne Popular Culture Library
Western/Adventure Fiction Collections
Westerns have been one of the most popular genres for decades. Novels by Zane Grey and, especially, Louis L’Amour are still regular sellers at book stores. Books by Larry McMurtry are also very popular, as are the films made from his books. The field is changing somewhat, though, with books set in the West sometimes called historical or frontier fiction. Betty Rosenberg, originator of Genreflecting, summarized the appeal of westerns with this:
“The appeal of this genre is worldwide, based in a dream of freedom in a world of unspoiled nature, a world independent of the trammels of restraining society.”
The BPCL has a substantial collection of westerns from major and minor authors in our main fiction collection. Western stories also feature prominently in our story paper and nickel weekly collection, as well as the pulp magazine collection.
Adventure stories seem to cover four basic themes – stories of survival, exploration, battle, or intrigue. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the most popular adventure subgenre was espionage or spy novels, which basically ended with the end of the Cold War. After that, the focus shifted to technothrillers, which also seem to be very popular. In addition, action/adventure films always seem to do exceptionally well at the box office.
This quote sums up why people love the adventure genre so much.
“The heroic exploits of larger-than-life protagonists and the ultimate triumph of the good guys over the bad guys are driving forces in this type. Strong plots, heavy with action, are powerful lures to readers.”
The BPCL has a substantial collection of adventure stories in our main fiction collection as well as in the story paper and nickel weekly collections and also the pulp magazine and vintage paperback collections.
Featured BPCL Western/Adventure Fiction Collections
The BPCL has been fortunate to acquire a large western/adventure fiction collection from noted popular culture scholar, Gary Hoppenstand. The Hoppenstand Collection contains nearly one thousand monographs and features rare, first edition classics from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods and the early twentieth century. The books are denoted in the library catalog by hoppenstand in front of the call number.
PCL MS-13 Eric Allen Collection
Eric Allen is an American author of the western genre. The Hanging at Whiskey Smith manuscript is the core of the collection.
PCL MS-10 Dee Brown Collection
Contains correspondence, research files, and manuscripts from his book, Yellowhorse.
PCL MS-8 Morris Hershman Collection
The Morris Hershman Collection consists of printer's manuscripts of six of his books. Included are related materials such as book jackets (Lady Fortune, Lover's Knot, and Scapegrace). The manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by title.
PCL MS-15 John Henry Reese Collection
The John Reese Collection houses the literary manuscript for his book Singalee. Included are related materials such as foundry proofs and final galley sheets.
PCL MS-180 Chelsea Quinn Yarbro Collection
The Chelsea Quinn Yarbro Collection is comprised of 17 cubic feet of manuscripts and correspondence from 1978-1999. The manuscripts include primarily historic and contemporary horror novels and some western, science fiction, and romantic suspense.