Browne Popular Culture Library
PCL MS-69: Sheldon R. Jaffery Collection
Sheldon R. Jaffery was a practicing attorney in Cleveland, Ohio with a personal interest in science fiction, fantasy, horror fiction, and pulp magazines. The Jaffery Collection centers on the manuscripts of the books Jaffery published throughout the 1980s which deal with these genres. The material dates from 1947 to 1989, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1980s. Jaffery's interests specifically lie in the Arkham House book series, the DAW book series, and pulp magazine fiction. These topics are the focus of his manuscripts and research materials, which make up the core of the collection. Also housed in the Browne Popular Culture Library are a substantial number of specialist catalogs accrued by Jaffery as a collector/dealer in rare science fiction and fantasy books and posters.
The initial collection was acquired by the Browne Popular Culture Library, Bowling Green State University, in December, 1987, and a second shipment was received in January, 1990. The collection was organized and arranged at the Browne Popular Culture Library by Dana Sergent, who also prepared the biographical sketch and box/folder inventory.
The collection is open to public access for research; however, the duplication of any materials must comply with applicable copyright laws.
This register was compiled by Brenda McCallum, head librarian, and Dana Sergent, graduate research assistant, Popular Culture Library, January, 1990 and updated in September 2009.
Sheldon Ronald Jaffery was born April 22, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended UCLA and obtained a B.A. in English from Ohio State University in 1957. He received a B.S. in Education at Kent State University in 1959 and then taught English, speech, and journalism at Cardinal High School in Middlefield, Ohio for two years. He conducted postgraduate research at UCLA in 1960 and received a J.D. from Western Reserve University Law School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964.
Jaffery practiced law in Cleveland since being admitted to the Ohio bar in 1964. He was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1970. He served as Special Counsel to Attorney General of Ohio from 1971 to 1974, and was a member of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, Zeta Beta Tau and Tau Epsilon Rho. He most recently served as counsel for the law firm of Monroe, Zucco and Kaselak in Cleveland Ohio. As of 1986, Jaffery had practiced law as a private attorney in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jaffery married Judith Ann Friedman on June 23, 1963. They had three children: Kimberly, Jonathon, and Jason, and lived in the Cleveland suburbs. Jaffery died on July 10, 2003.
Jaffery had a private book dealer business until 1987. At one time he dealt in posters, but in 1982, he began to deal exclusively in out-of-print first edition rarities of fantasy and science fiction. Jaffery personally began collecting Arkham House books in 1979. Since many stories in the Arkham House books were first published in the Weird Tales pulp magazine, it was natural for Jaffery to shift his focus to pulp literature after completing his work on Horrors and Unpleasantries: A Collector's Price Guide and Bibliography of Arkham House (1982) and The Collector's Index to Weird Tales (1985). Jaffery published several pulp fiction anthologies through the 1980s. He began collecting DAW books in 1987 and shortly thereafter wrote Future and Fantastic Worlds: A Bibliographical (1972-1987) Retrospective of DAW Books (1987). Jaffery completed a revised edition of Horrors and Unpleasantries and retitled it The Arkham House Companion (1989). Ace Mystery Doubles and Ace Science Fiction books are the focus of Jaffery's most recently completed manuscripts.
The Sheldon R. Jaffery Collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, research files and notes, manuscript drafts and specialist catalogs. The occult and supernatural-related books (ca. 200 volumes) from the Jaffery Collection have been integrated and intershelved with related cataloged holdings in the Browne Popular Culture Library. The Arkham House (163 volumes) and DAW (722 volumes) book series of the Jaffery Collection are cataloged and housed as separate rare book collections in the Browne Popular Culture Library. A local note links the provenance of the cataloged books to the Jaffery Collection.
The collection reflects various aspects of Jaffery's interest in science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature and centers on his personal interests in Arkham House books, weird menace pulp fiction, DAW books, and his book dealer business. The majority of the collection consists of correspondence, research material, and manuscript drafts of eight books Jaffery has written, including Horrors and Unpleasantries: A Collector's Price Guide and Bibliography of Arkham House (1982), The Collector's Index to Weird Tales (1985), Sensuous Science Fiction (1984), The Weirds (1987), Selected Tales of Grim and Grue from the Horror Pulps (1987), Future and Fantastic Worlds: A Bibliographical (1972-1987), Retrospective of DAW Books (1987), The Corpse Maker (1988), and The Arkham House Companion (1989). The majority of the manuscript material is from the 1980s, although some of the Arkham House documents date back to 1947.
The author's manuscripts are not literary works, per se. Rather, Jaffery's strengths lie in his work as a collector, researcher and bibliographer. Of particular value is the correspondence Jaffery conducted with many of the original Arkham House authors while compiling his book Horrors and Unpleasantries. Also of significance are the original Arkham House trade catalogs and brochures and the photocopied Arkham House correspondence from August Derleth that Jaffery used as primary research material for the guide. Correspondence between DAW books' publisher Donald A. Wollheim and Jaffery complements the Future and Fantastic Worlds section of the collection. The massive amount of research material used by Jaffery to compile the The Collector's Index to Weird Tales is also valuable to researchers, along with the hundreds of specialist book dealer catalogs Jaffery gathered. A highlight of the collection is Jaffery's near complete series of Arkham House books and DAW books, which complement the Browne Popular Culture Library's prior holdings of fanzines and pulp magazines, where many of the writers of these books first had their work published.
- Series I: Horrors and Unpleasantries/The Arkham House Companion (8 boxes)
- Arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name and then chronologically
- Includes Correspondence with Arkham House authors, Arkham House Publishing Company personnel, other Arkham House researchers, and miscellaneous potential publishing companies, including the Popular Press, the final publisher of Horrors and Unpleasantries (1982). Research materials and manuscripts for the book are included, as well as publicity and review material and original Arkham House catalogs and brochures. The manuscript, correspondence, research materials, and Arkham House catalogs used for compiling the revised edition, The Arkham House Companion (1989), are also part of the series.
- Series II: The Collector's Index to Weird Tales (4 boxes)
- Arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name and chronologically by functional type
- Includes Correspondence with other Weird Tales researchers and with Popular Press personnel. Jaffery's research materials, including index cards used to compile the guide, are contained as well as manuscripts, promotional material, and reviews.
- Series III: Sensuous Science Fiction (1 box)
- Arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name and by functional type
- Includes Correspondence with fellow researchers, Popular Press personnel, and photocopying receipts and related correspondence. Jaffery's research files, manuscripts, and a review of the book are included.
- Series IV: The Weirds (1 box)
- Arranged by functional type. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by letter writer's name
- Includes photocopying receipts, research notes, and manuscripts.
- Series V: Selected Tales of Grim and Grue from the Horror Pulps (1 box)
- Arranged by functional type. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by letter writer's name
- Includes receipts, research notes, and manuscripts.
- Series VI: Future and Fantastic Worlds (2 boxes)
- Arranged chronologically by functional type and alphabetically by correspondent's name
- Includes Correspondence with other DAW researchers, DAW Books, Inc. personnel, and Starmont House personnel. Includes research material, manuscripts, photocopied book covers, legal documents, and receipts.
- Series VII: The Corpse-Maker (1 Box)
- Arranged in the same order as published book
- Consists of the manuscript for this anthology of stories by Hugh B. Cave.
- Series VIII: Otherworld's Material (4 boxes)
- Arranged alphabetically be dealer's or correspondent's name
- Includes book dealer and company catalogs, such as those from McClintock Books, Pandor's Books Ltd., J. & I. Kennelly, Soft Books and Robert and Phyllis Weinberg. Correspondence relating to Jaffery's book dealer business "Otherworld's" is contained along with miscellaneous professional correspondence.
- Series IX: Miscellaneous Material (3 boxes)
- Includes publications seemingly unrelated to the previous series or subseries which are arranged in rough chronological order. Also lists fanzines and periodicals from the Jaffery Collection that have been intershelved with related materials at the Browne Popular Culture Library.
- Series X: Duplicate Books (1 box)
- Duplicate copies of books published by Sheldon R. Jaffery are included in this series.
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