Romance fiction makes up a large portion of today’s publishing industry, averaging more than $1 billion in sales per year. Combined with the fact that it is fiction primarily written by women meant to be marketed to women and you can see why it’s a growing area of academic study. The Browne Popular Culture Library was one of the first libraries to archive the work of romance writers, and our collection documents the evolution and growth of this dynamic literary genre.
Our collection of romance fiction includes more than 16,000 series and stand-alone romance novels from the 1950s to today. You can find them all in our catalog. We have a selection of titles from every major publisher and many of romance’s most popular subgenres. Researchers can trace the evolution of romance fiction, including its marketing, covers, and content across decades in a way that can’t be done at other repositories.
A unique aspect of our collection are the manuscripts we have collected from more than 50 romance authors. These papers include items like book drafts, correspondence with publishers, and even fan mail.
The Browne Popular Culture Library documents the business of romance as the official repository for the Romance Writers of America, giving researchers the chance to understand the evolution of the first organization to bring together and support romance writers through its organizational records, publications, and conference-related materials.
In December 2017, we received the Frank Kalan Romance Cover Art Collection, more than 100 original oil paintings that Mr. Kalan produced for Harlequin covers. In addition to the artwork, this collection includes paperwork related to each, reference photographs, and cover mockups. For many of these artworks we have also collected the published novel to give researchers a unique opportunity to explore the production process.