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R.A. Lafferty papers

Identifier: 1979-002

Scope and Contents

The papers contain approximately 2790 letters, cards, and documents between Lafferty, his literary agent Virginia Kidd, colleagues and friends, publishers and editors, organizations, etc. Convention progress reports and programs. Drafts of short stories, novels and novelettes, collected works, book reviews, poems, and essays, consisting primarily of carbon copy typescripts with autograph revisions and corrections and arranged alphabetically by title or subject (e. g., Bibliographical, Nonsense poems). Original typescript drafts and autograph preliminary notes and fragments. Card file box consisting of 413 3x4 inch index cards and 2 spiral pocket notebooks containing records of expenses, submission/return/publication histories, and earnings, by title of work. 2 plaques and 4 trophies, (including the Hugo trophy awarded in 1973).


  • Creation: 1959 - 1997

Biographical / Historical

Raphael Aloysius Lafferty (November 7, 1914 - March 18, 2002), science fiction and fantasy writer. He was born in Neola, Iowa, and lived most of his life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Tulsa in 1932-1933, and worked in the electrical supply business for 35 years, before devoting himself to his writing career in 1960. Much of Lafferty's writings focused on the realm of science fiction. He received the Phoenix award in 1971 and was also awarded the Hugo award in 1973, for the year's best short story. R.A. Lafferty's novels include: Past Master, Arrive at Easterwine, The Flame Is Green, and many others. Lafferty has also published collections of his short stories as well as being a contributor of some 150 short stories to magazines and other publications. He did not begin writing until the 1950s, but he eventually produced thirty-two novels and more than two hundred short stories, most of them at least nominally science fiction. His first published story was The Wagons in New Mexico Quarterly Review in 1959. His first published science fiction story was Day of the Glacier, in The Original Science Fiction Stories in 1960, and his first published novel was Past Master in 1968. Around 1980, he retired from writing due to a stroke. In 1994, he suffered an even more severe stroke. He died 18 March 2002, aged 87 in a nursing home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.


26 Linear Feet (44 boxes, 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Collection shelved on 3rd floor and 5th floor oversize shelves.

R.A. Lafferty papers, 1959-1997
Milissa Burkart
2003 October
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections & University Archives Repository

McFarlin Library
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa 74104-3123 USA
(918) 631-2496