Library Special Collections holds The Bram Dijkstra Collection of Golden Age Pulp Magazines: a magnificent collection of over 1,500 Pulp Magazines from the late 1920’s through the late 1950’s: THE GOLDEN AGE OF PULPS. Gifted in 2019 by Bram Dijkstra, Professor Emeritus of Literature and Culture at UCSD, it is a rich and varied collection in the finest state of preservation one will ever see. The magazines are in ‘as new’ condition, as if they had just come off the newsstands today.
The collection contains complete first editions - as they originally appeared in pulp publications - of books by Doc Smith, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and many others (usually in 3 to 4 contiguous parts). Since original pulp printings of texts are often considerably different from the final published book versions, complete pulp printings are especially valuable for research.
This guide is a work in progress : the magazine titles listed alphabetically in the left navigation area will take you to thumbnail images of the Vol. & Issue numbers for that title held in the collection. In the future, the thumbnail images will link to full-size images revealing the illustrative beauty of the individual magazines.
The magazines were collected for the amazing pictures and the wonderful cover illustrations by such talented creators as Norman Saunders, Virgil Finlay, Rafael De Soto and the preeminent British pulp fiction cover artist, Reginald Heade. This art and the pulp cover illustrations were the forerunners of the movie poster art of the 1950s.
Using pulp paper derived from wood-fiber, it was possible to mass-produce magazines thanks to the advent of new high-speed printing presses. Only the stunning four-color covers were printed on ‘art paper,’ which is where the artists thrived, their illustrations being much the main selling points for the magazines.
The collection includes largely science fiction pulps, comprising some of the most important and notorious subjects and titles in the genre:
Amazing, Astonishing, Astounding, Startling, Strange and Thrilling Wonder Stories;
Fantastic Mysteries, Adventures, Stories and Novels;
Fantasy – Beyond and Forgotten;
The Future; Imagination; Mystery; Other Worlds; Planet and Rocket Stories;
Science and Stirring Super Science Adventure;
Science Fiction: its Adventures and Fantastic Wonder Stories;
Space; The Universe; The Unknown; The Weird; and Tomorrow.
Chief among these were the Amazing magazines, and Amazing's chief illustrator was Frank R. Paul, a European emigre who later illustrated Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories. Besides Paul, some of the very best illustrators of the science fiction pulps were the prolific Earle Bergey, the Hungarian Alexander Leydenfrost and Fred Anderson of Planet Stories, Howard V. Browne, German-born H.W. Wesso, Alex Schomburg and Frank Kelly Freas, the ‘Dean of Science Fiction Artists’ who later illustrated Alfred E. Neuman covers for Mad Magazine. The artists best known for the covers of Weird Tales over thirty-plus years were Margaret Brundage, with her sultry nudes, Virgil Finlay with his shining beauties captured by weird creatures, Hannes Bok's extraordinary architectural designs, and Lee Brown Coye's nightmarish black-and-white illustrated visions.
There have been many books devoted to the pulps, such as Frank M. Robinson's Pulp Culture and Peter Haining's beautifully illustrated The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines. A most valuable study of pulp writers and their characters is the six-volume Yesterday's Faces by Robert Sampson and a useful checklist of issues is Bookery Fantasy's Ultimate Guide to the Pulps by Tim Cottrill. An excellent online source for a history of the pulps is History of US science fiction and fantasy magazines to 1950.
A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine
Argosy Weekly Combined With All-American Fiction Magazine
Amazing Stories Quarterly
Astounding Science Fiction
Avon Fantasy Reader
Avon Science Fiction Reader
Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader
Beyond Fantasy Fiction & Beyond Fiction
Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow / Captain Future, Wizard of Science
Comet: Stories of Time and Space
Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine
Dream World: Stories of Incredible Power
Dynamic Science Fiction
Famous Fantastic Mysteries
Fantastic / Fantastic Science Fiction / Fantastic Stories of Imagination
Fantastic Novels / Fantastic Novels Magazine
Fantastic Story Quarterly / Fantastic Story Magazine
Fantastic Universe / Fantastic Universe Science Fiction / Fantastic Science Fact & Fiction Universe
Fantasy Fiction / Fantasy Stories
Fantasy Magazine / Fantasy Fiction
Future Combined with Science Fiction / Future Fantasy and Science Fiction / Science Fiction Stories
Future Fiction / Future Combined with Science Fiction Stories / Future Science Fiction Stories / Future Science Fiction
Galaxy Science Fiction
Gamma Four: New Frontiers in Fiction
If, Worlds of Science Fiction
Imagination: Stories of Science and Fantasy/ Imagination Science Fiction
Infinity Science Fiction
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Marvel Science Fiction
Mysterious Traveler Magazine
Orbit: The Best in Science Fiction
Other Worlds Science Fiction Stories
Saturn: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Science Fiction Adventures (1952 - 1954)
Science Fiction / Science Fiction Stories / Science Fiction Fantastic Stories of the Future
Science Fiction Adventures: Complete Novels by Top Writers (1956 - 1958)
Science Fiction Digest
Science Fiction Quarterly
Science Wonder Stories
Space Science Fiction
Space Science Fiction Magazine
Spaceway: Stories of the Future
Stirring Science Stories
Super Science Stories/Super Science Novels
Vortex Science Fiction
Wonder Story Annual
Worlds Beyond: A Mag of Science Fantasy Fiction
Worlds of Fantasy