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Donald L. Gordon Papers


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Gordon, Donald L. (Donald Leonard), 1902-1965

A noted literary figure, Gordon was for 35 years the founder and editor-in-chief of American News of Books, published by the American News Co. in New York City. He was an intimate of many of the great authors of his time and was widely known for his "Literary Lowbrow" column that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and, later, in the American Magazine. Gordon is credited with coining the word "whodunit," as it is universally applied to detective fiction.

The collection consists of two files: 1) a selection of Gordon's correspondence (1929-1946) relating to his role as editor of American News of Books, 2) undated typescript copies of 24 of his "The Literary Lowbrow" columns that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Correspondents include Bennet A. Cerf (Modern Library), Edward Weeks (Atlantic Monthly), Clem Yore, Irita Van Doren, and many people in the New York publishing world

Arranged by publication title.

Gift of Donald R. Gordon in 2013.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection was processed by John Delaney on September 19, 2013. Finding aid written by John Delaney on September 19, 2013.

Printed issues of American News of Books were kept by the Rare Books Division for cataloging.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

American News of Books: Correspondence, 1929-1946. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Saturday Evening Post: "The Literary Lowbrow" Columns, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest