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Levy Dime Novel Collection

Call Number



1780-1968, inclusive


Levy, Edward G.


161 Linear Feet in 161 boxes

Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English.


The Levy Dime Novel Collection contains mainly late 19th and early 20th Century fiction, in the form of cheap paperback novels and periodicals. Part of the collection is focused on what Levy referred to as "feminine" fiction: works about, authored by, and intended for women.

Biographical Note

Edward G. Levy was born in New Haven, Connecticut on October 21, 1898. In 1939, he began seriously collecting 19th Century literary materials. During this time, he co-founded the Charlton Publishing Corporation, which he later sold in order to catalogue his 150,000 books, manuscripts, and memorabilia. Levy established collections with these materials at over a dozen institutions, including the Fales Library, where he built a significant collection through multiple donations. The New York Public Library, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Rappaporte Library at Brandeis also received substantial gifts from Mr. Levy.


The items were processed in the order in which they were boxed for offsite storage, being divided into novels, periodicals, miscellaneous addenda, flats, and oversize materials. Each of these categories is in near alphabetical order according to author's name or, for periodicals, publication name. There is no box #57, #84, #96, #104, #119, #123, or #138.

  1. Series I: Novels (Box 1-83)
  2. Series II: Monographic Series (Box 85-91)
  3. Series III: Periodicals (Box 92-122)
  4. Series IV: Bound Novels
  5. Series V: Misc. Addenda
  6. Series VI: Flat Boxes
  7. Series VII: Oversize
  8. Series VIII: Facsimile Reprints
  9. Series IX: Miscellany

Scope and Contents

The Levy Dime Novel Collection contains a wide range of novels, periodicals, and serials dating from as early as 1780 through 1968. The bulk of the material dates from the 1880's and 90's. One of the areas of focus is on what Levy called "feminine" fiction: works composed by, about, and/or for women. Complete sets of The Merriwell Library by Burt L. Standish, The Pirate Story Series, and The Deadwood Dick Library by Edward L. Wheeler are included in the collection. Among the authors well represented are Miss. M. E. Braddon, Charlotte M. Brame/Bertha M. Clay, Nicholas Carter, The Duchess, Charles Garvice, Mrs. Mary J. Holmes, Old Sleuth, and Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions. Appointments are necessary to consult archive and manuscript collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection use is subject to all copyright laws. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Director of Fales Library and Special Collections. Please contact or call 212 998 2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); The Levy Dime Novel Collection; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Location of Materials

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.


Edward G. Levy made his first deposit of materials to the Fales Library in December 1964 with the idea of establishing a representative collection of nineteenth-century popular fiction at NYU. Larger shipments followed between May of 1965 and August of 1967. In November of 1969 Mr. Levy formally donated all previous deposits to the Fales Library. He also presented additional items at this time to bring the total number of items up to 8,427. Further gifts arrived in August 1973, November 1974, and September 1975 adding approximately 8,400 items for a total of nearly 17,000 items.

Itemized checklists exist for most of the gifts received by the library, some prepared by Mr. Levy prior to shipment and some by the Fales staff upon receipt. An unknown number of items were integrated into the Fales American and British collections and some items were sent to the circulating collection but no documentation of these transfers exists.

In the mid-1990s the Levy materials were packed into archival folders and boxes for storage and a box-level checklist was created. In 2003-2004 this item-level finding aid was created without further physical reorganization of the materials.

Separated Material

Dale, Alan. A Marriage Below Zero. New York: G. W. Dillingham, 1889. was removed and catalogued in Special Collections and is listed in Bobcat.

Related Material at Fales Library and Special Collections

Ralph Adimari Papers (MSS.550)

William J. Benners Papers (MSS.548)

Collection processed by

Katherine Carr (2003-2004); and William J. Levay (2006)

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 17:03:51 -0400.
Language: Description is in English

Processing Information

On February 2019, materials from accession 2011.028 were placed in new acid-free folders and manuscript boxes, rehoused for offsite storage. Original order of documents maintained from boxes 1-3.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Excel_Spreadsheet_of_Dime Novels.xls


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012