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Peter Straub Papers

Call Number



1955-2021, inclusive
; 1970-2004, bulk


Straub, Peter, 1943-2022 (Role: Donor)


85.25 Linear Feet
in 60 boxes with unknown profiles, 32 manuscript boxes, 3 half manuscript box, 1 tall manuscript box, 1 flat-file folder, 6 record cartons, 1 flat box, and 5 oversize flat boxes


2 audiocassettes


3 CDs


2 sound discs


7 sound tape reels


1 videocassette


28 3.5" floppy disks



Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English.


Peter Francis Straub is an award-winning horror writer. He is known for introducing elements of postmodern fiction into the horror genre. He is the author of 19 novels, two co-written with Stephen King. The Peter Straub Papers primarily contain Peter Straub's manuscripts and typescripts as well as his correspondence. Other materials include: planners; catalogs, bulletins, and periodicals; typescripts by other writers; and a small amount of media (including shellac and glass LPs).

Biographical Note

Peter Francis Straub (b. March 2, 1943, Milwaukee, Wisconson) is an author noted for his novels and short stories in the horror genre for which he has won the Bram Stoker Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the International Horror Guild Award. He received a B.A. in English from University of Wisconson-Madison in 1965 and an M.A. in English from Columbia University in 1967.

While working on a Ph.D., in Dublin, Ireland, Straub completed his first novel, Marriages, published in 1973. Having moved to London, Straub's work began to shift toward the horror genre, after his agent suggested he write a gothic novel. The novels Julia and If You Could See Me Now followed in 1975 and 1977. But it was the following novel, Ghost Story (1979), that jumpstarted his career as one of the foremost authors in the genre. In 1981, Ghost Story was adapted for a film starring Fred Astaire.

Straub's success in the horror genre led to the beginning of a collaborative relationship with Stephen King. Together, they have written two novels, The Talisman and Black House.

Peter Straub and his wife, Susan Straub née Bitker, married in 1966. Susan is the creator and director of Read to Me, a program that promotes and supports young mothers reading to their babies. They have two children, Ben and Emma.

Marriages (1973)
Julia (1975)
If You Could See Me Now (1977)
Ghost Story (1979)
Shadowland (1980)
Floating Dragon (1983)
The Talisman (with Stephen King) (1984)
Wild Animals (collects the novels Julia, If You Could See Me Now, and Under Venus) (1984)
Under Venus (1985)
Koko (1989)
Mystery (1990)
The Throat (1993)
The Hellfire Club (1995)
Mr. X (1999)
Black House (with Stephen King) (2001)
Lost Boy, Lost Girl (2003)
In The Night Room (2004)
A Dark Matter (2010)
The Skylark (2010)

My Life in Pictures (1971)
Ishmael (1972)
Open Air (1972)
Leeson Park and Belsize Square: Poems 1970-1975 (1983)

The General's Wife (1982)
Mrs. God (1990)
Pork Pie Hat (2010)

Houses Without Doors (1990)
Magic Terror (2000)
A Little Blue Book of Rose Stories (2004)
5 Stories (2007)

Books and Periodicals Edited by Peter Straub
Peter Straub's Ghosts (1995)
Conjunctions 39: The New Wave Fabulists (2002)
H.P. Lovecraft: Tales (2005)
American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps (2009)
American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s until now (2009)

2007 Bram Stoker Award: Superior Achievement in a collection, for 5 Stories
2003 Bram Stoker Award: Best Novel, for Lost Boy, Lost Girl
2003 International Horror Guild Award: Best Novel, for Lost Boy, Lost Girl
2000 Bram Stoker Award: Fiction Collection, for The Hellfire Club
1999 Bram Stoker Award: Best Novel, for Mr. X
1998 International Horror Guild Award: Best Long Form, for "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff"
1998 Bram Stoker Award: Long Fiction, for "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff"
1994 British Fantasy Award: Best Novel, for Floating Dragon
1993 World Fantasy Award: Best Novella, for "The Ghost Village"
1993 Bram Stoker Award: Best Novel, for The Throat
1989 World Fantasy Award: Best Novel, for Koko

"About the Author." From
"Awards and Honors." From
"A Must Read: Peter '65 and Susan '66 Straub." From


Series are primarily arranged chronologically, except where to do so would destroy the original order of the material; where the original folders contained material from a range of years, those folders are ordered by their earliest date, so "1997-2000," for example, comes before "1998-1999." In the case of Straub's manuscripts and typescripts, material was grouped by work and arranged chronologically within each group. Typescripts by other writers are organized alphabetically by the authors' last names to facilitate retrieval (there was no discernible original order). When folders are undated, they are grouped alphabetically and filed at the end of their respective series. When a box contains more than one series, the folder range for each series is given. Series XV has not been arranged by an archivist; the materials appear in the order they were recieved and are closed to researchers until the materials are reviewed and formerly processed by an archivist. Series XVII has not been arranged by an archivist. The materials are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor.

This collection is described primarily at the box level, and is arranged into 17 series:


  1. Series I: Work by Peter Straub
  2. Series II: Editorial Work
  3. Series III: Correspondence
  4. Series IV: Administrative Files
  5. Series V: Personal Files
  6. Series VI: Publicity
  7. Series VII: Works by Others
  8. Series VIII: Periodicals and Clippings
  9. Series IX: Programs
  10. Series X: Publishers Catalogs
  11. Series XI: Audio
  12. Series XII: Video
  13. Series XIII: Data Media
  14. Series XIV: Objects
  15. Series XV: 2016 Accretions (restricted)
  16. Series XVI: 2022 Accretion
  17. Series XVII: 2023 Accretion

Scope and Contents

The Peter Straub Papers document Peter Straub's long career as a horror novelist and highlight his relationship with friend and colleague, Stephen King. This collection primarily contains manuscripts and typescripts of Straub's published works, fragments of unpublished works, essays, lectures, and introductions for other authors' works; hand written, typed, and e-mail correspondence including letters from Stephen and Tabitha King; periodicals that include articles about Straub and essays and short stories that he published; and contractual documentation for donations to New York University's Fales Library and Special Collections and for Straub's 2006 appearance on his favorite daytime television series, "One Life to Live." Personal materials include Struab's diaries, notebooks, school records, and day planners. The collection also includes clippings about Straub and reviews of his work; programs for conventions and conferences that he attended, where he was often a speaker or feature author; adaptations of Straub's work for television, audio, and film; and numerous annotated manuscripts by authors who asked Straub to review their work, including Stephen King and Neil Gaimen. Works by Stephen King of Note are "The Dark Tower Series," "Misery," and "Tommyknockers." Materials also include computer programs on 3.5 inch floppy disks that Straub used including Norton Rescue Disc, AST Research, Inc., The Norton Desktop for Windows, Dos 6-22, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Microsoft Intellipoint Professional, and a Kodak Picture CD. There are various audio recordings of speeches given by political figures such as Winston Churchill and programs featuring interviews with Straub, that were recorded on reel to reel magnetic tape, audiocassettes, compact discs, and photographic records. There is one videocassette featuring the show, "Prisoners of Gravity," a Canadian news program from the early 1990's that explored themes in speculative fiction.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions with the exception of Series XV. Access to Series XV is restricted until the materials are reviewed and processed by an archivist.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use materials in the collection in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Peter Straub Papers; MSS 185; 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Peter Straub in 2006; addtional materials were donated in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016, 2022, and 2023. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 2006.185, 2016.030, 2016.031, 2022.027, and 2023.044.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Advance notice is required for the use of computer records. Original physical digital media is restricted. Born-digital materials have not been transferred and may not be available to researchers. Researchers may request access copies. To request that material be transferred, or if you are unsure if material has been transferred, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Separated Materials

The following materials have been removed to the Fales American Collection:

Easton, M. & Shy, C. Soul stealer: book 1, hell among the rogues. Juno, A. & Vale, V. (Eds.). (1993). Bob Flanagan: super-masochist. San Francisco, CA: Re/Search Publications.

Collection processed by

Lawrence Giffin

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:16:06 -0500.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English

Processing Information

Decisions concerning arrangement and description, as well as physical interventions taken on the collection prior to 2016 have not yet been recorded. At the time of accessioning materials from the 2016 accretions items were rehoused in acid free folders and boxes. Items were consolidated to save space. Letters and documents still in envelopes were removed from their envelopes, unfolded and laid flat in a folder with the corresponding evelope placed on top of the letter. Any instances where multiple parts were housed in one folder (and separated by paper clips or binder clips) were rehoused in separate folders to maintain order and the folders were labeled with the same title. An oversized set of posters were separated from the original order and rehoused in an oversized folder.

Materials in boxes 75-77 were removed from accession 2006.185 when the collection was initially processed and treated for possible mold damage in 2012. In 2018 the materials were placed in new, acid-free folders and boxes and integrated into Series VI, Subseries A. In 2022 an accretion was rehoused in archival boxes and folders, and inventoried on the box-level. 1 optical disc was identified to be blank and discarded from the collection.

In 2023 an accretion was rehoused in archival boxes and folders, and inventoried on the box-level.

Revisions to this Guide

August 2018: Updated and edited by Jennifer E. Neal to include materials integrated from accession number 2006.185 and for compliance with DACS and ACM Required Elements for Archival Description
May 2022: Updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect 2022 accretion
August 2023: Updated by Aki Snyder to reflect 2023 accretion


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