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Ralph Adimari Papers

Call Number



1931-1970, inclusive
; 1957-1964, bulk


Adimari, Ralph


1 Linear Feet in 1 manuscript box and 2 half manuscript boxes

Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English.


Ralph T. Adimari (1902-1970) was an editor, researcher, and historian of the dime novel, a class of popular fiction that thrived in the mid to late nineteenth century and into the early twentieth. The Ralph Adimari Papers contain records of Adimari's research, including correspondence, notebooks, clippings, photographs, and ephemera.

Biographical Note

Ralph T. Adimari (1902-1970) was an editor, researcher, and historian of the dime novel, a class of popular fiction that thrived in the mid to late nineteenth century and into the twentieth. The term "dime novels" refers to inexpensive, cheaply produced paperbacks and serials, often romance, adventure, westerns, or detective stories. A prodigious collector, Adimari did extensive research on dime novels, and published many articles in Dime Novel Round-Upbefore 1940, and at least 20 articles between 1954 and 1964. He also wrote a piece titled "Saga of a Dime Novelist" which appeared in American Book Collectorin early 1935. Through correspondence with fellow dime novel historian and DNRUeditor Ralph F. Cummings, Adimari acquired the letters and notebooks of William J. Benners (1863-1940), a dime novel historian, author, and agent, and wrote a biography of Benners for the DNRU. Building upon Benners's work identifying dime novel authors, Adimari compiled detailed lists of authors and pseudonyms, titles, and publishers, definitively solving several mysteries about dime novel authorship.

Adimari was born Raphael Adimare on October 19, 1902. He lived in the New York City area for most of his life, including Mount Vernon and Suffolk. In addition to his work on dime novels, he co-edited a 1936 collection of Walt Whitman's essays, titled New York Dissected. Adimari died November 1970 in Suffolk, New York.


Series IA consists of correspondence. Material is arranged into folders alphabetically by correspondent; within each folder the letters are arranged chronologically. Series IB consists of notebooks, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, and other miscellany.

Missing Title

  1. Series I A: Correspondence, 1931-1970
  2. Series I B: Notebooks, Loose Notes, Lists, Manuscripts, Photos, Victoriana, Printed Materials

Scope and Content Note

The Ralph Adimari Papers contain correspondence from fellow dime novel collectors and historians, including Edward G. Levy, Dr. Albert Johannsen, Dime Novel Round-Upeditors Edward T. LeBlanc and Ralph Cummings, the latter from whom Adimari acquired William Benners's papers, and writers including Col. Charles D. Randolph, aka "Buckskin Bill," known for his dime-novel and Western themed poetry. Also included are notebooks of research, manuscripts, newspaper clippings related to dime novel authors, photographs, and Victoriana. The William J. Benners Papers, also housed in Fales, includes several of Benners's notebooks that were subsequently used and annotated by Adimari.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers. Appointments are necessary to consult archive and manuscript materials.

Use Restrictions

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); Ralph Adimari Papers; MSS 550; 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.


Ralph Adimari sold parts of his collection of dime novels and research material, including the William J. Benners Papers, to Edward G. Levy beginning in 1964. Levy, the dime novel collector and historian, donated the Ralph Adimari Papers to Fales in 1965-1966.

Related Material at Fales Library and Special Collections

Levy Dime Novel Collection (MSS.028)

William J. Benners Papers (MSS.548)

Collection processed by

Collection processed by Maxime La Fantasie, with portions reprocessed by William J. Levay in 2006.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 17:04:17 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid written in English.

Revisions to this Guide

September 2018: Collection renumbered from MSS 028A to MSS 550 by Jacqueline Rider.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from dimenov.htm


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