Finding Aid for the Marion Zimmer Bradley papers, 1959-1999

Processed by Stacy Wood, 2011; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Marion Zimmer Bradley papers
Date (inclusive): 1959-1999
Collection number: 1955
Creator: Bradley, Marion Zimmer; 1930-1999.
Extent: 3 document boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Abstract: Marion Zimmer Bradley was born June 3, 1930 in Albany New York during the Great Depression. She was interested in science fiction and fantasy as a teenager, participating in amateur fiction contests as an adjunct and as a contestant, most notably for Fantastic Amazing Stories in 1949. Always promoting and supporting the work of other writers, Bradley not only encouraged and participated in the world of fan fiction, but she also became the editor of anthologies and periodicals supporting up and coming authors. She became active in the gay and lesbian community not just through her writings and bibliographic work, but also with counseling services. After becoming ordained in the Eastern Orthodox priesthood she volunteered her time at the Gay Pacific Center offering pastoral counseling services. She died on September 25, 1999 after a struggle with heart disease. A year after her death she was awarded with Lifetime Achievement through the World Fantasy Awards, an international award begun in 1975 recognizing outstanding achievement in the category of Fantasy. This collection houses two copies of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Gay and Lesbian bibliography with notations as well as an unpublished manuscript, unedited version of published materials, brochures from fan gatherings and some of her husband's work.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Provenance unknown. This collection is part of an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) and the UCLA Library.

Processing Note

Processed by Stacy Wood, 2011.

Sponsor

The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archive  at UCLA is an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives , the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW)  and the UCLA Library . These collections expand the pool of primary source materials available to researchers and to the community at large. This partnership was initiated by CSW and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to inventory, organize, preserve, and digitize more than eighty Mazer collections pertaining to lesbian and feminist activism and writings.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Marion Zimmer Bradley papers (Collection 1955). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6961274 

Biography/History

Marion Zimmer Bradley was born June 3, 1930 in Albany New York during the Great Depression. She was interested in science fiction and fantasy as a teenager, participating in amateur fiction contests as an adjunct and as a contestant, most notably for Fantastic Amazing Stories in 1949. Her first published story, entitled "Women Only" was showcased in Vortex Science Fiction in 1953.
She married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. They had one child and divorced in 1964. During their marriage Marion Zimmer Bradley published her first novel The Door Through Space, which launched her writing career. She also became marginally involved with then burgeoning lesbian activist organization Daughters of Bilitis. During this time she also published several works under various pseudonyms. Many of these publications were gay and lesbian paperback pulp novels, most famously the novel I Am a Lesbian in 1962 under the name Lee Chapman.
1958 brought the first instance of the Darkover world in her novel The Planet Savers. The Darkover novels became one of her more famous and recognizable series. Although she wrote the majority of the novels contained within the series, it was occasionally supplemented by other authors with her blessing and continued after her death.
In 1964, shortly after her divorce from Bradley, Marion married Walter Breen, an American author and numismatist. They collaborated on a bibliography of gay and lesbian literature. They had two children and separated in 1979, but remained married until 1990.
She received her BA from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas in 1965. She pursued graduate studies at the University of California Berkeley until 1967, where she met Diana Paxson, a medieval studies graduate with whom she founded the Society for Creative Anachronism in 1966. During this time in Berkeley and through the 1970s and 1980s, Bradley would consider herself a neo-pagan, including interests in clairvoyance, extrasensory perception and reincarnation. She began the Centre for Nontraditional Religion which hosted various non-traditional groups such as Wiccans. Bradley was raised in the Episcopal tradition and returned to those roots in the 1990s.
In addition to separating from Walter Breen in 1979, Marion published what is ostensibly her most famous and groundbreaking work, The Mists of Avalon. Working within a feminist, revisionist framework, Bradley retells the Arthurian legend through the lens of its female characters, predominantly through the eyes of Morgaine.
Always promoting and supporting the work of other writers, Bradley not only encouraged and participated in the world of fan fiction (publishing her own "The Jewel of Arwen" based on a character in J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), but she also became the editor of anthologies and periodicals supporting up and coming authors. In 1984 she began Sword and Sorceress, an anthology series devoted to fantasy stories with non traditional or challenging heroines. She edited the series until her death, and it continued until 2008. In 1988 she began Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, which included short stories and humorous pieces as well as interviews with recognizable science fiction and fantasy authors. She became active in the gay and lesbian community not just through her writings and bibliographic work, but also with counseling services. After becoming ordained in the Eastern Orthodox priesthood (along with her husband) by Mikhail Itkin, she volunteered her time at the Gay Pacific Center offering pastoral counseling services.
She died on September 25, 1999 after a struggle with heart disease. A year after her death she was awarded with Lifetime Achievement through the World Fantasy Awards, an international award begun in 1975 recognizing outstanding achievement in the category of Fantasy.

Chronology

June 3, 1930 Marion Zimmer Bradley born in Albany, New York
1949 Marion wins a science fiction writing contest for AMAZING STORIES
1949 Marion marries Robert Alden Bradley
1953 Marion publishes "Women Only", her first published short story in Vortex Science Fiction
1957 Marion publishes Falcons of Narabedla, her first novel length work
1958 First appearance of the Darkover world in The Planet Savers
1962 I Am a Lesbian is published under Marion's pseudonym Lee Chapman
1964 Divorces Robert Alden Bradley and marries Walter Breen
1965 B.A. from Hardin- Simmons Unversity in Abilene, Texas
1966 Marion helps to found the Society for Creative Anachronism and coins its name
1979 Separates from Walter Breen, although the two remain married and friendly
1979 The Mists of Avalon is published
1984 Sword and Sorceress Anthology Series begins
1988 Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine begins
1990 Divorces Walter Breen
September 25, 1999 Dies of heart failure after a long struggle with heart disease.

Scope and Content

This collection contains two copies of Marion Zimmer Bradley's bibliography of gay and lesbian literature, published and unpublished fiction manuscripts, a program from a fan convention as well as obituaries and other miscellaneous materials.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Bradley, Marion Zimmer --Archives.
Lesbians in literature --Bibliography.
Gays in literature --Bibliography.
Homosexuality in literature --Bibliography.

Genres and Forms of Material

manuscripts for publication.

Related Material

See The Daughters of Bilitis Collection  , also housed in UCLA Library Special Collections.