Collection Scope and Contents
Title: Poul and Karen Anderson papers
Date (inclusive): 1925-2018
Date (bulk): 1950-2010
Collection Number: MS 040
Anderson, Karen, 1932-2018
Anderson, Poul, 1926-2001
54.17 linear feet
(73 boxes, 41 flat file folders)
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Abstract: The collection consists of the personal and professional papers of science fiction and fantasy authors Poul and Karen Anderson.
These materials document the writing and publishing process and their involvement with the science fiction community and other
organizations such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and Sherlockiana groups. Items in the collection include correspondence,
manuscript drafts, notes, diaries, personal records, artwork, memorabilia and ephemera from various conventions and events.
Languages: The collection is primarily in English with a small amount of materials in Danish.
This collection is open for research. Some materials have been restricted at the request of the donor until 2044 and are noted
as such within this finding aid.
Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives.
Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission
of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable
rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
[identification of item], [date if possible]. Poul and Karen Anderson papers (MS 040). Special Collections & University Archives,
University of California, Riverside
Gift of Astrid Anderson Bear, 2019.
Processed by Andrew Lippert, Special Collections Processing Archivist, 2019.
Poul Anderson was born in Pennsylvania in 1926 to an American father and a Danish mother. They lived in Texas until the death
of his father in late 1937. After some time traveling and a year and a half living in the Washington, D.C. area, Poul, his
brother, and his mother settled in Minnesota in 1939. Poul attended the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1948
with a degree in Physics. His first story was published in 1947 and he went on to have a prolific and successful writing career.
He was the President of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1972 to 1973 and was named a Grand Master in 1997. His
works were widely recognized across the profession and fandom, winning 7 Hugo awards, 3 Nebula awards, a John Campbell Memorial
award, and more. Poul's writings encompassed most of the speculative spectrum including hard and soft science fiction; fantasy,
folklore, and mythology; and alternate and future history. His writing was consistently informed by his love and knowledge
of science, his Scandinavian heritage, as well as mythology and history. Poul passed away in 2001.
Karen Kruse was born in 1932 in Kentucky. She became involved with theater and acting in high school and discovered science
fiction fandom after her family moved to Washington, D. C. Karen joined the Washington Science Fiction Association in 1952,
started publishing fanzines, and attended her first Worldcon in Chicago. She was a frequent convention attendee and active
participant in costume competitions. Karen is credited with the first intentional usage of the term "filk music" and wrote
and staged a number of plays, musicals, and filk operettas, perhaps most notably "H.M.S Trek-a-Star." Karen's writing career
included short stories and poetry, a number of fanzines, and she co-authored several books with Poul.
Poul and Karen met in 1952 at Worldcon in Chicago and they continued their relationship through correspondence for the next
year with Karen living in Washington, D. C. and Poul traveling in Europe. They were married in 1953, settled in Orinda, CA
and their daughter, Astrid, was born in 1954. The Anderson family was a staple of the science fiction and fantasy communities
for many decades. Beyond science fiction and fantasy the Andersons participated in Sherlockiana groups and were founding members
of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Collection Scope and Contents
The materials in the collection primarily start in the early 1950s and span through the death of Poul in 2001 and Karen in
2018. There is extensive material pertaining to Poul's writing career as well as research and background materials that supported
it. There are also materials related to Karen's writing that includes poetry, short stories, co-authored works with Poul,
and plays and filk operettas that she wrote or staged. The collection documents the Anderson's broader involvement with science
fiction fandom (primarily fanzines and convention materials), the Society for Creative Anachronism, and Sherlockiana groups.
Notable correspondence includes a lengthy exchange between Poul and Karen in 1952-1953, letters from Robert Heinlein in the
early 1960s, correspondence from Anthony Boucher to Karen Anderson, and letters between Karen and Astrid and the cast and
creators of Star Trek in the 1960s. The collection includes a significant quantity of art, memorabilia, and awards.
This collection is arranged into a number of series as described below. Several of the series have sub-series and these are
further described at the series level as appropriate.
- Series 1. Fiction manuscripts, 1950-2013, undated
- Series 2. Non-Fiction manuscripts and writings, 1955-2001, undated
- Series 3. Research and background materials, 1925-2006, undated
- Series 4. Correspondence, 1952-2006
- Series 5. Personal materials, 1949-2005, undated
- Series 6. Sherlockiana, 1956-2007
- Series 7. Society for Creative Anachronism, 1964-1998
- Series 8. Events, 1952-2009
- Series 9. Music and poetry, 1945-2009
- Series 10. Works by others, 1953-2011, undated
- Series 11. Fanzines, 1949-2005, undated
- Series 12. Publications, 1954-2002, undated
- Series 13. Photographic materials, 1964-2010, undated
- Series 14. Audio, visual, and digital media, 1977-2003, undated
- Series 15. Art and graphic materials, 1951-1979, undated
- Series 16. Awards, memorabilia, and realia, 1952-2005, undated
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Society for Creative Anachronism
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. SFWA
Congresses and conventions
Science fiction fans
Science fiction -- Authorship
Genres and Forms of Materials