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Guide to the Sanford Aday Collection, 1952-1965 csf.1997.001
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Acquisition
  • Access Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Title: Sanford Aday Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: csf.1997.001
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections Research Center, California State University, Fresno
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.25 Linear feet
    Date: 1952-1965
    creator: Aday, Sanford


    The collection was donated by Sanford Aday.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    Sanford Aday Collection, Special Collections Research Center, California State University, Fresno.


    Sanford E. Aday, originally from Venice, California, established his home in Fresno, California, where he published numerous books from his location on Belmont Avenue. Aday became interested in writing while in high school. He wanted to pursue a career as a full-time writer but was unable to support himself through writing. He held various jobs while working on his novels. Aday reportedly wrote ten novels but only two were published, Amber Dust and Satan's Harvest.
    Sanford Aday began his career as a publisher presumably in 1955 (this is the earliest publication date in the collection). He published under three imprints: Fabian Books, Saber Books and Vega Books. Aday published books that were often deemed "obscene" in the 1950s. He was often under attack and vigorously fought against censorship. He faced several charges in Hawaii, Arizona and Fresno. He was eventually tried and convicted along with associate Wallace de Ortega Maxey for shipping an obscene book into Michigan in 1963. He was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison and fined $25,000. Sex Life of a Cop by Oscar Peck (1959) was the only book of seven deemed obscene by the jury. Although the United States Constitution protects the right of an individual to freely publish and distribute material, it prohibits the circulation of obscene material through the mail.

    Scope and Content

    The Sanford Aday Collection measures 1.25 linear feet and dates from 1952 to 1965. The collection is arranged in three series: Written by Aday, Published by Aday and Related material.
    The Written by Aday series (1952-1953) includes both of Aday's novels, Amber Dust, published in 1952 and Satan's Harvest,published in 1953. The novels are in their original dust jackets.
    The inside cover of Amber Dust reads "Tigre Niort, a novelist, inspired by a girl who knew all the answers but the one she wanted him to get, comes face to face with the most powerful man of the state and has to challenge him for his life." Aday's second novel, Satan's Harvest, explores " life and love along the Mexican border," (Box 1, Related material, Newspaper clippings, book review, undated). Aday worked hard to ensure that his novel was accurate and true to life. He discarded his original version of Satan's Harvest after researching Mexican customs and the people who lived along the border of Mexico and United States.
    The Published by Aday series (1955-1965) includes three imprints: Fabian books, Saber Books, and Vega Books. The series is arranged according to imprint and then alphabetically by author and title.
    Most of the material on Sanford Aday himself can be found in the Related material series (1958-1963). The series includes newspaper clippings on Aday's fight against censorship. A brief article which is undated and does not list a source of publication, gives some background information on Aday. The series also includes three issues of the magazine, Sex and Censorship, which then became Candida. The magazines contain articles on censorship, Aday and his legal case, and his lawyer.