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David H. Keller Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Keller, David H. (David Henry), 1880-1966.
Title: David H. Keller Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1894-1962
Quantity: 5.0 linear ft., chiefly bound in 44 volumes.
Abstract: Papers of the American psychiatrist, author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories and novels under pseudonym Henry Cecil. Correspondence, consisting mainly of letters from Keller to H.C. Worden, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, 1953-1954, concerning Worden's purchase of Keller's manuscripts; typescript and published professional articles and lectures; literary manuscripts and published science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories and novels.
Language: Bulk in English , some in French
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

David Henry Keller (1880-1966) was an American psychiatrist and author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories and novels under the pseudonym Henry Cecil.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and practiced medicine in his home state for fourteen years before becoming a neuro-psychiatrist in 1914. Until 1933 he practiced his profession in state hospitals in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Dr. Keller served as a captain in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War I, and again in World War II with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Dr. Keller, who sometimes used the pseudonym Henry Cecil, began writing science fiction, fantasy, weird and horror stories in the 1920s. His first published work was "The revolt of the pedestrian," which appears in Amazing Stories in February 1928, and over his career he contributed to most of the major science fiction and fantasy magazines in America. His best know story is "The thing in the cellar," one of many tales that developed from his experience in psychiatry.

His first published novel was The Devil and the Doctor, originally titled The Stone Face, in 1941. A limited edition of his last book, A Figment of a Dream, was published in 1962.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The David H. Keller Papers consist of correspondence, writings and printed material in bound volumes, and published books. Most of the material was purchased from Dr. Keller by Colonel H.C. Worden of Klamath Falls, Oregon, who had the material bound into volumes.

The single volume of Correspondence includes the letters of Dr. Keller to Col. Worden, 1953-1954, dealing with their relationship and transactions in regard to the purchase and publication of the manuscripts. Also included are two letters to Dr. Keller from the Experimenter Publishing Company, 1928. Bound in the volume with the correspondence are manuscripts and published material by Dr. Keller, with two original pen and ink illustrations for The Devil and the Doctor.

The Writings, 1924-1954, are also bound. Each volume contains a holograph note by Dr. Keller giving the origin or history of its contents.

Published material, 1924-1962, consists of articles and books.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Writings are arranged alphabetically by title. Within Published material, articles are arranged alphabetically by the title of the magazine in which they appeared, and books are arranged alphabetically by title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has many collections of science fiction authors, including Hugo Gernsback, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, and many others. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Cecil, Henry, 1880-1966.
Keller, David H. (David Henry), 1880-1966.


American literature -- 20th century.
Authors, American.
Fantasy literature, American.
Horror tales, American.
Novelists, American.
Physicians as authors.
Psychiatrists -- United States.
Psychology, Pathological.
Science fiction, American.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

David H. Keller Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1968.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MFA
Date: Oct 1968
Revision history: 14 Jan 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 "Articles, stories, and misc. correspondence" 1928-1954 (1 volume)
Box 1 "Articles, stories, and misc. correspondence" (bound with correspondence, above)
Contains the following:
Psychoanalysis, in Your Body, 1928
Psychoanalysis, part 2, "The use of dreams," 1928
Psychoanalysis, part 3, "The use of the libido," 1928
"The Oedipus complex," 1929
Psychopathic personality
Frigidity and impotency
Arterio-sclerosis, in Your Body, 1929
Care of mental defectives, 1933
A psycho-analytic cure of hysteria
Series of lectures given to attendants at Pennhurst State School in the fall of 1930, on appropriate responsibilities and behavior towards patients and their work; 8 items
The personality of a library, articles, in Reading and Collecting v. 1 no. 9, Aug 1937, pp. 6-7
The return of nature, poem, in Peon, v. 1 no. 3, May 1950, p. 11
Original pen and ink illustrations for The Devil and the Doctor, 2 items
Survival story, in Scientifiction Stories, no. 2, June 1954, pp. 5-8
Box 1 "The Abyss and The Final War" 1948 - novels; typescript, carbon (1 volume)
Box 1 "The Adorable Fool" 1925 - novel; typescript, original with revisions (1 volume)
Box 1 "The Adorable Fool, original form" 1945 - novel; typescript, original (1 volume)
Box 2 "Anthology by D. H. Keller and others" 1938-1953 - short stories; printed material (1 volume)
Box 2 "Amy Worth Tales" 1954 - short stories; typescript originals (1 volume)
Box 2 "The Deepening Shadow" (as Henry Cecil) 1927 - novel; typescript, original first version (1 volume)
Box 3 "Anthology by D. H. Keller and others" 1948-1951 - essays, stories, poems, mimeo, for Fantastic magazine (1 volume)
Box 3 "The Eternal Conflict" 1949 - novel; typescript, carbon (1 volume)
Box 3 "The Eternal Conflict" 1949 - novel; galley proofs (1 folder)
Box 3 "The Eternal Conflict" 1949 - novel; page proofs (1 folder)
Box 4 "Analysis of 'The Eternal Conflict' " 1954 - typescript, carbon (1 volume)
Box 4 "Early tales and poems" circa 1894 - typescript, carbon (1 volume)
Box 4 "The Femenine [sic] World" 1939 - novel; typescript, revised (1 volume)
Box 4 "The Hermits of Resica" 1954 - novel; typescript, carbon (1 volume)
Box 4 "The Homuncolus" [sic] - novel; typescript (1 volume)
Box 5 "The Joy of Life" - novel; typescript (1 volume)
Box 5 "The Lady Decides" - novel; typescript (1 volume)
Box 5 "Anthology, mag. excerpts" 1928-1942 - short stories; printed material, magazing clippings (1 volume)
Box 5 "Anthology, mag. excerpts" 1928-1942 - short stories; magazine clippings (1 volume)
Box 6 "North shore tales" 1954 - short stories; typescript, revised (1 volume)
Box 6 "Sign of the Burning Hart" 1924 - novel; typescript (1 volume)
Box 6 "The Stone Fence" 1938 - novel, first version of The Devil and the Doctor; typescript (1 volume)
Box 7 "Tales of Cornwall" 1927-1941 - subtitled "a history of the Hubelaires"; typescript (1 volume)
Box 7 "Through the Back Door" - autobiographical story; typescript, carbon (1 volume)
Box 7 "The Wind Goddess" - typescript, carbon, revised (1 volume)
Published material
Box 8 Fantasy Magazine 1948-1949 (3 issues, 1 folder)
Box 8 "The gorgon: Stories by D. H. Keller and others" 1948 (1 volume)
Box 8 "Les Primaires No's 67, 68, 69, 111, 112" 1935 - published material, in French (1 volume)
Box 8 "Your Body, vol. 1 no. 4 - vol. 2 no. 1-3" 1928-1929 - published material (1 volume)
Box 8 The Devil and the Doctor, New York, Simon and Schuster 1940 (1 volume)
Box 8 The Eternal Conflict, Philadelphia, Prime Press 1949 (1 volume)
Box 9 A Figment of a Dream, Baltimore, Anthem Press 1962 (1 volume)
Box 9 The Homunculus, Philadelphia, Prime Press 1949 (1 volume)
Box 9 Know Yourself, New York, Popular Book Corp. 1930 (1 volume)
Box 9 The Lady Decides, Philadelphia, Prime Press 1950 (1 volume)
Box 9 La Guerre du Lierre, France, La Fenetre Ouverte (1 volume)
Box 9 Life Everlasting, Newark, N.J., The Avalon Co. 1947 (1 volume)
Box 9 The Sign of the Burning Hart, Ann Arbor 1940 (1 volume)
Box 9 The Sign of the Burning Hart, France 1938 (1 volume)
Box 10 The Solitary Hunters and The Abyss, Philadelphia, New Era Publishing 1948 (1 volume)
Box 10 Songs of a Spanish Lover, as Henry Cecil, Alexandria, La, Wall Printing Co. 1924 (1 volume)
Box 10 Tales from Underwood, New York, Arkham House 1952 (1 volume)

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