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Jess Stearn Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MFA
Date: Nov 1968

Biographical History

Jess Stearn (1914-2002) was an American journalist and author known for his writings on the occult.

Stearn attended Syracuse University and worked as a reporter for The New York Daily News for seventeen years before becoming interested in Edward Cayce while researching him for a book. He eventually published two biographies of Cayce, The Sleeping Prophet: The Life and Work of Edgar Cayce (1968) and A Prophet in His Own Country: The Story of the Young Edgar Cayce (1974), as well as more than thirty other books on reincarnation, psychic phenomena, and the occult. He also collaborated with Taylor Caldwell on Caldwell's book I, Judas, and wrote a book on Caldwell's psychic lives.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jess Stearn Papers consist of correspondence, memorabilia, and writings.

Correspondence consists almost entirely of incoming letters; approximately half are from admirers (fan mail), with the remainder concerned with the writing and publication of Stearns' books. Significant letters include Hugh Lynn Cayce (Edgar Cayce's son), Doubleday & Company, Doubleday Canada Ltd., LIFE magazine, Matie Molinaro, Kay Perry, Phoenix Republic and Gazette, and Austin Rice.

Memorabilia includes one folder each of biographical material and personal financial records.

Writings consist of articles and books by Stearn. Articles are represented in the collection in printed form only. Books include research material, manuscripts, galley proofs, printed copies, book reviews and publicity material.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by topic. Writings are arranged alphabetically by type and within that by title.


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.

Ken and Joanne MacIver material relating to Mr Stearn's novel "The Search for the Girl with the Blue Eyes" may only be used with the written permission of Kenneth MacIver. Any such written permission documents will be retained by SCRC.

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.

Related Material

For more Edgar Cayce material, see the Juliet Brooke Ballard Papers. The Long John Nebel Papers includes an interview with Cayce from 1968 and two interviews with Jess Stearn (his name spelled "Stern" in the Nebel listing), 1966 and 1968.

Subject Headings


Cayce, Edgar, 1877-1945.
Stearn, Jess -- Archives.


Authors, American.
Psychical research.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Drafts (documents)
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Research notes.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jess Stearn Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jess Stearn, 1968-1973.

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