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Theodore Roscoe Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Roscoe, Theodore.
Title: Theodore Roscoe Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1871-1992
Quantity: 22.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American author of adventure and mystery stories and U.S. Navy historian (1906-1992). Collection includes correspondence, writings, and memorabilia. Correspondence (1926-1992) with editors, publishers, colleagues, fans, and the U.S. Department of the Navy. Writings -- fiction, non-fiction, notebooks, reviews, and scripts -- contains manuscript drafts, manuscripts, and published material, including examples of adventure and mystery stories written for pulp magazines and material relating to the history of the U.S. Navy. Memorabilia comprises financial material, printed material, and scrapbooks. Printed material consists of books owned by Roscoe, clippings about Roscoe or those which contained story ideas, publicity, and reviews. Many of the scrapbooks pertain to his writings on naval history.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Theodore Roscoe was an American author of the "pulp" era, known for his adventure and mystery stories as well as naval history. In addition to books (both fiction and nonfiction), his stories appeared in magazines such as Adventure, Argosy, and Weird Tales.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Theodore Roscoe Papers comprises correspondence, writings, and memorabilia that span Roscoe's entire career.

Correspondence (Box 1) spans the years 1926 to 1992. Roscoe corresponded with editors, publishers, colleagues, fans, and the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Writings (Boxes 2-12) includes Roscoe's fiction and non-fiction as well as notebooks, reviews, and scripts. Fiction (Boxes 2-4) includes manuscript drafts, manuscripts, and some printed examples of his adventure and mystery stories, which were written for pulp magazines. Non-fiction (Boxes 4-10) contains manuscript drafts, manuscripts and published work, much of which pertains to the history of the U.S. Navy. Scripts (Box 10-12) include manuscript draft and manuscript dramatizations of some of Roscoe's fictional work.

Memorabilia (Boxes 12-13) comprises financial material, printed material, and scrapbooks. Printed material consists of books that were owned by Roscoe, clippings about Roscoe or those which contained Story ideas, publicity, and reviews. Many of the scrapbooks pertain to his writings an naval history.

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Arrangement of the Collection

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

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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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Subject Headings


Roscoe, Theodore.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Navy -- History.
United States. -- Navy -- Submarine forces.


Adventure and adventurers in literature.
Adventure stories, American -- 20th century.
American fiction -- 20th century.
Authors, American -- 20th century.
Detective and mystery stories, American -- 20th century.
Fiction -- Male authors -- United States -- 20th century.
Historians -- United States -- 20th century.
Naval history -- United States.
Naval history, Modern -- United States -- 20th century.
Popular literature -- United States.
War and literature -- United States -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- American.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Submarine.

Genres and Forms

Book reviews.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drafts (documents)
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Scripts (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Theodore Roscoe Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Theodore Roscoe, 1965, 1967. Gift of Mrs. Theodore Roscoe, 1992.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: JOD
Date: 10 Dec 1992
Revision history: July 1993 - additions (DLC); 27 Sep 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 8 Oct 2008 - 19:I material added (MRC)

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Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 Biographical material - includes family history, genealogy
Box 1 Correspondence 1926-1992
Box 2 "Amusement Park" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Are the Anchors Really Aweigh?" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Barbecue" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Beauty and the Beast" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Bentfinger" Argosy May 23, 1931
Oversize 1 "Betraying Black" The Clarion Oct. 1922
Oversize 1 "Betraying Black" The Clarion Nov. 8, 1922
Oversize 1 "Birthday Letter" The All Story Braille Magazine Aug. 1944
Box 2 "Black-out" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Blueberry Pie" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Border Incident" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Bring 'Em Back Dead" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Brodie Takes a Steve" - manuscripts
Box 2 "Brother Death" - manuscript
Box 2 "The Buddhist Monk" - ms. draft
Box 2 "The Buddhist Monk" Adventure July 5, 1928
Box 2 "But '0o Was Shykspeare?" - manuscripts
Oversize 1 "Cal of the Corona" The Clarion Apr. 26, 1922
Box 2 "The Case of the Incredible Messenger" - manuscripts
Box 2 "The Case of the Man Inside" Flynn's Detective Fiction - undated
Box 2 "Checkered Retribution" Argosy - undated
Box 2 "Cherchez la Femme" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Close Shave" - ms. draft, unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Clune for President for Christ's Sake" - ms draft
Box 2 "Confidence" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Continuity for 'Hucksters' Strip: Synopsis" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Corday and the Seven League Boots" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Creeron Cracks Wise" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Creeron Cracks Wise" Argosy Feb. 9, 1929
Box 2 "The Curse Kiss" Weird Tales (1 pulp, 1 photocopy) Feb. 1930
Box 2 "The Dance of the Seven Veils" Argosy Oct. 19, 1929
Box 2 "The Dancing Death" Weird Tales (photocopy) Oct. 1928
Box 2 "Dark Tomorrow" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Dead Man's Answer" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Dead Man's Fist" - ms. drafts
Box 2 "Dead Man's Gold" Detective Fiction Weekly June 4, 1932
Box 2 "Dead Mens Ears" Action Stories Dec. 1928
Box 2 "Death Below Zero" - ms. draft
Oversize 1 "Death Cheaters" The Clarion Mar. 9, 1922
Oversize 1 "Death Cheaters" The Clarion Mar. 16, 1922
Box 2 "Death Comes to a New England Princess" - research material, ms. drafts
Box 2 "Death Doesn't Miss the Bus" - ms. draft fragment
Box 2 "Death Drums" Argosy - undated
Box 2 "Death Song of Absinthe Devolle" - manuscript
Box 2 "Death Song of Absinthe Devolle" Argosy - undated
Box 2 "Debauch on the Rhine" - source material
Box 2 "The Demon from Heaven" - manuscript
Box 2 "The Demon from Heaven" Air Adventures Jan. 1929
Box 2 "Design for Murder" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Devil Dance" Action Stories Nov. 1931
Box 2 "The Devil, Too, Has Wings" - manuscript
Box 2 "Dirge of the Nancy D." Argosy Aug. 22, 1931
Box 2 "Don't Count Your Chickens" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Down Mexico Way" - manuscript fragment
Box 2 "The Ears of Donkey Daudette" - ms. draft
Box 2 "The Education of John Edwards" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Erie Queen" - unpublished manuscript
Oversize 1 "The Eventful Day" The Clarion Dec. 20, 1922
Box 2 "Farmer, Have You a Daughter Fair?" - manuscript
Box 2 "Fashion Note" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Fe Fi Fo Fum" - manuscripts
Oversize 1 "The Fight That Failed" The Clarion Dec. 21, 1922
Box 2 "Foley of the Foreign Legion" Wide World Adventures July 1, 1929
Box 2 "For They Shall See God" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Four Corners" Stories - ms. drafts
Box 2 "The Four Horsemen of 1945" - ms. drafts
Box 2 "Frightened Lady" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Gambit" Complete Stories Mar. 2, 1931
Box 2 "Garne Called on Account of Darkness" - ms. drafts
Box 2 "The Green-handled Dagger" - ms.
Box 2 "The Green-handled Dagger" Short Stories - undated
Box 2 "Hard-boiled Cayhill's Christmas Eve Party" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Hard-boiled Cayhill's Christmas Eve Party" Argosy Dec. 28, 1929
Box 2 "Here Are Your Police" - manuscript
Box 2 "His Honor is Missing" (working title: "Where Are You, Your Honor?") - ms. draft
Box 2 "His Honor is Missing" Argosy undated
Box 2 "H.M.S. New York" - ms. drafts
Box 2 "Horror on the River" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "I Saw Him Die" - ms. draft
Oversize 1 "I Will Repay" The Clarion Oct. 19, 1921
Box 2 I'll Grind Their Bones April 19, 1905
Box 2 "Imperfect Crime" - ms. drafts
Box 2 "In the Garden of Allah" - manuscript
Box 2 "In the Red Zone" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Jersey Devil" - ms. draft, manuscript
Box 2 "Ladies in Trouble" - manuscript
Box 2 "The Lady is Mysterious" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "The Lame, the Halt, and the Blind" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Lee's Lieutenant" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Leopard Teeth" Argosy undated
Box 2 "Letter from Anne" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Letter Out of History" - unpublished manuscript
Oversize 1 "Liberty for Christmas" The Clarion Dec. 21, 1921
Box 2 "Line-up" - manuscript fragment
Box 2 "Listen Tiger!" - ms. draft
Box 2 "The Little Gold Dove of Gojjam" Argosy undated
Box 2 "Low Bridge" - unpublished manuscript
Box 2 "Luck" - ms. draft
Box 2 "Luck" Short Stories (2 pulp) undated
Box 2 "Lucky Number" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Lure of the Islands" - manuscript
Box 3 "Lure of the Islands" Argosy undated
Box 3 "Mademoiselle Hideous" - manuscript fragment
Box 3 "The Man Who Died Twice" Flynn's Detective Fiction undated
Box 3 "The Man Who Hated Lincoln" - ms. draft
Box 3 "The Man Who Went to Hell" - ms. draft
Box 3 "The Man With the Bald Head" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Manchuria" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Manhunt in Tunisia" (working title: "Evening in Kairowain") - manuscript
Box 3 "Manhunt in Tunisia" The Sergeant is a Jerk! April 27, 1905
Box 3 "Marianne" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Mary Had a Little Jam" - ms. draft fragment
Box 3 "A Matter of Life and Death" - unpublished manuscript
Box 3 "Mine Not to Reason Why" - manuscripts
Box 3 "Mister Mystery" - unpublished manuscript
Box 3 "Monkey See, Monkey Do" - revisions and insertions
Box 3 "Murder" Complete Stories Mar. 1, 1929
Box 3 Murder on the Way April 18, 1905
Box 3 "My Lady of Death" Flynn's Detective Fiction undated
Box 3 "The Napoleon Bonaparte Murder Case" - research material, ms. drafts
Box 3 "Natchez Trace" - ms. drafts, unpublished manuscript fragments
Box 3 "A Night in Honduras" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Notes on Military Training" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Octopus" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Officer and a Gentleman" - unpublished manuscripts
Box 3 "The Old Boy" - ms. draft
Box 3 "Old Napoleon" Argosy (2 pulp, 1 photocopy) Dec. 21, 1929
Box 3 Only in New England (working title: "Murder by Gaslight") - ms. draft, master copy, galley proof (front matter)
Box 4 "Our Scandalous Presidents" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Paragraph for the Arganotes" - ms. drafts
Box 4 "Passion is a Killer" - unpublished manuscripts
Box 4 "Patrol of the Skies" Air Stories Apr. 1928
Box 4 "The Plane Fool" Air Stories Apr. 1929
Box 4 "President Stories" - manuscripts
Box 4 "The Pushover Fight Stories" Mar. 1929
Box 4 "Quadruple Cross" - unpublished manuscripts
Box 4 "The Red Spectre" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "The Red Widow Murder Case" - research material, ms. drafts, manuscript
Box 4 "Reward" Action Stories Mar. 1929
Box 4 "Right Answer" - ms. draft
Box 4 "The Ruby of Suratan Singh" Argosy July 12, 1930
Box 4 "S is for Shark" - manuscript
Box 4 "Sailor of Fortune" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Salesmanship" - unpublished manuscripts
Box 4 "Scum of the Sea" - ms. drafts
Box 4 "Secret Cargo" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Seeing Eyes" - ms. draft
Box 4 "Seen and Heard" - ms. drafts
Box 4 "Senor Death" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Sentiment" - unpublished manuscripts
Box 4 "Seven for the Executioner" - ms. drafts
Box 4 "Seven Men" - ms. draft
Box 4 "Seven Men" Detective Fiction Weekly Apr. 12
Box 4 "Shake Hands With Old Hickory" - manuscript
Box 4 "Sharp Sabres" Soldier Stories Apr. 1929
Box 4 "Soldier of the Legion" Adventure Trails Mar. 28
Box 4 "Spy With the Bald Head" - corrections and insertions
Box 4 "Star Death" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Stille Nacht" - ms. draft
Box 4 "Stories for 1946" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Submarine Girl" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Synthetic Crime" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "A Tale from the Twilight Zone" - ms. drafts
Box 4 "Terrible Lady" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Terror Chateau" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Thanksgiving -- 1634" - manuscript
Box 4 "They Also Serve" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "They Made Headlines: Sensational People of the Past" - unpublished manuscripts
Box 4 "Till Death Do Us Part" - manuscript
Box 4 "Till Death Do Us Part" Flynn's Detective Fiction undated
Box 4 "Too Bad About Mr. Denam" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Tower of Death" Action Stories (2 pulp) Sept. 1931
Box 4 "Turn About" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4 "Twenty-four Hours to Kill" High Spot Magazine Aug. 1930
Box 4 "Tough Kid" - manuscript
Box 4 "Tourist Catalogue" - ms. draft
Box 4 "Two Hours to Go" - manuscript fragments
Box 4a "V is News" Short Stories undated
Box 4a "The Voodoo Express" - ms. draft, research material
Box 4a "The Voodoo Express" Argosy (photocopy) Oct. 10, 1931
Box 4a "Vultures Over Europe" - manuscript
Box 4a "Weird Stories" - ms. draft
Box 4a "Where the Boys Are Marching" - ms. draft
Box 4a "The Whip" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4a "Who Killed Santy Claus?" (Theodore Roscoe/Henry W. Clune) - ms. draft
Box 4a "Who Walks Like a Man" - ms. drafts
Box 4a "Whom the Gods Destroy" - unpublished manuscript
Box 4a "The Widow Wore Red" - ms. drafts
Box 4a "Z is for Zombie" - ms drafts
Box 4a "Zack the Giant Killer" Fight Stories Aug. 1928
Box 4a "Zombies Don't Talk" - manuscript fragment
Box 4a "About Your Religion" - manuscript
Box 4a "The Abraham Lincoln Murder Case" The Reader's Digest undated
Box 4a "Action at 31 Knots" - manuscript
Box 4a Aircraft Radio Equipment April 27, 1905
Box 5 "American Energy Murder Mystery" - research material, ms. drafts
Box 5 "The Awful Truth About Fallout Shelters" - manuscript
Box 4 "Fast Ship for Harms Way" - manuscript
Box 5 "History for Dessert" - manuscript
Box 5 "Hugh Miller -- Arundel Is. Survival Story" - ms. draft
Box 5 "Musical Instruments Have Charms" - manuscripts, photographs
Box 5 Navy: History and Tradition 1958, 1959 (24 cartoon books)
Picture History of the U.S. Navy
Box 5 Research materials, notes, ms. drafts
Box 6 Ms. drafts, manuscripts, proofs
Box 7 Photonegatives, photographs
Box 8 Photonegatives, photographs, reviews
Oversize 1 Oversize material
Box 8 POW: the Fight Continues After the Battle (joint author) May 8, 1905
Box 8 "Report on the POW Report" - ms. drafts, clippings
Box 8 This Is Your Navy 1950 - manuscript, reviews (2 folders)
Box 8 The Trent Affair, November, 1861 - galley proof
Box 8 True Tales of Bold Escapes - ms. drafts
Box 8 United States Destroyer Operations in World War II May 13, 1905
United States Submarine Operations in World War II (working titles: "Submarine Force History", "Three Inches From Death")
Box 9 Research material, ms. drafts
Box 10 Ms. drafts, manuscript, photographs, reviews, front matter of Russian edition (photocopies)
Box 10 [published edition? check...] May 18, 1965
Box 10 "WW III: Can We Ever Believe What We Read?" - ms. draft, research material
Box 10 Notebooks (3 volumes)
Box 10 Reviews (by title)
Scripts (by title)
Box 10 A-Bh
Box 11 Bi-N
Box 12 O-Z
Box 12 Miscellaneous
Oversize 1 Awards
Box 12 Financial material 1952-1969, 1979, undated
Printed materials
Box 12, 13 Books
Oversize 1 Books (oversize)
Box 13 About 1953, 1992, undated
Box 13 Peripheral mention 1991, undated
Box 13 Miscellaneous 1871-1988, undated
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous (oversize) 1871-1988, undated
Box 13 Publicity
Box 13 Reviews
Box 13 Miscellaneous
Box 13 "Navy Picture History, Book IV"
Box 13 "Picture History, Book I, Part 1"
Box 13 "Picture History, Book I, Part 3"
Oversize 2 "Picture History, Book I, Part 3" (oversize)
Box 13 "Picture History, Vol. II, Book I, Part 1, Spanish American War"
Oversize 2 "Picture History, Vol. II, Book I, Part 1, Spanish American War" (oversize)
Oversize 2 "Scrapbook"
Oversize 2 "Some American History That May Not Be in the Schoolbooks"
Oversize 2 "Your Navy" and "U.S. Submarines WW II"
Box 13 Miscellaneous

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