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Vincent Starrett Collection


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The Step Ladder (photocopies)


The Double Dealer (photocopies)

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Vincent Starrett Collection | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Vincent Starrett Collection


Extent: 0.0

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of Starrett's novels, bibliographies, essays, poems, correspondence and letters, biographies, autobiographies, and miscellaneous odds and ends such as greeting cards and book plates.

Collection Historical Note

Vincent Starrett was a book collector, author, bibliographer, and a Sherlock Holmes scholar. He has been referred to as part of Chicago's "literary renaissance” and has written or edited more than 50 books of essays, criticism, fiction, biography, poetry, and bibliography. It has been said that Starrett's bibliographies on authors such as Arthur Machen, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Ambrose Bierce revived their popularity.

Born in Toronto, Starrett moved to Chicago with his family early on and eventually became a crime reporter, feature writer, political analyst, and foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News. His work at the Chicago Daily News ended with the publication of his first novel, "Seaports in the Moon" (1928), which was said to be a dominant bid for literary recognition. He also wrote a weekly column called "Books Alive" in the Chicago Tribune for 25 years, influencing the reading habits of millions. During this time he continued to write detective novels, literary essays, poetry, and more.

One of his greatest claims to fame was his fascination with and knowledge of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. In 1933 he wrote an imaginative biography on the fictional character called "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes." He was one of the founders of the Bakers Street Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes society, and he was a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society in London.

The Starrett Collection at Northern Illinois University Library's Rare Books and Special Collections began as a modest collection of Chicago Renaissance material many years ago. Items in the collection have been purchased over the years by the library or donated by collectors and other libraries. The collection consists of Starrett's novels, bibliographies, essays, poems, correspondence and letters, biographies, autobiographies, and miscellaneous odds and ends such as greeting cards and book plates.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Correspondence],
[Series II: Articles],
[Series III: The Step Ladder (photocopies)],
[Series IV: Miscellaneous],
[Series V: The Double Dealer (photocopies)],

Series I: Correspondence
Box 1
Folder 1: Correspondence to Jay Finley Christ (photocopies), 1944 - 1956
Folder 2: Correspondence with Basil Rathbone (photocopies), 1947 - 1967
Folder 3: Correspondence with Walter Klinefelter 1930-1960 (photocopies), 1930 - 1964
Folder 4: Correspondence with Harry Hansen (photocopies), James B. Stronk (photocopies), Catherine Barth (photocopies), and Mrs. Ira Nelson Morris, 1947 - 1969
Series II: Articles
Box 1
Folder 5
Item 1: The Fugitive - The Golden Book Magazine, Vol. XIII No. 73, Jan-31
Item 2: Pleasant Game for a Desert Island - Chicago Tribune, 6-Oct-63
Item 3: The Wrong Santa Claus - King Features Syndicate, N. D.
Item 4: Favorite Classics - Chicago Tribune, 27-Aug-50
Item 5: America’s First Breach of Promise Case, 23-Mar-58
Item 6: The Spookwriting Industry - Encore, Vol.VII No. 35, Jan-45
Item 7: Conversation on a Desert Island - Reading and Collecting, Vol.2 No.3, Feb-March 1938
Item 8: Of Castaways and Islands - Answers, Vol.1 No.19, Sep-39
Item 9: The Autograph Habit - Book Notes, Vol.4 No.5, June-July 1926
Item 10: The Terrible Balloon Flight - Argosy, Jun-57
Item 11: Michael Wood: A Study in Mysticism - The Open Court, Vol.35 No.3, Mar-21
Item 12: Florence Nightingale’s Lost Romance - The Mentor, Mar-26
Item 13: The Man Who Made Omar… - Haldeman-Julius Quarterly, July-Sept. 1927
Item 14: A Sprightly Defense of Reprints by Vincent (Books Alive) Starrett… - Chicago Daily News, 4-Dec-40
Folder 6
Item 1: Miscellaneous Articles concerning Vincent Starrett (photocopies) Chicago Tribune, 12-Jan-74
Item 2: Writer’s funeral is Sherlockian by Bob Cromie Chicago Tribune, 3-Oct-68
Item 3: Cromie Looks at Authors and Books: A Graceful Tribute to a Chicago Writer by Bob Cromie Chicago Daily News, April 27-28, 1974
Item 4: Never-Say-Die Starrett, the great Sherlockian of [Chicago (crossed out)] World letters by Michael Murphy Vancouver Daily Province, 4-Oct-33
Item 5: Woman Missing from Inlet Ferry (death of Vincent Starrett’s mother Margaret Denniston Starrett) The Great Lakes Review, Vol.4 No.2, Winter 1978
Item 6: Vincent Starrett and The Wave: A Little Magazine of Chicago in the 1920s by Charles and Kay Silet, 1920s
Series III: The Step Ladder (photocopies)
Box 1
Folder 7
Item 1: Vol.II No.2 - "The Ghost" by Vincent Starrett, Jan-21
Item 2: Vol. I No. 2 - "The Real Vincent Starrett", Dec-19
Item 3: Vol.32 No.9 - "His Monument" by Vincent Starrett, Nov-45
Item 4: Vol.32 No.2 - "Wisdom of Old China retold" by Vincent Starrett, Feb-45
Item 5: Vol.31 No.3 - "Wisdom of Old China retold" by Vincent Starrett, Mar-44
Item 6: Vol.31 No.2 - "Came the Dawn" by Vincent Starrett, Feb-44
Item 7: Vol.XXX No.7 - "Summer Night" by Vincent Starrett, Sep-43
Item 8: Vol.30 No.6 - "Starrett in Limbo" by George Steele Seymour, Jun-43
Item 9: Vol.30 No.4, Apr-43
Item 10: Vol.29 No.9 - "Let Shakespeare Speak" reported by Wilfred Hansford Gallienne, Nov-42
Item 11: Vol.28 No.2 - "The Book Shelf", Feb-41
Item 12: Vol.27 No.10 - "On Reading Books Alive By Vincent Starrett" by Rachel Albright, Dec-40
Item 13: Vol.21 No.2 - "When Jones Died" by Vincent Starrett, Feb-35
Item 14: Vol.33 No.8 - "Portrait of an Artist" by Vincent Starrett, Oct-46
Item 15: Vol.33 No.9 - "Portrait of an Artist" (part 2) by Vincent Starrett, Nov-46
Item 16: Vol.34 No.2 - "Conversation at [Midnight (crossed out)] [Barcelona (written in)]" by Vincent Starrett, Feb-47
Item 17: Vol.XXXV No.3 - Black Sheep by Vincent Starrett and "Other People" by Vincent Starrett, Mar-48
Item 18: Vol.XXXV No.4 - "Alice, Where Art Thou" by Vincent Starrett, Apr-48
Item 19: Vol.35 No.5 - "After Much Striving For Fame" by Vincent Starrett, May-48
Series IV: Miscellaneous
Box 1
Folder 8: Vincent Starrett: In Memoriam by Michael Murphy (photocopy), N. D.
Folder 9
Item 1: Vincent Starrett Centenial Fund (photocopies) Letter requestiong donations, 1986
Item 2: Vincent Starrett Centenial Fund (photocopies) Commemorating Symposium w/letter, October 25, 1986
Item 3: Vincent Starrett Centenial Fund (photocopies) Dedication of Vincent Starrett Memorial w/map, October 26, 1986
Folder 10: Voyage – Vincent Starrett poem; music by Martha Mendenhall Rippel (photocopy), N. D.
Folder 11
Item 1: The American Book Collector (photocopy) 10th Anniversary – 100 th Issue – Special Mark Twain Number- Vol. X, No. 10, Jun-60
Item 2: The American Book Collector (photocopy) “Mark Twain” and “Shaking Hands With Immortality” by Vincent Starrett, N. D.
Folder 12
Item 1: Chicago Murders (photocopy), N. D.
Item 2: Regional Murder Series edited by Marie F. Rodell, 1945
Folder 13
Item 1: Escape Fugitive (photocopy), N. D.
Item 2: (play/manuscript based on a story by Vincent Starrett) with notes at end, 8-Aug-48
Folder 14: The Web Program “A” - The Twelfth Juror (photocopy), Air date: July 4, 1950
Folder 15: Content: CBS Radio Network – Philip Morris Playhouse on Broadway – The Eleventh Juror (photocopy), 7/22/1953
Series V: The Double Dealer (photocopies)
Box 1
Folder 16
Item 1: "Starrett's Chicago Letter", Jan-21
Item 2: Vol.I No.2 - "Bluebeard" by Stephen Huguenot (Starrett pseudonym), Starrett's Chicago Letter, and "Inhibition" by Edgar Savage (Starrett pseudonym), Feb-21
Item 3: Vol.I No.3 - "Two Suicides" by Vincent Starrett (missing page 115), Mar-21
Item 4: Vol.I No.4 - "Ageless Woman" by Edgar Savage and "Starrett's Chicago Letter", Apr-21
Item 5: Vol.I No.5 - "Haldane McFall, Novelist" by Vincent Starrett and "Starrett's Chicago Letter", May-21
Item 6: Vol.I No.6 - "Miniature” and “Episode” by Stephen Huguenot, Jun-21
Item 7: Vol.II No.7 - "Little Tales of Mexico- I. How Felipe Looked Out of a Window" by Vincent Starrett and "Starrett's Chicago Letter", Jul-21
Item 8: Vol.II No.8/9 - "Chicago Letter" by Vincent Starrett, August/September 1921
Item 9: Vol.II No. 10 - “Little Tales of Mexico- II. How Rafael Carried His Head” and Review of “Robertson's ‘Edgar A. Poe'” by Vincent Starrett, Oct-21
Item 10: Vol.II No.11 - "The Passing of James Branch Cabell" by Vincent Starrett, Nov-21
Item 11: Crescent Moon by Vincent Starrett, Jun-21
Item 12: Vol.IV No.23 - "Pensee" by Vincent Starrett, Nov-22
Item 13: Vol.VII No.45 - "Weather Report" by Vincent Starrett, Jul-25
Item 14: Vol.VIII No.47 - "A Birthday" by Vincent Starrett, Jan-26

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Correspondence],
[Series II: Articles],
[Series III: The Step Ladder (photocopies)],
[Series IV: Miscellaneous],
[Series V: The Double Dealer (photocopies)],

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