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Malcolm Reiss papers

Identifier: Coll 016

Scope and Contents

The collection contains personal papers including correspondence, manuscripts, and published articles, and also business records of Fiction House including correspondence, contracts, and financial records.

Personal correspondence is arranged chronologically (1930-1975) and includes personal memorabilia, contracts and negotiations, business correspondence with associates, and letters to President Johnson protesting the Vietnam War.

Manuscripts include The Desert Runner, and two short children's stories. Included here is a eulogy to writer David Stacton, and a letter from Stacton, and notecards for a lecture by Reiss on publishing.

Published articles by Reiss are arranged first alphabetically by title of publication and then chronologically within each publication title. Many of the articles are oversized and can be found in a package filed with the collection. The paper finding aid lists the article titles and the pseudonym under which they were written, if applicable. There is also a copy of the book, China Boat Boy.

Fiction House correspondence is arranged chronologically (1926-1966) and consists of letters by writers and associates concerning publications or distribution rights.

Fiction House business papers are also arranged chronologically and include contracts, suits, tax statements, bond sales and purchases, a list of securities and negotiations for sale of video rights. Financial papers include a list of securities, bonds and debentures, and receipts.

There are seven Fiction House ledgers arranged chronologically from 1942-1960. The ledgers contain information concerning payments to authors, publishing expenditures, and lists of publications.


  • Creation: 1922-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Malcolm Reiss (1905-1975) was an editor, author, and author's agent. He grew up in San Francisco and worked during college vacations in the Northwest and Arizona as a surveyor. He was a graduate of Stanford University and subsequently studied at Columbia University.

From 1933 to 1960 he was managing editor of Fiction House Publications in New York City. Upon leaving Fiction House he operated his own literary agency. Later, he joined the literary agency of Paul Reynolds and Son, as Vice President.

Reiss published stories in Boys Life, Colliers, Saturday Evening Post, and True Western Adventures. Pseudonyms he wrote under included Buck Ryall and William Ryall.

In 1954, his book, China Boat Boy was published by Lippincott.


2.5 linear feet (2 containers and 1 package)

Language of Materials



Malcolm Reiss (1905-1975) was an editor, author of stories and a book, China Boat Boy, and also an author's agent. The collection contains personal papers including correspondence, manuscripts, and published articles, and also business records of Fiction House including correspondence, contracts, and financial records.


Material within this collection is minimally arranged. Any arrangement is either derived from the records' creators or custodians or from staff at the time of initial processing. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.

Physical Description

2 manuscript boxes.

Processing Information

Collection processed by George Wagner, 1981.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal organization and rehousing.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents.

Guide to the Malcolm Reiss Papers
Revise Description
Tanya Parlet.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA