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Kate Wilhelm papers

Identifier: Coll 464

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of the literary manuscripts of science fiction and mystery novelist Kate Wilhelm; correspondence from publishers and Wilhelm’s literary agent, George Schlessiger; and personal items such as financial documents, contracts, and book reviews. Literary manuscripts include early and final drafts of short stories and novels, some of which have editing marks. Much of the correspondence is between George Schlessiger and editors, often with editing notes attached.


  • Creation: 1980-1999


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

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

Kate Wilhelm, née Meredith, was born June 8, 1928 in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from high school, Wilhelm worked several jobs such as telephone operator, sales clerk, and model. In 1947, she married Joseph Wilhelm; in her first short story, The Pint-Size Genie, was published in the October 1956 issue of Fantastic, a fantasy and science fiction magazine.

In 1962, Wilhelm divorced her husband; she married science fiction author and editor Damon Knight in 1963. She published her first novel, More Bitter than Death, in that same year. Throughout her writing career, Wilhelm has written numerous short stories that have been published in magazines such as Orbit, Cosmopolitan, and Locus, as well as published more than 50 novels. Many of her published novels include the Barbara Holloway and Charlie and Constance mysteries, the former of which follows the cases of a fictional attorney based in Eugene, Oregon, where she and Damon now reside. In addition to her short stories and novels, Wilhelm has also written a screenplay and had her work adapted for television, theater, and film.

Wilhelm and her husband, Damon Knight, helped to establish two prominent science fiction writer’s workshops: The Clarion Writer’s Workshop, and the Milford Writer’s Workshop. Wilhelm continues to host monthly writing workshops. She has also lectured at many universities and events around the globe and has won several awards for her work, including three Nebula Awards, two Hugo Awards, and two Locus Awards. She was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2003.

Some of Wilhelm’s most recent work includes By Stone, By Blade, By Fire; Whisper Her Name; and Death of an Artist. Her work can be found online at InfinityBox Press, a digital publishing platform for all of Wilhelm’s new and existing work.



15 linear feet (29 containers)


Collection is comprised of the papers of science fiction and mystery novelist Kate Wilhelm, and includes literary manuscripts, correspondence, and personal papers such as financial documents, contracts, and book reviews.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Literary Manuscripts Series II: Correspondence Series III: Personal Files

Processing Information

Collection processed by Thomas Beech.

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

Guide to the Kate Wilhelm papers
Complete Description
Finding aid written by Thomas Beech and Rachel Lilley.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA