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Helen Arvonen papers

Identifier: Ax 374

Scope and Contents

The Helen Arvonen papers contains materials regarding the writing career of Helen Arvonen, including novel drafts and final manuscripts, short stories and other published works. This collection also contains correspondence, both incoming and outgoing with publishers between the late 1940’s through the early 1970’s.

The novels subseries contains full and partial drafts of book length works, as well as final drafts of many of Arvonen’s prominent works, including Remember with Tears (1968) and The Witches of Brimstone (1971). This subseries also contains numerous revisions as well as outlines of works.

The short stories subseries contains four folders, each containing multiple shorter length works. This subseries also houses many personal writing notes and revision sheets.

The other published work subseries contains two folders which house final drafts and notes of published short stories, newspaper clippings and a copy of Mystery Magazine

The correspondence series contains both incoming and outgoing professional correspondence with various publishers, as well as correspondence between Edith Margolis of Lenniger Literary Agency, Arvonen’s long time publisher. This series houses correspondence dated between 1947 and 1973.


  • 1947-1967


Conditions Governing Access note

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 note

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

Helen Margaret Arvonen (1918-1992) is a Canadian born author whose writing focused primarily on the Gothic and Science fiction genres. Arvonen, after being born in Thessalon, Ontario, spent much of her early life traveling alongside her parents, who worked at many of the railroad camps throughout the region of northern Ontario. She eventually settled in Sault Ste. Marie, before becoming a prominent local science fiction writer, and had numerous works printed in publications such as Fantasy Magazine and Crime Magazine (Brown, Lynne) throughout the 1940’s. She later maintained a short stint as “a script writer at CJIC Radio and Television in the late 1950’s” (Brown, Lynne), before transitioning into full-length publications such as The Summer of Evil (1965) and Witches of Brimstone Hill (1971). Arvonen became quite prominent outside of the United States, with many of her publications “reprinted for distribution in the British Isles, Denmark, France, and Spain and translated for circulation in Sweden and Germany” (The City of Sault Ste. Marie). Arvonen completed fifteen published novels, prior to her passing in 1992.

Brown, Lynne. “Walk of Fame Just Got a Little Bigger.”, 31 Jan. 2016,

“The City of Sault Ste. Marie.” 2015 Walk of Fame Recipients Announced – City of Sault Ste. Marie, City of Sault Ste. Marie, July 2015,


6.5 linear feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



The papers of Canadian-born author Helen Arvonen consist of manuscripts of two novels and five short stories. There are 35 letters from Edith Margolis of the Lenniger Literary Agency.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I. Manuscripts

Subseries A. Novels Subseries B. Short Stories Subseries C.Other Published Works

Series II. Correspondence

General Physical Description note

5 containers

Processing Information note

Collection originally processed in 2010. Collection was physically reprocessed and inventoried by Anna Fleming in 2017.

Guide to the Helen Arvonen papers
Complete Description
University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team. Additional description by Anna Fleming, 2017.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid 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