About This Collection

Beginning in 1967 science fiction author Robert Heinlein, along with his wife and business associate Virginia, donated and bequeathed Robert Heinlein's papers to UCSC's Special Collections. Upon Virginia Heinlein's death in 2003 the final installments from the Heinlein estate, including literary papers and awards, personal correspondence and artifacts, and business papers, were transferred to Special Collections.

The Papers relating to Robert Heinlein's literary career from 1939 to 1988 document the achievements of one of history's most renowned and intensely independent writers. Heinlein's science fiction publications are highly influential on popular culture, and his work, still offered in print, continues to generate research interest. Heinlein sustains a passionate following of international readers, fans, and scholars decades after his death.

The Heinlein Papers at UCSC contain manuscripts of Robert Heinlein's literary works, including short stories, juvenilia, novels, articles, reviews, screen plays, and television and radio programs. Also included are Robert and Virginia Heinlein's correspondence with editors, agents, producers, publishers, and other writers, as well as an amazing quantity of fan mail, often from enthusiasts active in other cultural fields. Heinlein's personal library, his collection of globes, artifacts from his early Naval career and political activity were also bequeathed to Special Collections, as were photographs, scrapbooks, yearbooks, and promotional material and ephemera from his many book and film projects.

While Robert Heinlein was born in Butler, Missouri and resided in other regions of the country, he and his wife lived for twenty years in Santa Cruz, where some of his best known literary works were written from the study in their Bonny Doon home. In a May 1966 letter to UCSC's first University Librarian Donald T. Clark, Heinlein writes that he and Virginia have "bought land in Bonny Doon and are preparing to build. The presence of the University was a major factor in our selection of Santa Cruz." Robert Heinlein in 1967 became one of the first "Friends of the Library" in the brand new McHenry Library built on the new UCSC campus. With the gift of the Heinlein Papers to the Library and later through the financial generosity of Virginia Heinlein and the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Trust, Special Collections can now make these important literary papers available to the larger community of Heinlein scholars, fans, and friends.

The process of organizing, documenting, and preserving Heinlein's work for future research is well underway. A finding aid with extensive content listings is being constructed as work on the Papers progresses. The collection of Heinlein's manuscripts comprises the first series within the Papers to be fully processed and made available. The finding aid, now part of the Online Archive of California, is linked to this website.

Special Collections is also pleased to partner with the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust a cooperative project to make the Heinlein papers electronically available in full text form. The "Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Archives" site will present and allow purchase of digital copies of selected material in downloadable PDF format. Robert Heinlein's OPUS manuscripts will be the first series presented in this way. These digital manuscript files include all of Heinlein's "published works with his notes, research, early drafts and edits of manuscripts, to the final published form," allowing insight into Heinlein's creative process. Information about how to access, search, and purchase the full text of manuscripts within the "Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Archives" site.

Support for establishing and maintaining this full-text site, as well as support for processing the original papers, has been generously provided through funding from the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust. We thank the Trust for assisting us in making these special resources accessible.

For further information about the Heinlein Papers at UCSC, including scheduling visits and viewing appointments, please contact Special Collections at speccoll@library.ucsc.edu.