USC Libraries

University of Southern California

skip navigation

Archives at USC

« back to Archives at USC Search

Finding Aid of the Irving Wallace papers

Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Hirsch, July 2010

The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Wallace, Irving, 1916-1990
Irving Wallace papers
Collection no.
Date [inclusive]
3.5 Linear feet, 3 boxes
Language of Materials
The papers in this collection are in English, with the exception of the draft and proofs of Los Disconformes, the Spanish edition of The Square Peg.
This collection contains the papers of the screenwriter and novelist Irving Wallace (1916-1990). His papers include correspondence, research notes, proofs, and typescripts for some of his stories, screenplays, and novels.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Irving Wallace papers, Collection no. 0144, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical Note

Irving Wallace was born in 1916 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He sold his first magazine story when he was 15. After dropping out of college to write for film, he met his wife Sylvia Kahn. In 1942, Wallace enlisted in the Air Force, where he was placed in the First Motion Picture Division. A year later, he was transferred to the Signal Corps Photographic Center, which stationed him first in Los Angeles and later in New York. Upon his discharge from the Air Force in 1946, he returned to free-lancing for periodicals but also started writing screenplays and treatments for movie studios. In 1953, he began writing book-length works. His first published work was The Fabulous Originals. Over the course of his career, he would go on to write sixteen novels and seventeen works of nonfiction, many of which became sensational best-sellers. Wallace died in 1990.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Content

Collection consists of correspondence, research notes, proofs, and corrected typescripts for various stories, screenplays, and novels by Irving Wallace. Books represented in this collection include The Plot, The Man, The Sunday Gentleman, The Twenty-Seventh Wife, The Fabulous Originals, and The Writing of One Novel. While the papers are mostly copies, most items contain autograph notations by Wallace. Also included in this collection are photographs, including original stills of Sarah Bernhardt, magazines in which interviews of Wallace and reviews or excerpts of his work can be found, drafts of Wallace's memoirs, and a small amount of personal correspondence.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
July 2010
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Return to Table of Contents »

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

Special Collections at the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges has more of Wallace's papers in their Irving Wallace Archive.

Separated Materials

The books donated to USC with the Irving Wallace Papers have been cataloged as rare books in USC Libraries Special Collections.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings


  • Correspondence
  • Notes
  • Page proofs
  • Photographs
  • Typescripts

Personal Name(s)

  • Knopf, Alfred A., 1892-1984 -- Correspondence
  • Wallace, Irving, 1916-1990 -- Archives
  • Weidman, Jerome, 1913-1998 -- Correspondence


  • Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources
  • Screenwriters--United States--Archival resources

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Books 


Series is arranged in alphabetical order by title of publication.


Return to Table of Contents »

Series 2:  Short Stories, Plays and Magazine Publications 


Stories are in alphabetical order by title of work.


Return to Table of Contents »

Series 3:  Screen Treatments 


Series is in alphabetical order by title of work.


Return to Table of Contents »

Series 4:  Interviews, Correspondence and Personal Papers 


Return to Table of Contents »

Series 5:  Photographs 


Return to Table of Contents »

Series 6:  Movie Art 


Return to Table of Contents »