Wednesday, May 13, 2009

D&D Archival and Paper Collections

I need your help. I need to locate archival collections related to Dungeons and Dragons, or perhaps papers donated by individuals involved with the game (in any era). Does anyone know if Gygax, Arneson, or others, donated their personal papers to a local, state, or university archive? I am aware that R.A. Salvatore donated his papers to Fitchburg State College (MA), but I need to find additional collections. WotC must have a corporate archive too, I'm guessing. Our initial database searches haven't turned up much. I thought perhaps a call within the LotGD community might bear more fruit. Thank you in advance.


grodog said...

The WotC archives were purged pretty thoroughly during the later 1990s and early 2000s IIRC.

I don't know of any university donations for authorial papers made by any D&D designers. There is an archive in Iowa IIRC, but I'd have to go digging for details.

What information are you looking for?


Kiltedyaksman said...

In short, anything I can find related to the history of the game. I don't think I will be in a position to take some things and leave others. I need to have a firm understanding of what is available in order to put the remainder of my research proposal together. If archival materials don't exist, I will have to supplement with more interviews and personal collections. Being located in Canada presents some problems as I don't have access to as many US archival databases.

Anonymous said...

To be obvious, it sounds like you need to contact the families of Gygax and Arneson for the hardcore data you're seeking. If you want 'anything' but cannot accept some data without others...a tall order. I am curious too. What can you be seeking that hasn't been explained about the history of the game already?

Rob Kuntz said...

None exist to my knowledge. Contacting each party may give some clues.

Kiltedyaksman said...

Yes, it seems that personal collections and interviews will be the way to go. Papers in collections are always a good way to go as you have full access to them on your own time. You/the archive can also make copies for your own files. I'm looking to write an academic cultural history, rather than a popular history. So the conventions are different. Moreover, I have to get the project funded to make it go and archival collections can help that cause.

Mike Mearls said...

I believe that WotC still has a corporate archive somewhere. IIRC, it holds one copy of each D&D product.

However, the on-site game library has undergone several rounds of purges, casual theft, and what-not. There's not much left.