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Willis E. McNelly Science Fiction Collection: Frank Herbert papers (Collection)

Identifier: SC-06-FH

Scope and Contents

The collection includes original manuscripts, working papers, correspondence, first editions, critical studies, and ephemera pertaining to Frank Herbert's life and the works included in the collection.


  • 1950 - 1986

Biographical / Historical

Frank Herbert was born in Tacoma, Washington on October 8, 1920 to Frank Herbert, Sr. and Eileen Herbert. In 1939, at age 19, he lied about his age to get his first newspaper job at the Glendale Star during a short stint in Los Angeles. Herbert moved to Salem in 1940 where he worked for the Oregon Statesman newspaper as an “on call” jack of all trades. At various times in his life he worked as a professional photographer, TV cameraman, radio news commentator, oyster diver, jungle survivor instructor, lay analyst, speech writer, and teacher of creative writing.

In 1940 he married Flora Parkinson with whom he had a daughter, Penny, they divorced in 1945. After serving in the U.S. Navy’s Seabees as a photographer during World War II, Herbert met Beverly Ann Stuart in a creative writing class at the University of Washington. They married in Seattle, Washington on June 20, 1946 and had two sons, Brian Patrick Herbert and Bruce Calvin Herbert.

He returned to freelance journalism after a dropping out of University and worked at the Seattle Star, and later the Oregon Statesman, and as a writer and editor for the San Francisco Examiner's California Living magazine. Herbert's published his first science fiction pieces in Astounding Science Fiction and Amazing Stories in the 1950s.

He retired from journalism in 1972 and moved back to his home town of Port Townsend to continue writing the Dune Chronicles: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune as well in addition to several other science fiction novels. His last published novel, Man of Two Worlds, was written in collaboration with his son, Brian Herbert. Herbert died at age 65 died of a pulmonary embolism on February 11, 1986 in Madison, Wisconsin.


91 boxes (78 Document boxes, 13 cartons of research files)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Aisle 9A -- Shelves 1-4

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Frank Herbert, later accruals were gifted by his family.

Separated Materials

Books donated with Frank Herbert's papers are shelved in Aisle 9A--Shelves 5-6.

For a complete list, advanced search for Willis E. McNelly Science Fiction Collection (Special Collections) [Local Collection] and Frank Herbert [Author] or ask archives staff for assistance.

Willis E. McNelly Science Fiction Collection: Frank Herbert papers
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Repository Details

Part of the CSUF University Archives & Special Collections Repository

University Archives & Special Collections
Pollak Library South Room 352 (PLS 352)
Fullerton CA 92831-3599 USA
(657) 278-4751