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Howard and Jane Frank Collection of Science Fiction Pulp Magazines

 Collection 0549-LIT

This collection contains a variety of science fiction pulp magazines. Pulp magazines were inexpensive popular fiction works published from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s, characteristically printed on cheap wood pulp paper. Pulp magazines initially contained a variety of different genres of fiction, including mystery and adventure genres, but in the 1920s magazines devoted to science fiction began to appear more frequently. Science fiction pulp magazines typically featured colorful cover art, along with short stories that embraced futuristic and fantasy themes, highlighting technology, space travel, otherworldly creatures, scientific innovation, and unexplored environments. Some of the pulps such as Air Wonder Stories attempted to provide educational value to their stories by basing them on accurate scientific principles. Other titles, such as Astounding Stories of Super-Science, focused on providing the best price value with high page counts and low prices. The addition of letter columns in pulp magazines helped the fandom surrounding the genre grow as fans began to reach out to the addresses published alongside the letters. As science fiction progressed into the 1930s and 1940s, stories began to place a greater emphasis on plot and characterization. This collection’s titles include multi-genre pulps like The Strand and pulps devoted solely to science fiction such as Stirring Science Stories. Early titles featured stories written by H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Pushkin, and Jules Verne.

The collection contains 365 volumes of Sci-Fi pulps from 12 different title families. The pulps were published between 1891 and 1990, with the majority published between 1930 and 1961.


  • 1891-1990 and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1961

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the special collections reading room staff.


365 Items

Scope and Contents

The Sci-Fi Pulps collection consists of 365 bound volumes published from 1891 to 1990, with the majority published between 1930 and 1961.

The collection contains titles such as Astounding Science Fiction, Fantastic Adventures, and Munsey’s Magazine.

Biographical / Historical

This collection was donated to UMD Libraries in 2016 by Howard and Jane Frank. Howard Frank worked in computer science and helped to create ARPAnet, which heavily influenced the creation of the Internet. From 1997 to 2008 Howard Frank was the Dean of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Jane Frank is a well-known writer and lecturer on science-fiction and fantasy art. Howard developed a passion for science fiction as a child which continued into adulthood. Both Howard and Jane regularly attended science fiction conventions and became notable collectors of science-fiction and fantasy art.


The titles in this collection are arranged primarily alphabetically. They were cataloged and assigned local call numbers (e.g., SCIFI 1, SCIFI 2, etc.). In total, there are 26 different titles. Within a title, issues are arranged by volume and issue number.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to UMD Libraries in 2016 by Howard and Jane Frank, who collected science fiction and fantasy art for decades.

Related Materials

The following links lead to digitized copies of some of the titles in this collection.

Processing Information

Items in this collection were cataloged and assigned local call numbers (e.g., SCIFI 1, SCIFI 2, etc.). They can also be found by searching the University of Maryland Libraries catalog:

Guide to the Howard and Jane Frank Collection of Science Fiction Pulp Magazines
Caroline Ackiewicz
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742