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Vietnam War Literature Manuscript Collection

Identifier: MVWC

Scope and Contents

The Vietnam War Literature Manuscript Collection consists of documents dated 1962 to 2001, with the bulk falling from 1972 to 1989. The archival collection described here supports the large collection of cataloged novels and other published materials on the Vietnam War that are part of Special Collections in the Colorado State University Library. Materials in this collection include manuscripts and galley proofs of novels, short stories, poetry, and comics, as well as bibliographies, book reviews, and cassette tapes. While John Newman, former curator of Special Collections at CSU, was responsible for the creation of the Vietnam Literature Collection, W. D. Ehrhart and J.C. Pratt were both instrumental in its establishment. Correspondence and personal papers from all three can be found in the collection.


  • Creation: 1962-2001, 2018
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1972-1989


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


The modern war novel genre can be traced back to the 19th century when novels regarding the American Civil War, the Battle of Waterloo, and the Napoleonic Wars were published. World War I saw a drastic increase in the publication of war novels, covering all aspects of the conflict. Novels with anti-war themes were introduced after the end of World War I. World War II and the Vietnam War also saw large numbers of novels, short stories, and poetry published. The most common perspective is that of a combat infantryman, and many stories cover a particular tour of duty. Other novels feature storylines around pilots, nurses, officers, spies, and reporters.


19.5 linear feet (4 record cartons, 24 document cases, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials



The Vietnam War Literature Manuscript Collection contains imaginative accounts of Americans fighting in Vietnam. The collection includes drafts and manuscripts of fiction novels, plays, poetry, short stories, and comics, as well as bibliographies, reviews, correspondence, and cassette tapes.


The collection consists of 5 series in 4 record cartons, 24 document cases, and 1 flat box:

Series 1: Manuscripts, galleys, and proofs, 1964-1998 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Comics of Doug Murray, 1986-1989

Subseries 1.2: Dramas, 1972, 1982 and undated

Subseries 1.3: Fiction, 1977-1995 and undated

Subseries 1.4: Non-fiction, 1965-1998 and undated

Subseries 1.5: Poetry, 1965-1997 and undated

Subseries 1.6: Short stories, 1964-1998 and undated

Series 2: Photocopies, 1964-2001 and undated

Subseries 2.1: Comics, 1964-1990 and undated

Subseries 2.2: Dramas, 1970 and undated

Subseries 2.3: Poetry, 1965-1999 and undated

Subseries 2.4: Short stories, 1968-2001 and undated

Subseries 2.5: Miscellany, 1967-1990

Series 3: Reviews, bibliographies, and interviews, 1962-1998 and undated

Subseries 3.1: Reviews, 1962-1997 and undated

Subseries 3.2: Bibliographies, 1967-1998

Subseries 3.3: Interviews, 1985-1990

Series 4: Correspondence and personal papers, 1967-2000 and undated

Subseries 4.1: Correspondence, 1977-2000

Subseries 4.2: Personal papers, 1967-1995 and undated

Series 5: Media, 1966-1990 and undated


The Vietnam War Literature Collection was established by John Newman in 1975. Various people donated to the collection throughout the 1980s until the early 2000s. An electronic file of a manuscript was donated by William L. Smutko in August 2018.

Related Collections

The William D. Ehrhart Papers, La Salle University. Connelly Library. Department of Special Collections.View

Novels and other published writings on the Vietnam War are cataloged and located in Special Collections under the named collection titled "The Vietnam War Literature Collection."


Processing was completed in October 2015. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Paperclips and metal fasteners were removed. The 2018 accrual was a digital file and a paper copy was printed and housed in an acid-free folder.

Guide to the Vietnam War Literature Manuscript Collection
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Sarah Lillis; revised by Victoria Lopez-Terrill
Copyright 2015, 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA