PCL MS 185 Roberta Gellis Collection
|Title||PCL MS 185 Roberta Gellis Collection|
The Roberta Gellis Collection consists of approximately 30 linear feet of documents and multimedia materials related to the author Roberta Gellis that date from 1951 to her passing in 2016. It contains manuscripts, outlines, proofs, handwritten first drafts of many published and unpublished works, computers disks containing manuscripts, and substantial amounts of her research.
Roberta Gellis began transferring materials to the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University in September 1999. An addition to the collection was made by her estate in 2016 and again in 2017. The collection has no restrictions placed on its use for scholarly purposes. Researchers are responsible for securing copyright permission when using all unpublished manuscripts and published works, whether authored by Roberta Gellis or by other writers whose works may be found in this collection.
This finding aid was prepared by Mary Koslovsky in January 2006. It was updated by Manuscripts and Outreach Archivist Steve Ammidown in September 2016.
|Biographical Sketch||Roberta Gellis was a prolific author who published nearly 50 novels after her first was published in 1964. She wrote historical romances with medieval settings, becoming best known for her 1979 series The Roselynde Chronicles.She also wrote in multiple other genres including romantic suspense (both historical and contemporary), romantic fantasy, and science fiction. Though primarily writing under her own name, she also used the pseudonyms of Max Daniels, Priscilla Hamilton and Leah Jacobs. She collaborated on a number of historical fantasies with author Mercedes Lackey. In 2005, she contributed a chapter to the non-fiction book Mapping the World of Harry Potter entitled "The Dursleys as Social Commentary".|
Gellis received many awards for her writing including the Silver and Gold Medal Porgy for historical novels from West Coast Review of Books, the Golden Certificate and Golden Pen from Affaire de Coeur, The Romantic Times Award for Best Novel in the Medieval Period and Lifetime Achievement Award for Historical Fantasy and Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award.
She did not come to fiction writing right away- she obtained her MS in Chemistry from Brooklyn Polytechnic University in 1951. She worked both as a freelance scientific copy editor and as a research chemist for Foster D. Snell for many years, where she and her inventing partner developed aerosolized shaving foam and pink hair dye, among other creations, before she entered a second career as a best-selling author. It was during this second career that she also otained a masters degree in medieval literature.
Gellis was a passionate adopter of technology for both writing and reading novels. The collection includes more than 200 computer disks of multiple formats containing literary manuscripts, as well as final works which were sold on 3 1/2" disks and CD-ROM.
Roberta Gellis passed away on May 6, 2016. Her husband of 68 years, Charles, passed away in 2014. Roberta is survived by her son Dr. Mark Gellis, daughter-in-law Sandra Brown Gellis, and her granddaughter Elizabeth Gellis, all of Flushing, MI.
|Scope and Content||The Roberta Gellis Collection comprises approximately 30 linear feet of literary manuscripts, research files, business files, multimedia materials and computer disks, all dating from approximately 1951-2016, with the bulk dated 1964-2009. |
The bulk of the collection is comprised of various forms of literary manuscripts, from handwritten and typed drafts to copyedited manuscripts, to galley proofs and art samples. These manuscripts exist in printed and digital forms, and present a unique opportunity to trace the author's process across the span of her career.
Roberta Gellis was known for the detailed research she put into each novel, and the collection reflects that through her research files, including two boxes of hundreds of 5" x 8" cards covering people, places and events. Correspondence with editors and other authors can also be found within the collection.
The collection also includes versions of short stories written by Roberta Gellis as well as unpublished works, and a copy of the thesis she wrote in 1951 for her MS in Chemistry from Brooklyn Polytechnic University, "Concentration and Purification of Toxoids".
The Roberta Gellis Collection provides researchers with access to a wealth of materials produced by a beloved author. It represents the work of an author who worked across decades of great social and technological changes while writing almost exclusively about periods long past or long in the future.
|Series Description||Literary Manuscripts|
May include manuscripts (both printed and digital), outlines, synopses, corrections, handwritten first drafts, manuscript fragments and research notes.
|Transfers||The 2016 addition to the collection included a number of printed novels that were separated and added to the book collection of the Browne Popular Culture Library. These included 17 foreign-language editions of Roberta Gellis' books, in Portugese, Russian, German, Japanese and French. Other books that were separated were:|
Bone of Contention (hardcover)
Bone of Contention (advance reader copy)
Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of Poisons (advance reader copy)
A Mortal Bane (advance reader copy)
Roselynde (advance reader copy)
A Personal Devil (advance reader copy)
Irish Magic II (advance reader copy)
Fortune's Bride (advance reader copy)
A Woman's Estate (advance reader copy)
The 2016 addition also included audio book versions of Mortal Bane and Bone of Contention, which were added to the Browne Popular Culture Library's audiobook collection.