PCL MS 143 Robert S. Bravard Collection on Samuel Delany
|PCL MS 143 Robert S. Bravard Collection on Samuel Delany
The Robert Bravard Collection contains approximately 17.5 linear feet of correspondence, literary manuscripts and other materials, primarily relating to Robert Bravard's relationship with author Samuel Delany during the time Bravard was writing an annotated bibliography of Delany's work. The materials were donated by Robert Bravard beginning in 1988. There are no restrictions placed on the collection for scholarly use. All copyright and related interests remain with the authors of the materials contained herein or their assigns. Any questions about the collection should be directed to the BPCL reference email. The collection was processed and the finding aid completed by Graduates Student Assistant Sylvio Lynch III, with assistance from Steve Ammidown, Manuscripts & Outreach Archivist, in August 2016.
Robert S. Bravard
Robert S. Bravard was born on November 2, 1933 in Dayton, Ohio. He served as Director of Library Services at Lock Haven State College for 28 years. Bravard received a B.A. in 1957 from Wilmington College and a Master of Science in Library Science in 1959 from Syracuse University. He began his professional career at Findlay College of Ohio in 1959 as Assistant Librarian before joining the staff of the Stevenson Library of Lock Haven University in 1963. After a promotion to Director of Library Services in 1970, Bravard administered various areas of the library’s technological advancement in its use of electronic resources, including the transition to online services.
Bravard was a founding member of the Susquehanna Library Cooperative in 1972, twice serving as the orgnaization's chair. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Libraries Council, and twice chair of the State System of Higher Education.
In 1998, Bravard retired from Lock Haven University as Director of Library Services. A lifelong avid collector of all things popular culture, Bravard long maintained a reltionship as a donor of items to the Browne Popular Cutlure Library. Most significantly Bravard donated thousands of comic books, greatly strengthening the depth of the library's collection. Robert Bravard passed away on May 27, 2005 in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.
Samuel Ray “Chip” Delany, Jr. was born April 1, 1942 in New York, New York where he attended the Dalton School and Bronx School of Science. He is an author of science fiction and literary criticism and an essayist of cultural criticism, sexuality and popular culture.
After a brief stint at City College of New York, Delany published his first eight novels with Ace Books from 1962 to 1967. Of these eight novels, Babel-17 and The Einstein Intersection earned Delany the Nebula Award, the award for the year’s best novel, from the Science Fiction Writers of America. Delany has won two other Nebula Awards, two Hugo Awards, one Stonewall Book Award, one Brudner Prize, and two Lambda Awards for his work. In 1972, Delany wrote two issues of the comic book Wonder Woman, originally intended to be a six-story series, but Delany pulled out after disagreements over the direction of the character with DC Comics.
In 1975, Delany’s most popular novel, Dhalgren, was released. The critically-acclaimed work sold over one million copies. Following Dhalgren, Delany published two other science fiction novels during the late 1970s, Triton and Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, followed by the Return to Neveryon series, which Delany would complete during the 1980s.
Besides a prolific career as an author, Delany has also dedicated part of his professional life to the academy. Delany has been a visiting fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1977), the University of Albany (1978), and Cornell University (1987). Following these fellowships, he spent 11 years as a professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, followed by a brief stint as an English professor at the University of Buffalo. He then taught in the English Department at Temple University until retirement in 2015.
|Scope and Content
The Robert S. Bravard Collection houses the manuscripts, drafts, musings, and select artifacts of award-winning science fiction author, Samuel “Chip” Delany. It also contains decades of correspondence between Delany and Robert Bravard, and years of correspondence between Bravard and various professionals in the publishing industry, librarians, and academic professionals.
Over the course of their professional relationship, Delany and Bravard developed a friendship reflected in collection’s correspondence section, where they discuss the day-to-day events of their professional and private lives. Delany’s writings in the collection reflect a wide range of topics, in multiple formats. Researchers will be particularly interested in Delany’s essays of cultural criticism and thoughts on such figures as Baudelaire and Derrida. The collection also contains essays which such titles as “Some Presumptuous Approaches to Science Fiction,” “Science Fiction and Literature,” and “Popular Culture, Sci-Fi Publishing, and Poetry, A Letter to a Critic.”
The 1970s was perhaps Delany’s most prolific period as science fiction novelist and the period when he created some of his most critically acclaimed work. From the 1970s and 1980s, the Bravard Collection contains volumes of Delany’s manuscripts including Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, Dhalgren, The Bridge of Lost Desire, Return to Neveryon, and Triton. The collection also contains Delany’s manuscripts from the 1980s such as Rescue on Rhyonon and They Fly at Ciron. A number of these manuscripts are accompanied by correspondence from Delany.
Robert Bravard collected his conversations with publishers and others revealing his thoughts on Delany’s work and the eventual development of the Delany bio-biography, Bravard co-wrote with Michael Peplow. In the voluminous collection of correspondence, researchers will be interested in Bravard’s development and maintenance of professional relationships in tandem with his own work and the progress of the Stevenson Library at Lock Haven University.