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William Lindsay Gresham Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Wade-A-86 through A-91

Scope and Contents

The William Lindsay Gresham Papers contains nine series: Article Ideas, Book Drafts and Related Materials, Correspondence, Long Works, Notes, Photographs, Publications, Short Works, and Topical. Researchers should be aware that content overlap may exist between the Long Works, Short Works, and Publications series.

Article Ideas: Primarily contains brief outlines and idea summaries for various magazine articles that Gresham wrote to his agent, Brandt and Brandt. Arrangement is by title of the work.

Book Drafts and Related Materials: Various items relating to the book-length works by William Lindsay Gresham. Contents are arranged by book title.

Correspondence: The personal and professional correspondence of William Lindsay Gresham, arranged by name of correspondent.

Long Works: Drafts of written works by William Lindsay Gresham that are approximately over 30 pages in length. Arrangement is by article title.

Notes: Contains typed and handwritten notes on various topics, including plot and story ideas, biographical material, lecture outlines, and personal direction notes relating to the I Ching.

Photographs: Photos of Bill Gresham and a few family photos, along with unidentified photos from Florida. Additional photographs relating to Gresham’s activities as a reporter and feature story magazine writer can be found in the Publications series.

Publications: A variety of published materials, primarily the published work of William Lindsay Gresham and related drafts and materials. Contents are arranged by publication title or topic.

Short Works: Drafts of written works by William Lindsay Gresham that are approximately under 30 pages in length. Arrangement is by article title. William Lindsay Gresham Papers, page 3

Topical: A variety of materials relating to the following topics: Alcoholics Anonymous (The Grapevine journal), Brainwashing, Circus and Carnival Acts, Houdini, Humanetics,and Witchcraft.


  • Created: 1913-2009
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1940-1962


Conditions Governing Access

Materials by Bill Gresham may not be copied or published without consent from Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents, Inc., contact: Marianne Merola, website:

Biographical or Historical Information

This archive was purchased by the Wade Center at the same time as the William Lindsay Gresham Correspondence Archive in 1982, but arrived in 2005 and was processed as a separate archive.The contents were housed  in regular manila folders with many folder titles written in heavy black marker. Where appropriate, the original folder titles and contents have been maintained.


6.00 boxes : 372 folders, 201 books

5.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This archive contains the personal papers of William Lindsay Gresham including: correspondence, and many of the works and research materials from his writing career.

Source of Acquisition

05/88, 17/44

Related Materials

Researchers interested in this archive may also wish to consult the following resources in the Wade Center holdings:

Nightmare Alley (motion picture based on the novel by Bill Gresham). Twentieth Century Fox, 1947. Wade Center Video Collection, CSL-Z / VR-5

Wade Center Article File: Contains articles by and about William Gresham.

Wade Center Book Collection: Contains 201 books from the personal library of William Gresham that arrived with the materials in this archive. Stored in book collection.

Wade Center Photograph Collection. Several photographs were removed from this archive and are now stored in the Wade’s photo collection.

Wetherill, Richard W. Two Talks in Problem Drinking and Bad Habits: “Discussion of Humanetics in Relation to Problem Drinking,“ and “Curing Bad Habits by a Mental Approach.” Wade Center Sound Recording collection, CSL-Z / SR-10 (see: Topical Series, Humanetics – in this archive)

William Lindsay Gresham Correspondence (Call number: A-51a-b)

Joy Davidman Papers

Other materials in the Wade Center holdings may relate to the topics in this archive. See the archivist for further research assistance.

Separated Materials

Photos from Series 6 folder 143 are stored in the Wade Center's Photographs collection (CSL originals in back of box in Fragile Storage).

Other Descriptive Information

Includes photographs. There is an acquisitions file for this collection. This archive was purchased at the same time as the material in the William Lindsay Gresham Correspondence, but the Papers arrived at the Wade Center in 2005 and were processed separately. Over 200 books were acquired with this archive from Bill Gresham's personal library, and are now in the Wade Center book collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Schmidt

William Lindsay Gresham Papers
Laura Schmidt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Marion E. Wade Center Repository

Wheaton College
501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 US