Guide to the Henry M. Norton Papers
1942-1952, 1970-1975

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Norton, Henry M., 1906-1975
Title: Henry M. Norton papers
Dates: 1942-1952, 1970-1975 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.0 linear feet (4 containers)
Collection Number: Coll 072
Summary: Henry M. Norton (1906-1975) was a writer of magazine stories and radio and television scripts. He also taught writing. The collection includes correspondence, magazine stories, radio and television scripts, teaching materials, and financial ledgers.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Born in 1906 and a native of Ritzville, Washington, Henry M. Norton graduated from the University of Washington and moved to Portland, Oregon in 1937.

During his career, he worked as a copy writer for The Oregonian, and was production manager at KGW radio and television station prior to becoming manager of the Portland Symphony n 1958.

Norton was also a freelance fiction writer and had several stories published in national magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Argosy, Atlantic Monthly and Harper's. During World War II, Norton also frequently published detective diction. Not only did Norton write fiction, he became a skilled copy writer for radio and television, working with the BBC, among others.

In the early 1970s, Norton taught classes in technical writing and television and radio script writing at Mt. Hood Community College, and held private seminars at his home. He also worked briefly with the Professional Writers School, a correspondence study course for beginning writers. His work with this organization included written responses and critical analyses of individual student writing assignments.

In addition to these various activities, Norton was active in the Willamette Writers Association, and was co-founder of Golden House, an organization providing radio programs to shut-ins, the elderly, and the blind. Henry Norton died in 1975.

Content Description

The Henry M. Norton Papers contain correspondence, magazine stories, television and radio scripts, teaching material, and two financial ledgers. The material in this collection covers the periods 1941-1952, and 1970-1975. Material representing the years between 1953 and 1969 is not a part of this collection.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically from 1942-1975, a large segment of which is from his two literary agents, Lurton Blassingame and Carl Brandt. The remaining correspondence consists of assorted replies from magazines regarding acceptance and rejection of his stories. In the years 1971 and 1972, Norton wrote critiques of student correspondence work, provide examples of his personal writing philosophy.

This collection contains 57 of Norton's published magazine stories of detective and miscellaneous fiction. They are arranged alphabetically by title of story and are dated from 1942 to 1949. Also included are the introductory and concluding pieces of the script for episodes of the BBC's Hungry Eye Theatre. With this television copy is an assortment of press reviews and story line summaries regarding the television series. In addition to the Hungry Eye Theatre scripts, there are four miscellaneous television scripts.

The teaching material includes publicity, grade sheets and lecture notes from courses taught for Mt. Hood Community College and the Oregon Sate System of Higher Education's Division of Continuing Education. There are also lecture notes from a privately taught seminar entitled, Writing: Style and Substance.

The reminder of the collection consists of two financial ledgers, one covering 1942-1947, the other 1948-1950. The ledgers are divided into monthly segments and show columns that demonstrate earnings from published stores and expenses for writing that include rent, magazine subscriptions, reams of paper and typewriter ribbons.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Henry M. Norton Papers, Coll 072, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series: Correspondence

Series: Magazine Stories

Series: Radio Scripts

Series: Television Scripts

Series: Teaching Material

Series: Ledgers

Series: Addendum

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by Shelli Wicklund, Manuscripts Processor, August 1974.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 1 Correspondence 1942
1 2 Correspondence 1943
1 3 Correspondence 1944
1 4 Correspondence January 1945-July 1945
1 5 Correspondence August 1945-December 1945
1 6 Correspondence 1946
1 7 Correspondence 1947
1 8 Correspondence January 1948-August 1948
1 9 Correspondence September 1948-December 1948
1 10 Correspondence January 1949-July 1949
1 11 Correspondence August 1949-December 1949
2 1 Correspondence 1950
2 2 Correspondence 1951
2 3 Correspondence 1952
2 4 Correspondence 1970
2 5 Correspondence March 1971-December 1971
2 6 Correspondence October 1971-November 1971
2 7 Correspondence December 1971
2 8 Correspondence January 1972-October 1972
2 9 Correspondence 1973
2 10 Correspondence
2 11 Correspondence 1974
2 12 Correspondence 1975

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Magazine Stories
2 13 "Big Town Payoff," Detective Book 1942
2 13 The Black Door, unpublished [?]
2 14 "Case of the Three Blonde Mice," Detective Tales 1946
2 14 "Circus Kill," Private Detective 1946
2 14 "Come Die with Me," Private Detective 1943
2 14 "Corpse About Town," Detective Story 1943
2 15 "Dear Killer," Detective Tales 1945
2 15 "Death comes with the Salmon," Argosy 1943
2 15 "Death with Sound Effects," Detective Story 1946
2 15 "Die, Die Black Sheep," Private Detective 1944
2 15 "Double or Anything," Maclean's 1948
2 15 "Driven to Kill," Detective Story 1947
2 16 "Easy Out," Super Detective 1945
2 16 "Forgive Us Our Deaths," Detective Story 1943
2 16 "A Fortune in Fish" Argosy 1944
2 16 "For Whom the Bell Kills," Argosy 1944
3 1 "Genius Working," The Australian Women's Weekly 1948
3 1 "Ghost in a Dinner Jacket," Detective Story 1948
3 1 "Goose Creek Road," Farm Journal 1946
3 2 "The Haunted Shirt," The Saturday Evening Post 1947
3 2 "How Dead Was My Valet?" Crack Detective 1944
3 2 "Here's Homicide," Black Mask 1945
3 2 "A Horse He Can Ride," The Toronto Star Weekly 19i48
3 3 "Ill Moider Tha Bum," Crack Detective 1943
3 3 "Ill Slay You Later," New Detective 1943
3 3 "In the Dead Man's Steps," Detective Tales 1947
3 3 "Invisible Fleet," Western Family 1947
3 4 "Jackal Kill," Hollywood Detective 1945
3 4 "The Knight of Death," Detective Book 1943
3 4 "The Lady Lied," (incomplete) Private Detective 1943
3 4 "Maestro for the Dead," Detective Tales 1943
3 4 "Miracle at Durango," The Virginia Quarterly Review 1944
3 4 "Murder Can Wait," Crack Detective 1944
3 5 "Murderer's Way," Black Mask 1943
3 5 "Murder Takes an Encore," New Detective 1943
3 5 "Mystery of the Fancy," The Toronto Star Weekly 1946
3 5 "The Natural," Cosmopolitan 1949
3 5 "No Tears for the Lady," Dime Detective 1944
3 6 "Once Upon a tomb," Dime Detective 1946
3 6 "One Must Die," Detective Fiction 1944
3 6 "100,000 Postwar Receipt," Nation's Business 1944
3 6 "Pool of Death," Dime Detective 1944
3 6 "Prison in Space," Amazing Stories 1i43
3 7 "Red Runs the River," Private Detective 1944
3 7 "The Right to Kill," Private Detective 1945
3 7 "Sailboat Patrol," Argosy 1944
3 7 "Sheriff Lovatt's Death Watch," Detective Tales 1946
3 7 "The Singing Dead," Detective Fiction 1943
3 8 "Slayer's Playday," Ten Detective Aces 1945
3 8 "The Soft Touch," Collier's 1946
3 8 "Soldier's Return," Private Detective 1945
3 8 "The Square Root of All Evil," Detective Tales 1943
3 8 "Sucker's Fury," Dime Detective 1948
3 9 "These Also Die" Detective Story 1944
3 9 "Who'll Buy My Violence?" Speed Detective 1945
3 9 "You Bet Your Life," Speed Detective 1946
3 9 "Young Man With Ideas," Cosmopolitan 1949

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Radio Scripts
4 1 "Along the Oregon Trail
4 2 "Forestry Research in Action," #76, #77, #78
4 3 Rodeo narration

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Television Scripts
4 4 Hungry Eye Theatre, British Broadcasting Company. Thomas Hard Series--Publicity copy 1975
4 5 Hungry Eye Theatre, British Broadcasting Company. Thomas Hard Series--"An Imaginative Woman," introduction 1975
4 6 Hungry Eye Theatre, British Broadcasting Company. Thomas Hard Series--"Nana," summary and press reviews
4 7 Hungry Eye Theatre, British Broadcasting Company. Thomas Hard Series--"Nana," episodes 1-5 (introduction and conclusion)
4 8 Hungry Eye Theatre, British Broadcasting Company. Thomas Hard Series--"Roads to Freedom," summary and press reviews
4 9 Hungry Eye Theatre, British Broadcasting Company. Thomas Hard Series--"Roads to Freedom," episodes 1-13 (introduction and conclusion)
4 10 KLAS--Las Vegas, Nevada, 1975
4 11 KOAP--Portland, Oregon, "Nana," episode 1 (introduction and conclusion)
4 12 O.E.P.B.S.--Anniversary Broadcast 1972
4 13 Professional Writers School, Television spot and publicity

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Teaching Material
4 14 Oregon State System of Higher Education, Division of Continuing Education, Technical Writing Course, lecture notes 1972
4 15 Mt. Hood Community College: publicity; grade sheets
4 16 Mt. Hood Community College: Lecture notes
4 17 Private seminar, Writing: Style and Substance

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4 18 Ledger 1942-1947
4 19 Ledger 1948-1950

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Addendum, February 1985
4 20 Short story: "The Man in the Mood," published in Invaders of Earth (New York: Vanguard Press, Inc.) 1952
4 20 Television script: documentary about Charles Ives, American composer, written in 1974 or 1975 for PBS (photocopy)

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  • Subject Terms :
  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Authors, American--Oregon
  • Creative writing--Study and teaching
  • Detective and mystery stories, American--Authorship
  • Radio authorship
  • Television authorship
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Detective fiction
    • Fiction
    • Scripts

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