The John Ball collection consists of manuscripts, printed material, professional material, and other items.
Manuscripts by Ball in the collection include his novels Arctic Showdown (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1966); Rescue Mission (Harper, 1966); The Cool Cottontail (Harper, 1966); Miss 1,000 Spring Blossoms (Little, Brown, 1968); Dragon Hotel (Weatherhill, 1968); Johnny Get Your Gun (Little, Brown, 1969); Last Plane Out (Little, Brown, 1970); The First Team (Little, Brown, 1971); Five Pieces of Jade (Little, Brown, 1972); Mark One – The Dummy (Little, Brown, 1974); The Winds of Mitamura (Little, Brown, 1975); The Eyes of Buddha (Little, Brown, 1976); The Killing in the Market (Doubleday, 1978); Cop Cade (edited by Ball; Dobuleday, 1978); and Then Came Violence (Doubleday, 1980). Also present in the collection are The Floating Frontier: The U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Far East (unpublished, ca. 1970); The Edge of Terror, a screenplay; and several short stories, reviews, and critical articles by Ball for various publications.
Printed material in the collection primarily consists of the published versions of Ball’s shorter pieces, both fiction and non-fiction. Magazines relating to mystery and suspense fiction include The Baker Street Journal, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, Mystery Guild Clues, and Mystery Writer’s Annual . Magazines relating to sound and acoustics include Hi-Fi Stereo Review, High Fidelity, and The Phonograph Record Industry .
Professional material in the collection includes texts and printed record jackets created by Ball while working for Columbia Records (ca. 1946-1949), several examples of Ball’s work for the advertising firm of Lewis and Gilman (ca. 1952), and numerous pages of “market intelligence reports” written by Ball for the publishing company D.M.S., Inc. (ca. 1961-1963).
Other items in the collection include a photograph of Ball and a letter to him from Mrs. and Mrs. Richard Martin Stern.