The Leonard Bishop collection includes manuscripts, professional material, subject files, correspondence, and other material.
Manuscripts by Bishop in the collection are extensive. In addition to many drafts of published works, the papers include several drafts of unpublished and/or unidentified works, numerous notes, fragments, revisions, and proofs. Novels include Down All Your Streets (Dial Press, 1952); The Butchers (Dial Press, 1956); Angry Time (Frederick Fell, 1959); Against Heaven’s Hand (Random House, 1963); Another Day, Another Dollar (a work that began as a novel in 1966, and was eventually published in a short story version); Wicked No More (unpublished, 1967-1968); and several unfinished works, including Blind Man’s Bluff (four drafts), The Delivered (two drafts), The Incorruptible (three drafts), Gods Be Damned (one draft), Jerusalem 33 A.D. (one draft), and The Hound of Heaven (one draft).
Also present are several early drafts and notes for what became Bishop’s book Dare to be a Great Writer: 329 Keys to Powerful Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books, 1988). In addition, the papers include materials from Bishop’s creative writing classes, including assembled quotations, notes, course outlines, and class rosters.
Other manuscripts by Bishop include several screenplays; short pieces, including poems, stories, plot synopses, and outlines; approximately 350 articles written by Bishop for The Manhattan Mercury from 1986 to 2002; and numerous unfinished works, partial drafts, and fragments from the early 1980s to 2002.
Professional material in the collection pertains to Bishop’s work as a college-level writing instructor. These include class comments from Berkeley and San Francisco classes (1955-1965); and files from the University of California, including Bishop’s comments on his students’ stories (mid-1960s). There are also Bishop’s journals and notebooks regarding his classes.
Subject files in the collection pertain to Bishop’s research and printed articles dating between 1984 and 2002.
Correspondence in the collection consists of personal and professional correspondence dating primarily from 1959 to 1968, with a few letters dating from later years. There are letters from publishers, magazines, fans, and other writers. Included is a handwritten letter from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, dated 1960.
Other material in the collection include some financial records, contracts, bills, and royalty materials from the 1960s. Also present are Bishop’s many writing diaries, generally consisting of records of Bishop’s life, his thoughts on writing, miscellaneous notes, and sometimes copies of letters.