Johnson, W. Ryerson (1901-1995)
The W. Ryerson Johnson collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, personal memorabilia, printed materials, professional materials, financial materials, legal materials, photographs, artwork, and other items.

The collection includes a vast collection of manuscripts that document Johnson's prolific output across various forms and media, such as novels, short stories, scripts and screenplays, educational documents, notes, fragments, and more—amounting to well over 500 items. Manuscripts (frequently typescript with occasional holograph corrections) reveal Johnson's unconventional naming system, by which he would compose drafts under numerous working titles and let the publisher select the preferred print title. Collected works include Barb Wire, South of Sonora, Deep Black, Till Death Do Us Part, The Girl Who Went Away, The Girl in the Road, Freelance Odyssey (memoirs), "Love is a Cosmic Nudge," "Blue Delphinium and Pink Rosebuds," "Sand Gets in My Hand," "The White Wolf of the Barrens," and "Turpin's Typing Other End," among many others. Also present are manuscripts by Effie Johnson, Charles Green, Mort Weisingus, Winfred van Atta, Otto Binder, and Anne May.

Collected correspondence is both personal and professional, dating from the 1920s to the 1990s. Notables include L. Ron Hubbard, Thelma Prescott, and Otto Binder.  

The collection's personal memorabilia includes various juvenilia from Johnson's time at the University of Illinois (manuscripts, report cards, receipts, tickets, programs, and a beaded bracelet). Military papers (ROTC), daily planners (1932-1964), and address books constitute additional items.

Collected printed materials consist primarily of publications in which Johnson's articles and stories appeared, including (but not limited to), Collier's, Parent's Magazine, Writer's Digest, Argosy, Western Story, and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. News clippings, pamphlets, reviews, bulletins, and flyers are also present, as are proofs for Johnson's children's books, including I Like Dinosaurs, Let's Play Dinosaurs, Upstairs and Downstairs, and The Mouse and the Moon.

Subject files contain much of the collection's professional materials: manuscripts, correspondence, printed materials, financial and legal documents, and more. File headings pertain to subjects such as "Science Research Associates (SRA)," "Skidrow TV," "National Opinion Research Center," and "Otto O. Binder."

Collected financial materials include materials regarding Johnson's account at the Michigan Credit Union, as well as receipts and royalty statements (1952-1994).

Collected legal materials consist of assorted contracts and agreements, dating from 1939 to 1991.

Photographs in the collection include black and white and color prints, as well as negatives. Documented subjects range from Johnson's family and friends to landscapes and houses.

The collection includes illustrations from many of Johnson's children's books—Mouse and the Moon, Let's Play, and The Monkey and the Wild, Wild Wind. Of particular note is an original Rudolph Tandlen pen and ink drawing for "The Squeeze: A Complete Novelette" book jacket.

Other items include stenographer notebooks; a film strip; a history of Lubec, ME (penned by Johnson); and a "Baby Johnson" file containing congratulatory notes, name lists, and photographic negatives.
Notable Figures
1. Johnson, Ryerson, 1901-
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Subject Guide