Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Gordon, Donald L. (Donald Leonard), 1902-1965
Donald L. Gordon Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Consists of correspondence and columns related to Donald L. Gordon's role as editor of the American News of Books and contributor to the Saturday Evening Post.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of two files: 1) a selection of Gordon's correspondence (1929-1946) relating to his role as editor of American News of Books, 2) undated typescript copies of 24 of his "The Literary Lowbrow" columns that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Correspondents include Bennet A. Cerf (Modern Library), Edward Weeks (Atlantic Monthly), Clem Yore, Irita Van Doren, and many people in the New York publishing world


Arranged by publication title.

Collection Creator Biography:

Gordon, Donald L. (Donald Leonard), 1902-1965

A noted literary figure, Gordon was for 35 years the founder and editor-in-chief of American News of Books, published by the American News Co. in New York City. He was an intimate of many of the great authors of his time and was widely known for his "Literary Lowbrow" column that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and, later, in the American Magazine. Gordon is credited with coining the word "whodunit," as it is universally applied to detective fiction.

Collection History


Gift of Donald R. Gordon in 2013.


Printed issues of American News of Books were kept by the Rare Books Division for cataloging.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by John Delaney on September 19, 2013. Finding aid written by John Delaney on September 19, 2013.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Donald L. Gordon Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1