Selected Special Collections
Larry Dingman Collection
Documents the rise of American Western fiction and the cowboy novel.
From the classic six-shooter showdown that began with Owen Wister’s The Virginian to the loner cowboy found in Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage, Dingman’s collection documents the early rise of the Western. The collection includes Jack Schaefer’s Shane, whose no-name cowboy defended the same farmers who signaled the end of his open-range way of life. The cattle trail narrative is launched by Andy Adams’s fictional Log of a Cowboy.
The collection ties in directly to the Division’s world-class collection of Penny Dreadfuls and Dime Novels — the genre that stands as the precursor to detective, adventure, and western fiction. Many of these novels were fictionalized stories based on actual people: Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. The popular Western began with Owen Wister’s The Virginian in 1902 and especially Zane Greys novels. Clarence E. Mulford’s Hopalong Cassidy stories first appeared in 1904 both as dime novels and in pulp magazines.
Also see: The Pulp Fiction Collection