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Guide to the Walter B. Gibson Papers, 1943-1980

Abstract

Walter B. Gibson (1897-1985) was a professional magician and author, who often wrote under the name Maxwell Grant, and is credited with defining and popularizing the pulp hero, The Shadow.

The collection includes: Two Shadow story outlines, one from 1943 and another from 1980, which was Gibson's last Shadow story; 97 radio scripts from Strange, a seemingly lost 15-minute program that Gibson hosted in 1955; an unproduced television proposal, Mike Regan, Confidential Investigator, circa the mid 1950s; and two bookplates featuring a black and white image of The Shadow.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Gibson, Walter B.
Title
Walter B. Gibson papers 1943-1980
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.6 Linear Feet, 450 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection includes: Two Shadow story outlines, one from 1943 and another from 1980, which was Gibson's last Shadow story; 97 radio scripts from Strange, a seemingly lost 15-minute program that Gibson hosted in 1955; an unproduced television proposal, Mike Regan, Confidential Investigator, circa the mid 1950s; and two bookplates featuring a black and white image of The Shadow.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Outline for The Shadow Magazine: The Muggers Murders, November 1943
Box 1
Outline for The Shadow Magazine: Blackmail Bay, 1980
Box 1
Television proposal: Mike Regan, Confidential Investigator, undated
Box 1
Episodes 1-15, 1955 May 31-1955 June 21
Box 1
Episodes 16-30, 1955 June 22-1955 July 12
Box 1
Episodes 31-45, 1955 July 18-1955 August 2
Box 1
Episodes 46-60, 1955 August 3-1955 August 23
Box 1
Episodes 61-75, 1955 August 24-1955 September 13
Box 1
Episodes 76-88, 1955 September 14-1955 October 6
Box 1
Episodes 89-97, 1955 October 7-1955 October 25
Box 1

Historical Note

Walter B. Gibson (1897-1985) was a professional magician and author, who often wrote under the name Maxwell Grant, and is credited with defining and popularizing the pulp hero, The Shadow. The character started as the narrator for the radio show, Detective Story Hour, but became so popular that he inspired his own magazine. Gibson was hired to write the pulp which he did with staggering frequency, producing 282 of the 325 Shadow pulp novels, starting with the character's debut in 1931 and ending in the late 1940s. Years later Gibson published three final Shadow novels, including what would be his last story, The Blackmail Bay, in 1980. Gibson wrote for a wide variety of publications and other mediums including television and film, but often as a ghost writer. Today he is primarily know for The Shadow, which spawned numerous imitators, Batman being the most notable.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Walter B. Gibson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Walter B. Gibson Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, February 2011

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, February 2011

Accession 2010-0224 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.