Guide to the Carl V. Corley Papers, 1930s-1999
The Carl V. Corley Papers contain the writings, drawings, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, and published materials that document the career and artistic output of Corley, a novelist and illustrator. The collection also includes typescripts and manuscripts of published and unpublished works of gay fiction, southern history, and heterosexual erotica, some of which is in the form of comic books or graphic novels.
- Carl V. Corley papers
- Corley, Carl, 1921-
- 20 Linear Feet, 30 boxes
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The Carl V. Corley papers contain the writings, drawings, scrapbooks, notebooks, and published materials that document the career and artistic output of the novelist and illustrator. The collection also includes typescripts and manuscripts of published and unpublished works of gay fiction, southern history, and heterosexual erotica, some of which is in the form of comic books or graphic novels.
Corley's pulp novels were set primarily in early twentieth century Mississippi and Louisiana, though several were set in the South Pacific, where Corley served during World War II, and reflect varying degrees of autobiographical content. Corley's later works also show his interest in historical subject matter as well as utopian science fiction. Many of Corley's published and unpublished works include cover and textual illustrations produced by Corley.
The collection further includes photographs of the artist and friends, works by related authors and artists, correspondence with publishers, and some work-related notes and materials.
Access to the Collection
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.
Use & Permissions
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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Carl V. Corley Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Most of the works in this series are drafts and typescripts of novels by Corley, some including cover art or other illustrations. The Writings Series also includes clippings about Corley's work; correspondence between Corley, his editors and publishers; and personal corerspondence with family and friends.
Typescript and some illustrations (using earlier title, Scarlet Lantern). Cover art included in Miscellaneous Illustrations.
Folders include handwritten notes on "Gone With the Wind" projected entitled "Tara", promotional material from the state of Georgia, city of Jonesboro, GA, a map of the state of Georgia, and storage folder.
Manuscript. Cover art included in file "Cover art for miscellaneous pulp novels."
Bound typescript re: Roga St. Lo (alternate title Cotton Cavalier). Inside illustrations included in Illustrations and Comics Series.
Bound typescript. Cover art included in file, "Cover art for miscellaneous pulp novels."
This series includes cover art, illustrated pages, and comics created by Corley throughout his career as a pulp novelist, newspaper cartoonist, and graphic novelist. Files are arranged by title, and include Corley's work with utopian science fiction, sexual fantasy novels, Louisiana and Southern history, and Biblical history. Also included are examples from Corley's work at the Louisiana and Mississippi Departments of Highways and his comics for a local newspaper, Louisiana's Eunice News.
Corley's illustrations are largely pen or ink, drawn on paper or cardstock boards. Some titles include color, done by watercolor or tempra paint. There are also several titles, most notably the Louisiana history titles, which include collages or other paper media components. The majority of illustrations in this series are original artwork, but there are also several files with published newspaper clippings of Corley's work.
The Miscellaneous Illustrations and Comics file is closed to researchers because it contains Corley's social security number.
Sample copy with illustrations and text, as well as 1 folder of disbound scrapbook pages with newspaper clippings of the comic.
Tear sheets, text and images, from Corley's retelling of the biblical story of "Genesis" published in the Eunice, Louisiana newspaper every Sunday.
"Tempra paintings on tile depicting events that happened to Jesus Christ, but were withdrawn from the Holy Bible."
Spiral-bound volume of newspaper clippings featuring Corley's comic strip about the history of Eunice.
Spiral-bound volumes of newspaper clippings featuring Corley's history of Louisiana, part 1-3.
Spiral-bound volumes of newspaper clippings featuring Corley's history of Louisiana, part 4-5.
Illustrated pages and scrapbook of newspaper clippings with Corley's depictions of annual festivals throughout Louisiana.
Illustrated pages and text.
Illustrated pages and text.
Illustrated pages and text, covering the birth of the landscape through the War of 1812.
Comic strip panels with motivational or educational phrases, apparently intended for a the Dept. of Highways.
Corley's first comic strip. Bound volume with hand-colored illustrated pages and text.
5x5 inch handpainted illustrations of Louisiana folk scenes.
Alternative title: The Illustrated History of Arcadiana. Illustrated pages and text.
Drawn by Corley for the Louisiana Dept. of Highways. Includes regional maps as well as maps of historic homes and events in the state's history.
Drawn by Corley for the Mississippi State Highway Dept. Includes road maps.
Titles include: Saddle Studs, Swamp Angel, Atomic Butterfly/Scarlet Lantern, Jambalee, Jesse, Satin Chaps, Attala Rose, El Sabine, Fallen Eagle, Purple Winter, Crescent Stud, Sky Eyes, Purple Ring, Walk the August Night, The Black Angel, Star Dusk, Jafa Ben Jordan, and A New Earth.
Pamphlets featuring artwork by Corley, including one for a motel, a Baton Rouge tourist information pamphlet, and convention for state highway officials .
Published erotic graphic novel entitled "Cajun Casanovas" including commentarty by Corley on its production.
Scrapbooks include photographs, drawings, and notes relating to Corley's service in the Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II. Scrapbooks also include research and preliminary studies for several books and comic strips. There are scrapbooks which document Corley's work for the Mississippi and Lousiana Departments of Highways. One scrapbook contains Corley's personal photographs of friends and lovers from high school to the present. Another scrapbook contains autobiographical material related to Corley's family and early life, as well as artistic inspiration and information about his career trajectory. Included are maps and posters relating to Mississippi and Lousiana history and geography created by Corley while working for the Department of Highways in both states.
Bound scrapbook of newspaper clippings.
Includes clippings, printed materials (cards, brochures, etc.) of Corley's artwork, and some correspondence.
Includes some photographs from Corley's WWII service; clippings; sketches of Guam
Includes sketches, clippings, photographs, letters, poems, and other memorabilia from Corley's service in Guadacanal, Iwo Jima, and Guam.
An autobiographical scrapbook, featuring photos and clippings pasted onto sheets of looseleaf paper. Scrapbook begins with Corley's family and traces his upbringing, his career, his artistic inspirations, and various examples of his work. Material also inclues photographs of friends and lovers.
Born in Florence, Mississippi
Served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific
Illustrator, Staff Artist, and Unit Chief in the Mississippi Highway
Illustrator, Staff Artist, and Unit Chief in the Louisiana Highway
Carl V. Corley is an author and illustrator of a variety of materials such as gay pulp fiction, comic books, physique art, utopian science fiction, Louisiana history (especially on Cajun folkways), and also books on religious themes.
Corley was born in Florence, Mississippi in 1921. He graduated from Florence High School and served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific in World War II. After the war, Corley worked as an illustrator for the Highway Department in Mississippi (1947-1961) and Louisiana (1961-1981). In his official capacities, he designed and drew tourist guides, manuals, pamphlets, road maps, and traffic surveys. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he contributed an illustrated strip on Louisiana folklore to the Eunice News.
In the 1950s, Corley made a name for himself as a "physique artist," as he contributed drawings of scantily clad men to fitness magazines--a genre that has been identified by cultural historians as early homoerotica. Between 1966 and 1971, he published twenty-two paper back novels of gay male pulp fiction.
A portion of printed materials written by Carl Carley and acquired with Acc. 1998-0087 have been separated from the manuscript collection and individually cataloged.
- A Gay Trilogy, 1967
- A Lover Mourned, 1967
- Attala Rose, 1968
- Cast a Wistful Eye, 1968
- Faces in Secret, 1967
- In Homage to Priapus, 1970, edited by E.V.Griffith (includes an excerpt from A Fool's Advice by Carl Corley)
- Jesse, Man of the Streets, 1968
- My Purple Winter, 1966
- Sky Eyes, 1967
- Swamp Angel, 1971
- That Gay Bar, 1968(?), no author listed
- The Scarlet Lantern, 1966
- Cajun Casanovas, 1988
- The Rafe Saxon Mystery, 1989
- "Today and Tomorrow: an engineering analysis of the highway transportation system in Mississippi," 1949
- "Louisiana Boys and Girls State," 1968
- The Purple Ring
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Artists -- United States
- Authors, American -- 20th century
- Authors and publishers -- United States -- Correspondence
- Cajuns -- History
- Cajuns -- Social life and customs
- Gay men -- Social life and customs -- Fiction
- Gay men -- Fiction
- Gay men -- Sexuality -- Fiction
- Gay men -- Comicbooks, strips, etc.
- Homosexuality in art -- United States
- Human figure in art
- Illustrators -- United States
- Marines -- United States
- Science fiction -- Illustrations
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Ocean
Purchase and gift from Carl V. Corley in 1998. Accession 2017-0144 is a gift from Carl V. Corley via John Howard in 2017.
Processed and encoded by Meghan Lyon, Feb. 2015. Updated by David Romine and Meghan Lyon, Oct. 2017.