The Arkham House Archive contains over 4000 letters and documents related to publications issued by Arkham House, Mycroft & Moran and Stanton & Lee between 1939 and 1971, as well as correspondence and business papers related to Derleth's activities as writer and editor for other publishers, including his editorial work as an anthologist in the 1940s and 1950s, and as a TV scriptwriter in the 1950s.
The David Rajchel Arkham House Archive is a highly important collection of letters and documents that compliment the papers held by the Wisconsin Historical Society. These papers and those held by WHS are essentially all the Arkham House papers that survive. According to Mr. Rajchel who preserved these papers: "there were boxes of financial records in the basement. April [Derleth] was convinced that the Wisconsin Historical Society took all relevant items. She recycled many boxes. Many of the items I kept I saved from disposal or recycling. I dug through the boxes and kept many of the items I believed to be important. If I hadn't they would have been lost."
The business papers include printers' correspondence, quotes and invoices, beginning with the George Banta Company proposal for printing THE OUTSIDER, 25 August 1939 and the invoice for THE OUTSIDER, 21 November 1939. There is significant business correspondence from Derleth's literary agents: G. Ken Chapman, Robert Goldfarb, Otis Kline Associates, Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Renault and Le Bayon and others, as well as hundreds of letters pertaining to the sale of reprint rights (including audio and film rights) for literary property by Derleth and others. These business papers largely predate the August William Derleth Papers held by the Wisconsin Historical Society, as "most of the pre-1963 materials were destroyed when this collection was originally processed, so substantially complete records survive only for the years between 1963 and 1970."
Additionally, the archive includes book production files for some publications, printer's blocks, fair copy typescripts of literary material by various writers made by Arkham House for book production or reference (like typewritten transcriptions of Lovecraft letters), complete and partial book proofs, and photographs of Arkham House authors.
The core of the archive is correspondence, often extensive, from several hundred authors whose work Derleth published under his own imprints or in his highly important non-Arkham House anthologies published in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as manuscripts, mostly typewritten (including fair copies and carbons), submitted by Arkham House authors.
One of the most important twentieth century small publisher's archives offered for sale in the last several decades. The collection, $415,000.00