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Pulp Fiction Magazines

General Search Tips

Below is a brief overview of the locations of pulp fiction materials at the Library.

Collection Locations

The original Pulp Fiction collection at the Library of Congress consisted of issues received through copyright deposit at the time of their publication. The print format issues were held by the Serial & Government Publications Division.

The Pulp Fiction Collection, now on microfilm, is available in two reading rooms: one set is in the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room (LM 133) and another, more complete set, is in the Microform & Electronic Resources Center in the Jefferson Building (LJ 139B). Find a list of titles on microfilm on the "Collections" page of this guide. Specific dates and issue numbers of microfilm, original covers, and facsimiles are noted in the holdings statements at the bottom of each pulp fiction title's catalog record in the Library's online catalog. The record will also tell you in which reading room to request the material.

If you are searching for stories by a specific author or stories that include a particular character, we recommend consulting an index that is listed in the selective bibliography of this guide (e.g., Pulp Magazine Index, A Comprehensive Index to Black Mask, Collector's Index to Weird Tales, etc.). A link to FictionMags Index, an online pulp fiction resource, is provided in the "Additional Resources" page of this guide.

Serial & Government Publications Division

Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room

(Madison Building, room 133)

Since pulp fiction was and continues to be published as serials, the Serial & Government Publications Division (SGPD) is the natural home for pulp fiction at the Library of Congress. Additionally, the reference staff in Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room are the specialists at the Library that should be consulted with pulp fiction inquiries. The SGPD collection includes microfilm of pulp fiction magazines, a collection of original covers, and print facsimiles of original issues.

Microform & Electronic Resources Center

(Jefferson Building, room 139B)

The Microform & Electronic Resources Center (MERC) holds microfilm for publications classified as periodicals (i.e., not newspapers) at the Library. Since pulp fiction magazines fall into the periodical category, MERC has the most complete collection of pulp fiction magazines on microfilm. Records in the Library of Congress Online Catalog will indicate the locations of holdings of pulp titles at the Library including the microfilm holdings in MERC.

Rare Books & Special Collections Division

(Jefferson Building, room 239)

Some pulp fiction titles that were considered important to preserve in their original state were moved to the Rare Book and Special Collections Division (RBSD). These titles include Astounding Stories, Black Mask, The Shadow (1 issue), and Weird Tales.

General Collections

(Jefferson and Adams Buildings)

Some bound volumes of print issues of pulp fiction titles may be found in the General Collections. This is unlikely, but possible and should be considered when searching for pulp fiction at the Library of Congress. This material should have catalog records in the online catalog.

Catalog Search Tips

To find information about the pulps, the following, very general Library of Congress Subject Headings searches are useful, but they obviously apply to other literary topics as well:

Pulp fiction tends to be classed by genre, and there is no subject heading for “pulp fiction” per se.

Useful genre heading browses for pulp fiction include:

  • Detective and mystery stories, American
  • Spy stories, American
  • Crime in literature
  • Western stories
  • Science fiction--American

Indexes & Directories