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Seder Dime Novel Collection

Identifier: MSS-312-BC

Scope and Content

This collection was donated to the Center for Southwest Research by the Arthur R. Seder family in 1971. Seder was an alum of the University of New Mexico. He was also principal and athletic coach of Clovis High School (1913-1918), and then, Vice President in charge of finance for the American Railway Association in Washington D.C.

The Seder Dime Novel Collection is a well rounded collection of more than 2,000 dime novels. It contains significant runs of titles including All Sports, Liberty Boys, Brave and Bold, Tip Top Weekly, Pluck and Luck, Work and Win, Secret Service, New Nick Carter Weekly, etc. The collection is organized alphabetically, by serial title.

Box 20 containing 45 issues of "The Liberty Boys of '76" was added to the existing collection April 2021.


  • [ca. 1879-1912]


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Irwin Beadle is credited with first conceiving the idea of printing entire novels, complete under one cover, to be sold for a dime, and to be issued in continuous series. In June 1860, Irwin P. Beadle & Co. released the first dime novel, Malaeska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter, by Ann S. Stephens. Within a few months, the novel had sold 65,000 copies, virtually assuring the success of Beadle's dime novel venture. Over the years, competition in the industry developed, centered in New York City.

Though dime novels varied to some extent in format, the stories were nearly all alike. They were thrilling tales of adventure, history, love, war, and romance, which were set in America during the Revolution, Civil War, or frontier period. Melodramatic in style, they were replete with words of stirring action, inflated description, and padded prose. Sales of the affordable dime novel were phenomenal. During banner years, various firms were publishing as many as 101 different series concurrently, and some series ran to more than a thousand titles. Novels with initial printings of 60,000-70,000 often went through ten or twelve editions in a single year. Dime novels dominated the market until approximately 1895, when they began to be superseded by pulp magazines. Among the most famous dime novel authors are E.Z.C. Judson, Prentiss Ingraham, Edward L. Wheeler (creator of "Deadwood Dick"), and J. R. Coryell (creator of "Nick Carter").


20 boxes (20 cu. ft.)

Related Material

Day Science Fiction Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Research Note

Several issues are in state of deterioration. Please handle with care. Do not duplicate without speaking to a reference staff member or manuscript archivist. Many of the issues are copies.

Finding Aid of the Seder Dime Novel Collection, [ca. 1879-1912]
Processed by B. Silbergleit
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 312 BC::Seder Dime Novel Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss312bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131