The Stratemeyer Syndicate was established in 1905 by Edward Stratemeyer, a successful author of juvenile literature. The Syndicate employed ghostwriters to produce such popular children's book series as Tom Swift, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. The records document the literary and business activity of Edward Stratemeyer, his family and colleagues from 1832 until the sale of the Stratemeyer Syndicate to Simon & Schuster, Inc. in 1984. The records include original manuscripts, editorial notes and correspondence, business and administrative files, promotional material, photographs, musical scores and artwork. They are an important resource for the study of American popular culture, children's literature and the history of publishing.
Biographical/historical: The Stratemeyer Syndicate was established in 1905 by Edward Stratemeyer, a prolific author of juvenile literature. The Syndicate made contracts with large publishing firms, agreeing to supply them with numerous volumes of children's books in series. Stratemeyer hired ghostwriters to produce manuscripts for these books based on his own detailed plot outlines. He wanted entertaining stories that served a serious moral and didactic purpose, and viewed the work of Horatio Alger as a model. Syndicatewriters were paid a one-time fee for each manuscript, received no royalties, and agreed never to reveal their true identities. The Stratemeyer Syndicate flourished by producing such popular children's book series as Tom Swift,The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. After Edward Stratemeyer's death in 1930, his daughters Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and Edna Stratemeyer Squier ran the business as joint partners. They introduced new book series, revised old titles, marketed books abroad and soldtelevision and film rights. After the death of Edna Stratemeyer Squier in 1974, Harriet Stratemeyer Adams revealed herself to be the pseudonymous Carolyn Keene, author of many Nancy Drew books. In 1979 the Syndicate broke with longtime publisher Grosset & Dunlap and signed a new contract with Simon and Schuster, Inc. In 1984, two years after the death of Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, the Syndicate was sold to Simon and Schuster.
Acquisition: Donated by Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1993.