DePaul University Libraries
Pulp Fiction Magazines


The term “pulp” refers to the style of writing as well as the type of paper used in printing. Pulp paper is cheaply produced and readily available, with visible wood chips and ragged edges.

Pulp magazines were cheap magazines that existed from the turn of the century to the early 1950s. The text was printed on pulp paper and sometimes covers were printed in color on slick paper.

The pulp titles held in Special Collections include examples of all the main genres of western adventure, crime/mystery/detective, sports, and war. The collection also contains examples of serially published jokebooks, handbooks, and issues of popular reprint libraries that specialized in unauthorized editions of foreign novels and stories before the passage of the International Copyright Act of 1891.

There are 106 individual serial magazine titles in the collection. The most influential publishing houses of the period and genre are represented: Beadle and Adams, Arthur Westbrook, Harry E. Wolff, M.J. Ivers and Company, Street and Smith and Frank Tousey. These publishers printed mostly from 1860 through the mid 1900s.

For a detailed finding aid to this collection, please contact Kathryn DeGraff.