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Daniel and Susan Cohen Papers

 Collection
Identifier: DG0203

Scope and Contents

The Daniel Cohen Papers contain typescripts, galleys, page proofs, layouts, correspondence, publications, photographs, and manuscripts created and accumulated by Daniel Cohen between 1976 and 2001. Cohen's papers were created from his composition of 99 published books, one published essay, and two unpublished works. The material is organized into three series: biographical material, literary works, and correspondence.

The biographical material series contains five publications featuring articles about Daniel and Susan Cohen published between 1987 and 1999. They are arranged chronologically.

The papers in the literary works series are organized into three subseries: books, an essay, and unpublished works. In each subseries, the papers are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each composition is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. The Cohen Papers contain material for non-fiction titles written after 1977. These books include examinations of paranormal creatures and other unusual phenomena; historical and current biographies; advice for teenagers; American history and politics; science and technology; animals and nature; urban legends; and profiles of popular television, music, film, and sports personalities.

The quantity of material for each book varies widely. For most titles, the papers contain one or two edited typescripts and perhaps a galley or set of page proofs. An unusually large amount of material exists for the following titles: Carl Sagan (1987), A Close Look at Close Encounters (1981), The Encyclopedia of Monsters (1982), Everything You Need to Know About Monsters and Still Be Able to Get to Sleep (1981), The Ghost of Elvis and Other Celebrity Spirits (1994), Ghostly Tales of Love & Revenge (1992), The Great Airship Mystery (1981), The Modern Ark (1995), Monster Dinosaur (1983), The Science of Spying (1977), The Tomb Robbers (1980), and The World of UFOs (1978). For these titles, the papers may contain several versions of typescripts, galleys, or page proofs or less common production material such as layouts, blues, bound uncorrected advance proofs, or blues illustrations.

The Daniel Cohen Papers contain material for eighteen books written with Susan Cohen. These titles cover topics in sports, entertainment, animals, and advice for teenagers. The papers contain little more than one edited typescript for each of these books.

Finally, the pieces of correspondence with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection were selected and photocopied from the correspondence file of the de Grummond Collection because they provide information on Cohen's literary works and habits. They are arranged chronologically.

Dates

  • 1976-2001

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; Available for research

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

Biographical / Historical

Daniel Edward Cohen was born on March 12, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois. His parents divorced when he was very young and his mother, Sue Greenberg, married Milton Cohen, a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Daniel Cohen attended Chicago public schools and was a "hanger-on" in the bohemian community around the University of Chicago while in high school in the early 1950s. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago where he abandoned an interest in biology for journalism. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism in 1958. Cohen married Susan Handler, a writer, on February 2, 1958. He briefly worked as a proofreader for Time, Inc. in Chicago; but, demoralized by the paternalistic organizational culture, he took a job as assistant editor of Science Digest magazine in 1959. He was transferred to New York City shortly after being hired.

In addition to his editorial work, Cohen wrote articles for Science Digest and for other publications. Encouraged by praise of his articles on paranormal subjects, Cohen published his first book, Myths of the Space Age, a collection of skeptical essays on paranormal creatures and phenomena, in 1967. The Cohens moved to a farmhouse in Forestburgh, New York, in 1969 so Daniel could write full time. He originally planned to write popular science books, but the demands of the market led him to concentrate on books about ghosts, monsters, UFOs, and psychic phenomena. Since then, Daniel Cohen has written on an astonishing variety of subjects beyond just the paranormal: historical and current biographies; advice for teenagers; world history; science and technology; animals and nature; urban legends; and popular television, music, film, and sports personalities. He has noted that he writes mass-market paperbacks for children who are reluctant to read and not especially gifted. Thus, he chooses subjects of interest to such readers.

Susan Cohen was born on March 27, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois, to Martin and Ida (Goldman) Handler. She earned a B.A. degree from the New School for Social Research in 1960 and an M.S.W. degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, in 1962. She worked as a social worker in the mid-1960s before writing The Liberated Couple, a feminist tract, in 1971. She wrote eleven gothic romances and mysteries under the penname Elizabeth St. Clair between 1974 and 1981. Susan and Daniel Cohen began collaborating on books in 1982 to help alleviate Daniel's workload. They have written books primarily on popular entertainment, advice for teenagers, and animals. After the death of their only child, Theodora, the Cohens relocated to Cape May Court House, New Jersey from their home in New York.

Sources:

"Author Profile: Daniel and Susan Cohen," by Cheryl Abdullah, in The Book Report, Vol. 9 No. 1 (May / June 1990): 34-39.

Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series, ed. Susan M. Trosky (Detroit: Gale Research, 1994), 44:75-78.

Something About the Author, ed. Donna Olendorf and Diane Telgen (Detroit: Gale Research, 1993), 70:31-35.

Something About the Author Autobiography Series, ed. Adele Sarkissian (Detroit: Gale Research, 1987), 4:147-165.

Extent

11.40 Cubic Feet (38 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Daniel and Susan Cohen Papers contain typescripts, production material, correspondence, and publications created and accumulated by Daniel Cohen between 1976 and 2001. Cohen's papers were created from his composition of 99 non-fiction books concerning paranormal creatures and other unusual phenomena, historical and current biographies, advice for teenagers, American history and politics, science and technology, animals and nature, urban legends, and entertainment and sports personalities. He wrote eighteen of these titles with his wife, Susan Handler Cohen.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Daniel Cohen between 1977 and 2001.
Title
Daniel and Susan Cohen Papers
Status
In Progress
Author
Hans Rasmussen
Date
2002-02
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

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