Henry M. Norton papers , 1942-1952, 1970-1975

Overview of the Collection

Norton, Henry M., 1906-1975
Henry M. Norton papers
1942-1952, 1970-1975 (inclusive)
1 linear feet, (4 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 072
Henry M. Norton (1906-1975) was a writer of magazine stories and radio and television scripts. He also taught writing. The collection includes correspondence, magazine stories, radio and television scripts, teaching materials, and financial ledgers.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

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Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Born in 1906 and a native of Ritzville, Washington, Henry M. Norton graduated from the University of Washington and moved to Portland, Oregon in 1937.

During his career, he worked as a copy writer for The Oregonian, and was production manager at KGW radio and television station prior to becoming manager of the Portland Symphony n 1958.

Norton was also a freelance fiction writer and had several stories published in national magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Argosy, Atlantic Monthly and Harper's. During World War II, Norton also frequently published detective diction. Not only did Norton write fiction, he became a skilled copy writer for radio and television, working with the BBC, among others.

In the early 1970s, Norton taught classes in technical writing and television and radio script writing at Mt. Hood Community College, and held private seminars at his home. He also worked briefly with the Professional Writers School, a correspondence study course for beginning writers. His work with this organization included written responses and critical analyses of individual student writing assignments.

In addition to these various activities, Norton was active in the Willamette Writers Association, and was co-founder of Golden House, an organization providing radio programs to shut-ins, the elderly, and the blind. Henry Norton died in 1975.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Henry M. Norton Papers contain correspondence, magazine stories, television and radio scripts, teaching material, and two financial ledgers. The material in this collection covers the periods 1941-1952, and 1970-1975. Material representing the years between 1953 and 1969 is not a part of this collection.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically from 1942-1975, a large segment of which is from his two literary agents, Lurton Blassingame and Carl Brandt. The remaining correspondence consists of assorted replies from magazines regarding acceptance and rejection of his stories. In the years 1971 and 1972, Norton wrote critiques of student correspondence work, provide examples of his personal writing philosophy.

This collection contains 57 of Norton's published magazine stories of detective and miscellaneous fiction. They are arranged alphabetically by title of story and are dated from 1942 to 1949. Also included are the introductory and concluding pieces of the script for episodes of the BBC's Hungry Eye Theatre. With this television copy is an assortment of press reviews and story line summaries regarding the television series. In addition to the Hungry Eye Theatre scripts, there are four miscellaneous television scripts.

The teaching material includes publicity, grade sheets and lecture notes from courses taught for Mt. Hood Community College and the Oregon Sate System of Higher Education's Division of Continuing Education. There are also lecture notes from a privately taught seminar entitled, Writing: Style and Substance.

The reminder of the collection consists of two financial ledgers, one covering 1942-1947, the other 1948-1950. The ledgers are divided into monthly segments and show columns that demonstrate earnings from published stores and expenses for writing that include rent, magazine subscriptions, reams of paper and typewriter ribbons.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Authors, American--Oregon
  • Creative writing--Study and teaching
  • Detective and mystery stories, American--Authorship
  • Radio authorship
  • Television authorship

Form or Genre Terms

  • Detective fiction
  • Fiction
  • Scripts (documents)