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George Hess Collection

About the Hess Collection

The Hess Collection holds primarily inexpensive, popular literature from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as story papers, dime novels, series books, Big Little Books, pulps, and comic books. Some popular items include Beadle’s Dime Novels, The Boys of New York, The Seaside Library, and Alger series books.

The collection is cataloged and its contents are searchable via the University of Minnesota's online catalog. Items in the Hess Collection display as "TC Andersen Children's Lit (Hess) Non-Circulating." The Hess Collection contains approximately 100,000 items, making it one of the largest pulp collections in North America.

George Hess (1873-1954) grew up reading dime novels, but discarded them when he grew older. As an adult his interest was rekindled in 19th and 20th century popular fiction and he began collecting. Hess always hoped to find one of the dime novels he had owned and inscribed as a child, but he never did. George Hess did manage to amass an amazing collection of more than 50,000 items including dime novels, story papers, series books, pulps and comic books. The Hess Collection was given to the University of Minnesota following Hess' death in 1954.

For more information on the types of materials in the Hess collection, including research resources, visit our LibGuide on dime novels, story papers, series books, and pulps.

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