Rediscovered: Modern Arkham Ephemera — My Bad


The other day I finally got around to annotating my working file copy of Firsts which features a checklist of Modern Arkham House Ephemera by John D. Haefele.

I’m not talking anything too fancy. I go through with a blue pen and circle the Items I have — if I have dupes I put a 2 or a 4 or whatever under the circled number. So that I don’t need to keep hauling the Modern Stuff out all the time (all the time meaning every few years), I also noted the instances where the Item(s) came in a mailing envelope from Arkham House, and the name the envelope was addressed to.

I stopped assembling the Modern Ephemera years ago, but nonetheless can report that I have 39 of the 108 Items totaled up by Haefele — produced by the press in the aftermath of the death of founder August Derleth in 1971.

At this point, I probably wouldn’t pick up any of the ones I don’t happen to have in hand, because my interest is in the Classic Era, when Derleth was alive and running things. Classic Arkham Ephemera is about the only area I collect in any more (who am I kidding?!? — but for purposes of the anecdote, we’ll let it slide). Haefele and I continue to scour the planet looking to expand the Classic List I did for Firsts back in 2002. That list had a tidy 100 Items. Now we know of approximately 50 more.

Haefele consulted on the 2002 list, so when he got the chance to do up the Modern List naturally I dug out my Modern stash and poked through it. Honest, I didn’t think I’d have anything he didn’t know about. But — a triumph of the spirit! — it turned out that I had Item 3, an Addendum, completely unknown to Haefele and his other consultants.

At PulpFest in 2012 I bought a couple of ephemera items just to keep them from the landfill. One happened to be Haefele’s Item 1 in an envelope addressed to Rusty Hevelin, a famous fan and convention runner (I met him casually when I lived in St. Paul in 1975-76, so I figured, what the hell, it’s got some provenance). Inside Rusty’s stocklist was Item 3.

That was it — my big contribution. One obscure Item, but thus are the Lists assembled.

So, I’m going along, merrily circling the Item numbers I have. I open Item 15, the trade state of the June 1977 Stock List, to see if it contains Item 16, an insert Discount Schedule tack-stapled inside the front cover. Yep.

But in my copy on the facing page, at the top, I notice another piece of paper tack-stapled in: CAREFULLY REVIEW ADDENDUM.

About the size of a business card.

A separate Item. Not in the Haefele list.

It refers to an Addendum as yet unpublished, I think — Item 17, I presume.

So, if you’re collecting Modern Ephemera, make a note to keep on the lookout for that slip of paper that goes between Item 16 and Item 17.

You need it. You know you do.

I wish I’d noticed it before the List came out. Then I’d have scored two triumphs. Fattened it up that much more.

My bad.

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