The Tom Milne Archive of Popular Fiction
The Lancaster University Department of English & Creative Writing is delighted to announce the acquisition of the Tom Milne Popular Fiction Archive. A successful bid to pay for the archiving of the collection was submitted by the University Librarian, Clare Powne, in collaboration with Dr Lee Horsley: we are very grateful to the Lancaster Friends Fund for their support. We are in the process of creating an online portal for the collection, working in close collaboration with Subject Librarians Louise Tripp and Helen Clish.
Because of the Department’s a strong interest in popular fiction, Nigel Algar, Senior Curator (Fiction) of the British Film Institute, donated to us the popular fiction collection of the late Tom Milne. The collection is particularly strong on hard-boiled fiction of the 1940s and 1950s and on the writers whose work formed the core of canonical film noir: Chandler, Hammett, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, David Goodis, Cornell Woolrich, Dorothy B. Hughes, etc. As well as attracting visiting writers and scholars to Lancaster, the collection constitutes a substantial addition to the Department’s undergraduate and postgraduate studies of film and popular culture.
As well as acting as a portal to the catalogue of the collection, this site will host articles and competition entries, focusing particularly on the intersections between film and fiction. The late Tom Milne was one of Britain’s pre-eminent film critics:
When Tom Milne’s career path took him into the world of the film critic, he joined the British Film Institute as associate editor of Sight and Sound and editor of the Monthly Film Bulletin. Leaving the Film Institute to go freelance he wrote as a film critic for the Times, theFinancial Times, the Observer and edited the definitive Time Out Film Guide. He also contributed to such major works as the Oxford Companion to the Theatre, and the Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought.
– From the ‘Masters of Cinema’ page dedicated to Tom Milne, which also includes tributes by Nigel Algar and others.
The Tom Milne fiction collection contains several hundred vintage novels, including rare editions of Raymond Chandler, David Goodis, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich and many other of the great mid-century American paperback writers. It also includes a large collection of Westerns and vintage pulp magazines.