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Rare Books and Special Collections At Northern Illinois University: Horatio Alger Collection

A brief guide to Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University

Horatio Alger Jr. Collections

The Horatio Alger Collection

The Horatio Alger Collection at Northern Illinois University is the world's most comprehensive collection of materials by this best-selling boys' series writer, numbering over 4,000 volumes. This collection contains most first, hard-cover, soft-cover, and variant editions; serialized titles; manuscripts; letters; and the archives of the Horatio Alger Society. Some of these materials have been digitized, and are available through our Horatio Alger Digital Repository.

The NIU Libraries created this collection from materials already held in other collections shortly after the Horatio Alger Society selected the NIU Libraries as their official repository in 1994. Since then, our holdings have grown through purchases and through donations from members of the Horatio Alger Society. This collection complements our American Popular Literature, Albert Johannsen, Edward T. LeBlanc, Frank Merriwell, and Edward Stratemeyer collections.

Research in this collection is eligible for financial support through the annual Horatio Alger Fellowship for the Study of American Popular Culture.

Subject Guide


Horatio Alger Fellowship for the Study of American Popular Culture
Northern Illinois University

The University Libraries, Northern Illinois University, invite applications for the Horatio Alger Fellowship for the Study of American Popular Culture. Funding is available to scholars who will be using materials from the Libraries’ major holdings in American popular culture. These holdings include the Albert Johannsen and Edward T. LeBlanc Collections of more than 50,000 dime novels, and the nation’s preeminent collections related to Horatio Alger, Jr., and Edward Stratemeyer. Eligible collections also include our comic book, science fiction and fantasy literature, and American Popular Literature Collections. Topics which could draw on the collections’ strengths might include the plight of urban children, image of the American West in popular literature, widespread use of pseudonyms, and stereotypical portrayals. Preference will be given to applicants who signify an interest in conducting research related to Horatio Alger, Jr.

The 2018 Fellowship award consists of a $2000 stipend. 

Candidates should submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, a brief proposal for their research, and two letters of recommendation to: Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, University Libraries, Horatio Alger Fellowship, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115-2868. Electronic applications may be emailed to

The deadline for applications is May 31, 2018, with research taking place between July 1 and December 31, 2018.

Unfortunately, due to state and university regulations, this award is available to US residents only.