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William Peden Short Story Collection


The private library of William Harwood Peden (1913-1999) was given to the MU Libraries after his retirement. Dr. Peden was a professor of English at MU from 1946 to 1979. Besides being on the editorial committee of Studies in Short Fiction, he was the editor of Story magazine as well as the author of numerous short stories, essays, and books. Dr. Peden was well known as an early advocate and literary critic of the short story as a genre of literature.

Dr. Peden established the University of Missouri Press and was co-founder of Missouri Review. The Peden Prize for Short Fiction is given annually by Missouri Review in honor of him.

Scope and Contents

The Peden Collection includes volumes of short story collections and anthologies. Included are review copies as well as works by former students and authors with whom Dr. Peden had established close relations during his extensive professional life; many are inscribed.

Dr. Peden laid newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, publisher’s slips, and other ephemera into many of the books. This material has been filed as the William Peden Short Story Collection Ephemera, recording as much as possible their original context.

This collection is supplemented by journals containing the personal stories of Dr. Peden which were donated by the Pedens to Special Collections in 2003.

Holdings: 458 volumes


All titles are cataloged and available through MERLIN, the University’s online catalog. The collection can be searched in MERLIN through the heading William Peden Short Story Collection (University of Missouri–Columbia. Libraries).

The collection does not circulate. Photocopying is permitted subject to the condition of the volume. Books must be used in Special Collections’ reading room during service hours or by appointment.