Alice B. Sheldon, pen name James Tiptree, Jr., papers, 1920-1999

Alice B. Sheldon, pen name James Tiptree, Jr. (1915–1987), was a much acclaimed science fiction author, publishing from 1968 to 1987. She was also briefly a painter, an art reviewer for the Chicago Sun, a chicken farmer, and a CIA analyst. Alice earned her Ph.D. in experimental psychology, focusing on novelty and visual perception, from George Washington University in 1967. She started writing science fiction as a graduate student, and began sending her work out to publishers in 1967 using the pen name James Tiptree, Jr. to protect her reputation as a scientist and academic. In 1976, her identity was discovered, and made widely public in 1977.

Alice B. Sheldon’s life spanned several divergent careers and interests, culminating in her wide success as a feminist science fiction writer. The Alice B. Sheldon papers contain diaries; artwork; unpublished poetry, short stories and her manuscript “The Psychology of Value in the Graphic Arts”; documents relating to her military and CIA service; notes from her academic career; Tiptree’s science fiction manuscripts; and correspondence with her parents and other writers. A full inventory is available.