Skip to Content (Press Enter)
Titan Spotlight

Pollak Library Houses Frank Herbert’s Original Manuscript for ‘Dune’

Share This:

“Dune” was published in 1965, and is considered the first ecological science fiction novel, written at a time when ecology was an emerging field of study. Frank Herbert helped popularize the term ecology and conveyed a sense of planetary awareness for the Earth itself.

The manuscript is in the Frank Herbert papers in University Archives & Special Collections.  A portion of the manuscript is currently on exhibit on the first floor of the Pollak Library.

Herbert’s papers form part of the Willis E. McNelly Science Fiction Collections in University Archives & Special Collections. Along with the “Dune” manuscript, Herbert’s papers include manuscripts of his various novels, short stories and articles, as well as correspondence, research files and much more. The research files are fascinating, and contain Herbert’s notes, writings and source materials on such topics as religion, ecology and world building — all of which figured in “Dune.” Among the research materials is a large file of notes (from the late 1950s) for an article on the “Shifting Sand Dunes” in Oregon, which inspired the landscape of the planet Arrakis.

The collection also contains multiple editions of Herbert’s books, including foreign-language editions of the “Dune” novels. There are also issues of the science fiction magazine Analog, where “Dune” first appeared in serial form, beginning in the December 1963 issue.

The Herbert papers came to Cal State Fullerton through the efforts of the late Willis E. McNelly, professor emeritus of English. McNelly was well known as a scholar of science fiction and was instrumental in having science fiction recognized as literature. He developed a friendship with Herbert, and with several other science fiction writers, and was the driving force behind Cal State Fullerton’s vast science fiction collection which now bears his name. McNelly’s working relationship with Herbert was especially close. Herbert lectured in McNelly’s science fiction classes and McNelly edited the critically acclaimed “Dune Encyclopedia.”

Learn more about University Archives & Special Collections.

Brenda Patino