In a nutshell, it's either feast or famine when it comes to getting information on the history of pulp fiction on the Internet, depending on what you're looking for. There are plenty of sites out there, but be careful as to the accuracy of the information. For one thing, as we know, there is a lot of questionable material out there on the Web. So that's a general disclaimer. Also, there is a lot of anecdotal history out there about the pulps - stories about writers, editors, publishing houses, statistics on the numbers of magazines, fables and folklore - that has been passed down for decades. This information may have been exaggerated over the years or not even true to begin with.
The history of pulp fiction is full of holes and stories that cannot be verified or documented. When pulp fiction started to die off, many of the authors, editors, publishers, and the reading public didn't feel the necessity to put the history down in writing. In such a disparaged industry, not many people saw the importance of keeping all of their bookeeping and editing records for posterity. So double and triple check your sources, and don't take anything for granted.
With that said, I'm starting a link list of helpful websites. Some of these are directories, like the Yahoo site, and many are archives at various universities. I have picked these to start because they've been around a long time, have reputable authors, and I haven't found any glaring errors in the text.
If you're looking for good reading material, you can go to the Pulp Writer website (www.pulpwriter.com) and go to recommended reading. There is a bibliography listed of books used for my work in Pulp Writer. There are lots more out there - those on the Pulp Writer list are just those used for my work in that book.
Oh, and by the way...if you're going to do search on "pulp fiction" on the Internet, you can save yourself a lot of time by trying to get a little more specific than just putting in the words "pulp fiction." Those words will just get you a ton of web sites about Quentin Tarantino's movie. (No disrespect to Mr. T - his movie was a homage to the great pulp magazine "Black Mask"). But also use words like "magazine," "history," and "Western," etc.
I'm waiting for info from the Arizona Historical Society on the Willard Hotel in Tucson. To be continued....
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