Joseph Heller, Catch-22 and the Literature of War : A Selective Bibliography

Compiled by Professor Christine S. Fagan
and Adam Riccitelli
In conjunction with the Eleventh Annual
Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lecture
February 2011

HELIN catalog access points for research on Joseph Heller, Catch-22 and the Literature of War

Author: Heller, Joseph

Title: Catch-22

Subject: Catch-22

Heller, Joseph

War and Literature

War in Literature

Joseph Heller collection 1945-1969

Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department
Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts

The materials in this collection were created between 1945 and 1969. They include complete sets of manuscripts of several novels, plays, screenplays, correspondence, published editions, and reviews. Of chief importance is the autograph manuscript of Catch-22, which shows several stages of revisions, from the early stages to the final versions, and the important editorial relationship Heller had with his editor, Robert Gottlieb. The collection also includes the manuscripts for the TV series "McHale's Navy," and for the play We Bombed in New Haven. In addition, this collection includes signed first editions and translations of Catch-22 into several languages. The files are organized by title with subseries of manuscripts, correspondence, background material, and reviews. Series III, We Bombed in New Haven, is organized chronologically.

'Greater Boston' views special collections' Joseph Heller gems

Dec. 23, 2009 Televised interview with Sarah Shoemaker, Special Collections Librarian at Brandeis University regarding the Joseph Heller Collection.

Joseph Heller Archive

Ernest F. Hollings Library
Department of Rare Books & Special Collections
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina

The Joseph Heller Archive brings to the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library the comprehensive record of Mr. Heller's literary career over a period of more than thirty years. Its contents range in date from the mid-1960s, with early drafts for his novel Something Happened and his play We Bombed in New Haven, to the 1990s, with his final revisions for his most recent novel Closing Time.

Mr. Heller preserved extensive files from all stages of a book's composition, and the Archive totals over 300 separate file folders and over 150,000 pages of notes, outlines, research, drafts, edited typescripts, proofs, correspondence, and reviews. The Archive documents the detailed crafting of six major books in extraordinary detail, showing the creative interaction between one of America's most distinguished contemporary novelists and the publishing process.

Highlights of the Joseph Heller Archive include:

  • the very first handwritten 100-page draft for Heller's Something Happened

  • manuscript and edited typescript from Heller's dramatization of Catch-22

  • five early screen collaborations dating from the 1950s

  • file boxes of the distinctive index cards that Heller used to plot his novel God Forbid, later retitled God Knows, and other books

  • detailed records on late proof changes to Heller's No Laughing Matter, with his own notes from telephone conversations with his editor and his two-page outline for finishing the book

  • research files on the artist Rembrandt and other figures gathered in preparation for Heller's novel Poetics, later renamed Picture This

  • Heller's correspondence with fellow-veterans as he drafted his Untitled Novel [Yossarian], revised as Closing Time
For each book, the Archive contains many hundreds of pages charting Heller's creative process stage by stage through to publication. The Archive will provide a uniquely rich resource both for scholarly research on Joseph Heller's work and for introducing students to the world of writing and publishing at the highest level.

----- Written by: Patrick Scott, Director, Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections

"JOSEPH HELLER PAPERS: an exhibition"

Ernest F. Hollings Library
Department of Rare Books & Special Collections
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina

Website provides links to the exhibition catalog and the Joseph Heller Papers Finding Aid

Catch-22, Joseph Heller and the 340th Bomb Group

This website describes the connections between Catch-22 and the 340th Bombardier Group of which Joseph Heller was a member. The author is Daniel Setzer, son of Hymie Setzer, another member of the Group and is based on primary source materials and interviews with other members of the Group.

Interview with Joseph Heller

Interview by Allan Gregg

Interview with Joseph Heller by Allan Gregg of Canadian public television upon the 40th Anniversary of the publication of Catch-22

About Birss Memorial Library Exhibition

The Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lecture and Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Library Fund were established by University alums, Robert Blais '70, to honor Professor John Howard Birss, Jr., nationally recognized for his knowledge of first editions.

The Birss Lecture is an annual lecture series benefiting the humanities programs at Roger Williams University's Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences.