Ray Bradbury Center Archive

Hello friends,
We hope that wherever you are you’re enjoying the cooler weather and the changing leaves. October is the best month in my never-humble-enough opinion, and Indiana is enjoying a particularly colorful fall season this year. Ray Bradbury was also incredibly fond of midwestern autumns, and he was a Halloween fanatic. October is full of good things: harvests, pumpkins, cider and spooky stories. 

October is also American Archives Month—a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of historic documents and records. As the curators of Ray Bradbury’s material legacy, the Ray Bradbury Center celebrates the value of archives and the importance of archivists. We’re very fortunate to have Nancy Orem, a fully credentialed archivist, donating thousands of hours of her time as a volunteer.

Nancy has led our efforts when it comes to organizing and preserving our massive archive, which consists of about 150,000 pages of Ray Bradbury’s papers. She is an invaluable member of our team, so please join us in celebrating her expertise and her generosity to the Bradbury Center and take some time to reflect on the essential work that all archivists provide in helping to preserve and retrieve the past.

By Dr. Jason Aukerman, Director of the Ray Bradbury Center

Ray Bradbury Center Appreciation Corner
The Ray Bradbury Center would like to give a well deserved shout-out to all of the amazing people and community partners that helped make our first run of Festival 451indy a success; Indy Reads, Dark Matter Coffee, the Indiana State Library, Genesis Literature and Art Magazine of IUPUI, Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie, District Theatre and of course Indiana Humanities! Now to start planning for next year…
Upcoming Events

The Ray Bradbury Center will be going live on Thursday, October 27th for Feed Your Imagination Story Club!

This month’s fantastically spooky story will be the Bradbury classic, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Did you race to the end, or was it more of a slow burn? Which scene has stuck with you the most? And most importantly, what do you think Mr. Dark’s zodiac sign is? 

Join us as we attempt to answer these burning questions.

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Golden Apple Picks
This month’s Golden Apple Picks come from friend of the center, Victoria Duncan. Victoria is the Rare Books and Manuscripts Supervisor at the Indiana State Library and she teaches for the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing as Associate Faculty. She loves Sci-Fi, horror and all things grotesque. 


The Ant Queen and the Bounty Hunter by Bethy Squires

Indiana native Bethy Squires debuts the dynamic protagonist, Dorinda Rothschild, in this fantastic first showing. It’s a page-turner as we follow our charming but messy heroine in a race against time with a super virus that turns the people it infects into a pile of mush.


Brand New Cherry Flavor

This surreal 90's period piece with elements of horror stands out for being campy and stylistic. Based on a novel by the same name, there are strong Lynchian nods with more traditional horror elements (there will be zombies). It’s not perfect, but I am glad a piece of art exists where someone vomits kittens.


On Wednesdays, we talk weird podcast

Fortean investigators Asherz and Pat O talk cryptids, aliens and all things paranormal and taboo in this Ohio-based podcast.

Fans of Coast to Coast AM in particular will want to check it out.

Fun Facts From the Archives
Ray Bradbury and his stories have long been studied and appreciated by teachers and students alike over the last handful of decades.  From 1962 to 2007, Ray Bradbury received over 1,900 letters from 6 countries and 28 states and from schools across the US.

Bradbury cared deeply about these letters and connections with people and saved many of the letters he received. Because of this, most of these correspondence letters are currently housed in the Ray Bradbury Center’s archive! 

The contents of these letters fall into three major categories: permissions to put on a Bradbury play, invitations to speak (such as commencements, keynote speakers, etc.) and above all, school assignments.

Many people have been assigned to write about Ray Bradbury, whether in 5th grade or college, and many students included these class assignments in their letters to Bradbury. 

Classes mentioned in the letters include: English Literature, Reluctant Learners Class, Science Fiction Courses, Short Story Writing Classes, Science and Writing Classes, Humanities Courses, Gifted Program Series, Creative Writing Classes and a few Theater in America Classes.  

Ray Bradbury's stories inspire, and that inspiration leads to creativity which leads to new ideas and understanding. Clearly, educators know how to inspire their students by using Ray Bradbury as. 

Did you ever write to Ray Bradbury as part of a school assignment?  If so, we just might have the letter you wrote!

By Nancy Orem, Lead Archivist
Did You Know?

The  Ray Bradbury Center has 92 halloween cards that were sent to Bradbury from friends, fans and family.
By Nancy Orem, Lead Archivist

“A science fiction story is just an attempt to solve a problem that exists in the world, sometimes a moral problem, sometimes a physical or social or theological problem.”​

– Ray Bradbury, from Conversations with Ray Bradbury 
   by Steven L. Aggelis​ ​

Ray Bradbury tried to solve a wide range of problems through his writings by invoking political issues that were prominent at the time. While he is best known for his condemnation of censorship in Fahrenheit 451, he also notably addressed issues of race and inequality in many of his stories. While his books may not hold up to today’s standards and are not without their criticisms, they are important for the strides they made to challenge deeply held beliefs of white supremacy and racial prejudice in a difficult era of American history.

Many of his short stories that directly tackled these topics never made it to print. It was difficult for Bradbury to find editors that were willing to publish them in the science fiction magazines that he normally wrote for. 

“Way in the Middle of the Air” was one of these such stories that was only serialized after being released in Bradbury’s novel The Martian Chronicles. It tells the story of Black southerners that escape prejudice by fleeing to Mars. Although the story is only told through the perspectives of racist onlookers, it was groundbreaking for considering the effects of racism during a time in which it was very rarely directly challenged in such a way by white authors in science fiction.


​By Morgan Coffman

Director’s Note
The Ray Bradbury Center works hard to preserve and advance Ray Bradbury’s legacy. We do this by helping people cultivate their imaginations, foster robust reading lives, and pursue the things they love. We cannot do it without your support. By giving to the Ray Bradbury Center, you become part of the team, part of our work, part of the legacy, and we are beyond grateful. Thank you so much!
- Dr. Jason Aukerman, Director
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The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies · 425 University Blvd · Cavanaugh Hall 121 · Indianapolis, IN 46202-5148 · USA

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