Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs


The Library’s Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection was established in the 1970s, thanks to the generosity of several donors. Since that time it has grown to 140 volumes, most of which are hardback first editions. Although the emphasis is on the Tarzan titles, the collection also contains other lesser-known series, such as the Barsoom, Pellucidar, and Venus books. Our collection includes:

Tarzan series

Barsoom series

Pellucidar series

Venus series

Caspak series


Other works

The Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection is housed in the Downtown Main Library’s Cincinnati Room. If you’d like to browse through some of the material in the collection, just stop by the Cincinnati Room service desk—our staff will be happy to assist you!

About Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born to a well-to-do mercantile family in Chicago in 1875. Following a military-academy education, he served briefly in the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry. After trying a variety of pursuits, Burroughs turned his talent and imagination to pulp fiction. When he did, he made magic.

“Under the Moons of Mars,” the first of the eleven Barsoom (John Carter) adventures, appeared as a serial in 1911. The following year, Burroughs wrote Tarzan of the Apes, the story of a British nobleman’s son raised by great apes. The book became a sensation, and Burroughs had established his place in the world of popular literature.

Although best known for his twenty-two Tarzan novels, Burroughs introduced several significant science fiction/fantasy series: the Pellucidar cycle, begun with At the Earth’s Core;. The Land That Time Forgot trilogy; and the Venus sequence, which was written in the 1930s.

Burroughs' astonishing success derived from a brisk narrative style and a genius for creating imaginative, dreamlike worlds. He produced popular fiction that found an ideal audience in a burgeoning middle class eager for escapist reading. His work, with its fantastic settings, was Romance in the traditional sense, offering archetypal heroes, virgins in distress, and vividly realized, sometimes bloody, action sequences. Burroughs' characters and imaginative worlds earned a permanent place in the popular imagination of a global reading public, and it wasn’t long before his stories and his characters found their way on to film.

More detailed information about Burrough’s life and work is available in the Literature Resource Center. You’ll need your library card and PIN to access the database from home.

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