The Donald Wetzel collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, financial material, printed material, legal material, and other items.
Manuscripts by Wetzel in the collection include novels, short stories, poems, notes, fragments, book reviews, articles, essays, and advertising copy. Drafts of novels include The Obscenity (Harcourt, 1968); The Lost Skiff (Harcourt, 1969); A Bird in the Hand (Harcourt, 1973); Ask If There Was Madness (unfinished); A Man in the Wind (unfinished); Pacifist, or: My War and Louis Lepke (autobiographical); and an unpublished murder mystery. Also present in the collection is a carbon copy of a draft of Robert Anderson's play "All Summer Long," adapted from Wetzel's novel A Wreath and a Curse.
Correspondence in the collection includes both personal and professional letters. Personal correspondence in the collection includes letters regarding a family inheritance, including genealogical information on Wetzel's family (1965-1968); letters between Wetzel and his parents and brother; letters between Wetzel, Mark Harris, and Josephine Harris (1947-1957); and other letters. Professional letters date from 1948 to 1969, and include correspondence with Hiram Haydn; his editor; the Guggenheim Foundation; Crown Publishers; Wetzel's literary agent; and various others. Notable correspondents include Robert Anderson, Borden Deal, Blair Fuller, Ralph Moody, and Rex Stout. The collection also includes some fan mail and other miscellaneous letters.
Financial material in the collection includes income tax information (1957-1968), bank notes, loan information, and various receipts and similar items.
Printed material in the collection includes several reviews of Wetzel's books; articles about Wetzel; articles and clippings used by Wetzel for research; advertising proofs, ads, and printed items for Bullock's Department Store; issues of the Author's Guild Bulletin (1959-1962); items regarding peace, pacifism, and anti-nuclear activism; newsletters and notices from the Texas Institute of Letters; three articles for The Floridian (1970); and miscellaneous items.
Legal material in the collection includes Wetzel's contract with Crown Publishers for his novel A Wreath and a Curse (1949) and his contract with Random House for Ask If There Was Madness (1958).
Other items in the collection include material about Wetzel's employment at the SMU Press; Wetzel's address book; material on "modern church architecture" by John A. Wetzel; and various other items.