The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper


We are delighted that in December 2017, the State University of New York Press, Albany, NY, agreed to continue the publication of “The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper.”  SUNY Press was our original publisher, but our agreement lapsed with the death of our founding editor in chief, James Franklin Beard. We then published nine volumes with AMS Press of Brooklyn, but with the death of the AMS proprietor Gabriel Hornstein came the bankruptcy of AMS in late 2017.

SUNY Press has agreed to republish all nine AMS titles as well as all editions underway when AMS declared bankruptcy. Please see their website for details. (Information on the publication of specific editions will be available only when the contracts, now being developed, are signed.)


The distinguished Cooper scholar James Franklin Beard (1919-1989) began organizing "The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper" in the late 1960's, as his work on publishing his monumental Letters and Journals of James Fenimore Cooper came to fulfillment.

Professor Beard's intention was to provide readers with sound scholarly editions of Cooper's major works, based wherever possible on authorial manuscripts. To date, "The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper" (or "the Cooper Edition") has made available both hard-cover and paperback texts of all the Leather-Stocking Tales and of many of Cooper's other best-known novels, as well as some of his most important works of political and social commentary.

This Web site provides information on the on-going scholarly work of "The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper" in the following areas and topics:

Publications of the "Writings of James Fenimore Cooper"
A current list of the Cooper Edition texts published by the SUNY and AMS presses.
Officers and Supporting Institutions for the Edition
Sponsoring Institutions and the names of Editorial and Advisory Board Members of the Cooper Edition.
Major Cooper Collections
Links to major Cooper collections.
The James Fenimore Cooper Society
Additional sources of information on the life and works of Cooper, with special emphasis on using Cooper in school and university classrooms.
Graphic Representations of Cooper
Cooper's place in the iconography of American literature, including a link to the National Portrait Gallery collection.
Cooper's Manuscripts
Brief and more detailed references, and advice on the copyright status of using Cooper manuscripts for research.
The Bravo Manuscript
Fugitive Works
Electronic versions of Cooper's hard to find publications.
Have an Old Cooper Book?
Some brief advice on judging its scarcity and value, and references for pursuing such questions in more detail. But - please do not email this website for an appraisal of any Cooper book.  Follow the instructions here instead.
Current Events
Information about current and upcoming initiatives.

Inquiries concerning this site or the Cooper Edition should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief, Lance Schachterle, WPI, Worcester, MA, 01609 (; +1-508 831-5514) who also oversees this site through Mary Cotnoir in the WPI Humanities & Arts Dept.

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Last modified: January 03, 2018 15:27:49