Dirce S. Archer

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(March 30, 1906 – May 1, 1972)

Dirce Archer, Pittcon chair. Photo by James O'Meara.

Dirce Ann Simons Archer was a Pittsburgh fan and a member of PSFA (and president starting in 1953). She organized the Pittsburgh in '60 bid committee and chaired Pittcon, the 1960 Worldcon. She had a strong personality and was described by one fan as "a rabid attack dog if something pissed her off."

She was a determined bidder, according to Ted White, as quoted in Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926–1965 by Eric Leif Davin (Lexington Books, 2005):

A number of prominent people in the field, like P. Schuyler Miller (who also lived in Pittsburgh), strove in her behalf. The bid mounted for Pittsburgh in 1959 was a steamroller of BNFs, which included fake bids by fans in other cities placed so that they could strategically withdraw ‘in favor of Pittsburgh,’ as well as bid parties fueled by the Pittsburgh hotel where the convention would be held.”

She was a member of the First Fandom club, the Hyborian Legion, the Burroughs Bibliophiles, the N3F, and Operation Fantast. She was a regular at Midwestcon, Doncon, Octocon, and many Worldcons. In the 1950s, she wrote reviews for Astounding.

She was married to Arthur G. Archer from 1948 till his death in 1967.

She was also a collector of books, many of them autographed first editions, and art, and said of herself: "Primarily a book collector now [1961]. Used to do batik, clay modelling, water colors, but am now too nervous to do art." (Chairing a Worldcon will do that...) Used booksellers are still peddling volumes from her collection inscribed to her — at staggering prices!


Person 19061972
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