Skip to main content

Frank Elli papers

Identifier: Mss006

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains papers relating to Elli's book, The Riot,including correspondence, clippings, a typewritten manuscript, and the galley proof. Also included is criticism of the manuscript by Professor Alford. The collection also includes correspondence course lessons Elli completed while writing the novel, Elli's autobiography, and a short story, "Skid Row Santa." Numerous editions of The Riot are part of the collection.


  • 1963-1966


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use in Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

All literary rights are retained by the author.

Biographical Note

Frank Elli was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1925. After being convicted of armed robbery in 1959, he was committed to Stillwater Prison to serve a 10-80 year sentence; he was paroled in 1965.

In 1962 Elli received a General Mills Foundation scholarship that paid tuition at the University of Minnesota for a correspondence course and he enrolled in a narrative writing course taught by Harold J. Alford. Elli submitted a short story to Alford, but Alford returned it with the comment that it wasn't a story, but rather a synopsis for a novel. Elli continued to write and received ongoing criticism from Alford who helped him get the novel published. The book was published by Coward-McCann in 1966 and was made into a 1969 motion picture starring Gene Hackman and Jim Brown.


1 Cubic Feet


The collection contains papers relating to Elli's book, The Riot, including correspondence, clippings, criticisms, a typewritten manuscript, and galley proof . The collection also includes correspondence course lessons, Elli's autobiography, and "Skid Row Santa," a short story manuscript.

Physical Location

Mezz (R80, D1, S1)


Donated by the author in 1967.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Archives staff.

Frank Elli papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Literary Archives Collecting Area