High Hallack Library
As Ms. Norton's age progressed, she was no longer able to keep the library running and so it had to be closed in 2004 and all the books were sold at an auction. This page remains in memory of Ms. Norton's idea, so that one day others may follow her steps and the library will be reborn.

   High Hallack Genre Writers' Research and Reference Library is a unique facility which is the result of more than half a century of labor. A tax-exempt foundation, it is intended to provide writers and scholars of "popular" literature - that is, those whose work deals with the genres of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, western, romance, gothic, or horror - a peaceful place for research and reference study.

   The Library's books have been carefully selected for this purpose and include outstanding examples, both early and contemporary, of every genre, as well as relevant non-fiction studies and handbooks for writing in that field. Foreign material is represented, too, as are publications which have long been out of print.


Sign for High Hallack created by Paul Goode


Why was High Hallack created?

High Hallack is a working research library and retreat for individuals interested in popular fiction. Such writing, by the definition of its founder, includes the fields of science fiction, fantasy, horror, gothic, mystery, romance, and western.

Nearly seventy-five percent of modern fiction falls into the categories listed above; however, in the past, no library has ever existed which has been dedicated exclusively to preserving and promoting the said genres. High Hallack has been created to answer to this need, as well as to provide research resources for both authors of fiction working in the designated fields and for writers of non-fiction preparing articles, papers, or lectures in the areas. A third important future goal is for the facility to serve as a "lecture hall" wherein seminars, talks by visiting authors, and discussions for writers and students of genre-related topics may be held.




Who may use High Hallack?

To employ the resources of High Hallack, it is necessary to be either a working writer or a student currently enrolled at college level or higher. Equally with the writing of fiction, the production of scholarly papers or articles constitutes an acceptable usage of its offerings. The Library encourages authors and scholars in both the juvenile and adult fields of its represented genres to labor here, as it contains notable works for both age levels. As many as four researchers are welcome at a time.

Individuals who wish to utilize the library or guest accommodations of High Hallack must be currently engaged on a piece of genre-related writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. These applying for work time must do so at least one month in advance. Fiction authors must be approved by the Board of Directors, and researchers must present recommendations from two professors or instructors in related areas of academic specialization.


What rules/restrictions apply to the use of the library?

  • Due to the rarity of many of the works it contains, no book may be removed from the library building.
  • Because the aim of High Hallack is to foster an environment conducive to the production of well-written works of fiction and non-fiction in genre fields, no uninvited guests - whether children or adults - are permitted to accompany visitors to either the house or the library.
  • No smoking, drinking, or recreational drug use is permitted on the premises.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the library.
  • Housing is available for one week, with extensions negotiable under acceptable circumstances. No fee will be assessed for the room; however, guests may make a donation to the library, which is a tax-exempt institution.
  • Visitors staying for longer that one night are expected to provide their own food, which they may prepare themselves in the kitchen of the house.
  • Use of the "house" fax and copying machine is provided. No guest-accessible computer is available; however, desk space for accommodation of laptops brought by visitors will be supplied.
  • Persons considering the use of guest facilities are advised that a number of cats reside in the house, although none are allowed in the library building. The pets have their own area but roam freely through the rest of the rooms, as well; thus, writers or researchers with an allergy to, or a dislike of, these animals are encouraged to seek accommodations at a local motel/hotel.




High Hallack as it was meant to be.

High Hallack, which takes its name from the one of the great continents in Andre Norton's Witch World, is a working research library and retreat for individuals interested in popular fiction. Such writing, by the definition of its founder, includes the fields of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, and Western stories. This facility contains an extensive selection of the finest works - many of them extremely rare - in each genre from its inception to the present day.

At present, High Hallack consists of the following:

  • a collection of approximately ten thousand volumes - a number which is constantly increasing, due to the ongoing purchase of works of both fiction and scholarly writing on genre-related topics, as well as to the acquisition, by bequest, of private libraries. Two such collections have already been donated: from the estate of Robert Adams, a large group of works on military subjects, and from the estate of Frederick Adler, a priceless selection of writings on Wican practice and Welsh history and lore.
  • a sizeable group of videos, which offer an overview of important themes and treatments of genre subjects and which are intended to be used as an adjunct to the literature housed in the library. High Hallack's tape collection, too, is an on-"growing" project.
  • a mini-museum of paintings, prints, and collectibles relating to genre literature. Not a few pieces of art are limited-edition works signed by their creators, and several are originals. Among the latter, High Hallack is proud to possess the two finest fantasy paintings of Miss Renee Damone and two montages of preliminary sketches for Andre Norton's Here Abide Monsters by the late Jack Gauguin. This grouping of art and artifacts will be on permanent display in both the library and the house.
  • a house measuring 2,500 square feet, which contains three guest bedrooms outfitted for the use of persons engaged in research or writing for an extended period. The front and back entrances to the house, as well as one bathroom, have been made accessible for the disabled.
  • the library building itself - a three-car garage, enlarged and remodeled to meet the appropriate needs.





High Hallack's Books

Unlike in an ordinary library, books in High Hallack are not put on shelves in alphabetical order - that's because High Hallack is a browsing library. The approximately ten thousand volumes held on site have been divided into a hundred different categories, listed below, so that books on similar subjects are grouped together, which makes researching a lot easier. What is more, within the categories themselves the books are put in a chronological order, which gives the reader an opportunity to keep track of the development of the subject with passing of time.
The following categories were used:

                        • Adventure (Non-fiction)
                        • Adventure (Fiction)
                        • Africa (Non-fiction)
                        • Africa (Fiction)
                        • Animals (Non-fiction)
                        • Animals (Fiction)
                        • Antiques & Collecting (Non-fiction)
                        • Archaeology (Non-fiction)
                        • Archaeology (Speculative)
                        • Architecture
                        • Art
                        • Arthurian Tales (Non-fiction)
                        • Arthurian Tales (Fiction)
                        • Biography (Non-fiction)
                        • Biography (Fictional)
                        • Biography (Autobiography)
                        • Biography (Historical)
                        • Cats (Non-fiction)
                        • Cats (Fiction)
                        • China (Non-fiction)
                        • China (Fiction)
                        • Christian (Fiction)
                        • Crafts & Hobbies (Non-fiction)
                        • Diaries (Non-fiction)
                        • Diaries (Fiction)
                        • Dictionaries (Reference)
                        • Dress (Accessories)
                        • Dress (General)
                        • Egypt (Fiction)
                        • Egypt (Non-fiction)
                        • Fantasy (Fiction)
                        • Fantasy (Non-fiction)
                        • Fiction (Modern)
                        • Folk & Fairy Tales
                        • Gothic (Fiction)
                        • History (Ancient)
                        • History (Fictional)
                        • History (General)
                        • History (Medieval)
                        • History (Military)
                        • History (Naval)
                        • History (Social)
                        • Holidays
                        • Horror (General)
                        • Horror (Ghosts)
                        • Horror (Occult)
                        • Humor (Cartoons)
                        • Humor (General)
                        • India (Fiction)
                        • India (Non-fiction)

        • Japan (Fiction)
        • Japan (Non-fiction)
        • Juvenile (Fiction)
        • Juvenile (Non-fiction)
        • Korea (Fiction)
        • Korea (Non-fiction)
        • Literature (Classics)
        • Literature (Critical)
        • Magic (General)
        • Magic (Wiccan/Pagan)
        • Maps & Atlases (Reference)
        • Military (Fiction)
        • Military (Non-fiction)
        • Music
        • Mystery (Historical)
        • Mystery (Non-fiction)
        • Mystery (True Crime)
        • Mystery
        • Mythology
        • Native Americans (Fiction)
        • Native Americans (Non-fiction)
        • Natural History (Flora & Fauna)
        • Natural History (General)
        • Naval Adventure (Fiction)
        • Occult & Supernatural
        • Poetry
        • Regency (Fiction)
        • Regency (Non-fiction)
        • Religion (Fiction)
        • Religion (New Age)
        • Religion (Non-fiction)
        • Romance (Non-Regency)
        • Science & Technology (Fiction)
        • Science & Technology (Non-fiction)
        • Science Fiction (Fiction)
        • Science Fiction (Non-fiction)
        • Spiritualism (Fiction)
        • Spiritualism (Non-fiction)
        • Suspense (Fiction)
        • Toys (Dolls/Dollhouses)
        • Toys (General)
        • Toys (Paper Dolls)
        • Travel (Fiction)
        • Travel (Non-fiction)
        • Western Studies (Fiction)
        • Western Studies (History)
        • Western Studies (Non-fiction)
        • Writers' Aids
        • Young Adult (Fiction)
        • Young Adult (Non-fiction)


 High Hallack header


Below are the original plans and goals of High Hallack, as reprinted from the official flyer. Following this is a brief explanation for the cancellation of the writer's retreat and updated information on the status of the research library as of October 23, 1996, as stated by Ms. Norton.

Unfortunately, as of April 24, legal entanglements due to Ingrid Zierhut's death will delay plans for the research library. Andre has not abandoned the prject but she has asked that donations be postponed until the legal matters are resolved.


Andre Orlando 1990
Andre Norton, Orlando, FL, September 1990, at the unveiling of the Andre Norton portait by Barbara Tiffany-Eginton
Roads to High Hallack
The Roads to High Hallack


High Hallack will be a research library and working retreat for writers in science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror and western for both adult and young readers. Never before has there existed a retreat where such writers can work in peace and privacy! There will be seminars, invited speakers on various subjects, shows by artists and the like.


To build a library complex (with rooms for seminars and meetings) and which will house six to eight writers at a time. The library has been in the process of being acquired for more than ten years and now consists of over ten thousand volumes to which we are continuing to add monthly. These are intended for research and reference work in all genres. In addition, there will be a collection of the best videos in each field, plus a permanent exhibit of fantasy art to which there have been recent additions of original works. We have built a road into the property and have purchased a guest house at the bottom of the valley.


See the Full Plans for High Hallack



A plateau of seventy acres in the mountains of Tennessee, situated near the towns of Monterey, Cooksville and Crossville in Putnam County. Totally secluded and yet easy to reach, this land is steeped in history. The valley below once marked the main Cherokee trail to the Ohio river. Part of the land is cleared and surrounded by a wood wall. We are just five miles from Interstate 40 at Exit 300. Take Route 84 south for about four miles and we are on the right just past the barn. Drive 0.6 miles up the road to the top of the hill to enter HIGH HALLACK.



Any genre writer who had already published and who is now working on a project in either the adult, young adult or juvenile field may apply to the board. If accepted, he or she may stay from two to six weeks (longer stays may be negotiated). There will be no charge for lodging.



There may be a good chance for funding. However in this case, the writers themselves need to show that they have a true interest. Thus we are making this appeal directly to them, their organizations and trade publications. We have a tax exempt status so any donations can be deducted from an individual's income tax. The raising of funds is never an easy process, but even small sums add up and provide seed money for larger bequests. Thus we wish to spread the word as fast and far as possible.

For more information, or to contribute to this worthwhile project, write to: High Hallack, 4911 Calfkiller Highway, Monterey, TN 38574. Make checks payable to High Hallack.

Note: Address no longer viable.

October 25, 1996
three forces of high hallack
The three forces involved in the High Hallack project. Left to Right: Andre Norton, Ingrid Zierhut, Mark Karpinski


In mid-October it became apparent that due to a lack of response from numerous genre writer's organizations following a request for funds to help sponsor High Hallack, that it would have to be cancelled. Also, due to the recently diagnosed cancer of High Hallack co-founder Ingrid Zierhut, plans for the extensive writer's research library were cancelled as well. Ms. Zierhut has been Andre Norton's administrative assistant, executive secretary, and close personal friend for many years. Before its cancellation, she was to have overseen the running of High Hallack in perpetuity following Ms. Norton's eventual passing.

Following the sale of Andre's home in Florida and her subsequent move to Monterey, Tennessee, Ms. Zierhut has also placed her home (which was next door to Andre's) up for sale. Upon completion of her cancer treatments in Texas this November, Ms. Zierhut will relocate to High Hallack to continue her duties as Ms. Norton's administrative assistant.

The third co-founder of High Hallack, also a longtime personal friend of Ms. Norton's, Mark Karpinski, will also relocate to High Hallack after the sale of Ms. Zierhut's home has been finalized. He will reside there temporarily until such matters are completed.

Due to the initial groundswell of support from friends and fans around the world when the cancellation of High Hallack became public, and from several conversations with close friend John L. Coker, Ms. Norton has decided (at least tentatively) to continue with the initial planning and development stages of the research library. In a letter dated October 23, 1996, John L. Coker passed the following information along to the editor of Tangent:

Dear Dave,

After an extended discussion with Andre Norton today, we finally came to an understanding on how support for High Hallack should be managed.

"Andre has agreed to accept tax-free donations for construction of the library with the provision that all monies received be placed by her in an escrow account, along with the name and address of the contributors, so that in the event that the project is not able to be undertaken within a period of two years, all of the donations could be returned to the contributors."

The above paragraph consists of Andre's own words, and reflects specifically how she wishes for this to be managed. It is important that these exact words be used in any communique about High Hallack, so that everyone will understand it clearly.

In my opinion this shift in position is a huge leap forward for High Hallack.

Thanks again,

John L. Coker, III
Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton ~ High Hallack Library    (Date Unknown)


Watch a video of the High Hallack Library opening in Murfreesboro, TN.




See: Interviews by John C. Snider about High Hallack

or just

Listen to an audio interview of Andre at High Hallack

See Also: High Hallack: What and Why by Andre Norton

An essay by Andre Norton in the The SFWA Bulletin, Winter 1999$4.99, 52pg ~ cover by Maurizio Manzieri

high hallack what is it and why


For images of the Library's opening ~ See:

High Hallack Image Gallery 1

High Hallack Image Gallery 2



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