Walter Van Tilburg Clark Papers

 Collection
Identifier: NC527

Scope and Contents

The Walter Van Tilburg Clark Papers is divided into a 6 series and many subseries that cover Clark’s teaching and writing as well as personal correspondence. The papers contain notes for class and public lectures; manuscripts of, and notes about Clark's term papers, short stories, articles, and novels, both published and unpublished; scrapbooks containing material related to published works, such as dust jackets, letters received, reviews, and articles about Clark. There are business and literary related correspondence including letters to former students such as author David Madden; personal correspondence, primarily to Clark's wife Barbara Frances Morse Clark, his son Robert M. Clark, and Robert Cole Caples, a close friend and artist. It also includes marginalia, and loose-leaf notes in books used in preparation for class lectures; published works by former students; and memorabilia such as diplomas and certificates.

Dates

  • 1905-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1927-1971

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying of any of the papers with the intention of publishing should not be done without the permission of Robert Clark and the Walter Van Tilburg Clark estate.

Biographical Note

Walter Van Tilburg Clark (1909-1971) was a western author, the editor of the Alfred Doten journals, a 3-volume work published by the University of Nevada Press in 1973, a lecturer at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a writer-in-residence at the University of Nevada, Reno, between 1962 and 1971.

Clark may be best known for his first published novel, The Ox-Bow Incident, published by Random House in 1940, due to the fact that it was made into a feature film in 1943, starring Henry Fonda. However, many of his short stories, such as “Hook,” “The Buck in the Hills” and “The Wind and the Snow of Winter,” earned him respect nationally. In 1949, Random House again published another of his works, Track of the Cat, which was well received. Additional works, such as his novel, The City of Trembling Leaves, and a short story collection, The Watchful Gods and Other Stories, are also well known publications.

While Clark lived in Vermont, Maine, New York, New Mexico, California and Montana at various times during his life, he moved his family to Virginia City, Nevada in 1942, where he taught at the local high school for the 1950/1951 school year. In 1952, he accepted a half-time position at the University of Nevada, Reno, but resigned in protest in 1953 over a faculty and administration dispute. In 1954 he moved away but contracted to work on a Nevada-related topic, the Alfred Doten diaries editing project and biography. He published the 3-volume work The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1849-1903, in 1973 (University of Nevada Press). He moved to the San Francisco Bay area and taught creative writing at San Francisco State. By 1968, he and his wife had moved back to Virginia City, Nevada, and he remained there until his death on November 10, 1971.

Extent

13.25 Linear Feet (13 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Walter Van Tilburg Clark (1909-1971) was a Western author, editor of the Alfred Doten diaries, lecturer at the University of Nevada, Reno, and writer-in-residence at the University of Nevada, Reno, 1962-1971. The collection includes notes for class and public lectures; manuscripts of, and notes about Clark's term papers, short stories, articles, and novels, both published and unpublished; scrapbooks containing material related to published works, such as dust jackets, letters received, reviews, and articles about Clark; business and literary related correspondence including letters to former students such as author David Madden; personal correspondence, primarily to Clark's wife Barbara Frances Morse Clark, son Robert M. Clark, and Robert Cole Caples; marginalia, and looseleaf notes in books used in preparation for class lectures; published works by former students; and memorabilia such as diplomas and certificates

Arrangement

Arranged into the following series: 1) 1) Manuscripts, Typescripts, Notes; 2) Personal (Teaching and Literary) and Business Newspaper Clippings; 3) Personal Correspondence; 4) Marginalia and Notes; 5) Works of Former Students; 6) Memorabilia

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from the Walter Van Tilburn Clark Estate in 1971.

Related Materials

Many of Clark’s published materials, including a song sheet for “City of Trembling Leaves” may be found in the Department’s book collection.

An adaptation of The Track of the Cat for the stage can be found in the Reno Little Theater collection: NC277/3/CT3 (Box 6)

Alfred Doten Papers, NC08

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections photo archives as collection number UNRS-P2269.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Walter Van Tilburg Clark Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Robert M. Clark and Kenneth J. Carpenter
Date
1972
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)