Barbara Land Papers

Identifier: 96-22

Scope and Contents

The collection has been divided into three series: book manuscripts and galley proofs, published books, articles for newspapers and magazines. Personal papers were not included in this gift.

The earliest materials in this collection consist of books written for young readers on non-fiction topics. Barbara's first book, Jungle Oil, was based on information gathered while the Lands lived in Venezuela from 1947-1948, where Mike Land helped establish a school of journalism at the University at Caracas. Other nonfiction book topics included telescope makers, the American south, Johannes Kepler, women explorers in Antartica, Las Vegas for children, and the Reno/Sparks/Lake Tahoe region. While living in Reno, Barbara wrote free-lance articles for the Reno Gazette-Journal. Her column reviewing books was a regular Sunday feature and often focused on northern Nevada authors and topics.

All of the series have been arranged chronologically by publication date. Articles which appeared in newspapers have been photocopied for preservation and ease of use. The original newspapers are available if needed.


  • 1957-1996


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.

Biographical Note

Barbara Neblett Land was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on July 11, 1923, and began writing when she was fifteen years old. She graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism and received a Pulitzer scholarship in 1946, which enabled her to study and travel in Europe. She was the first woman to win a fellowship for Columbia University Graduate School's Advanced Science Writing Program (1959-1960). In 1949, Barbara married Myrick (Mike) Ebben Land, who had obtained his master's degree from Columbia University in 1946. The Lands lived in New York, Venezuela, and Australia before he joined the Reynolds School of Journalism faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1976.

Barbara authored a number of books for young people and non-fiction for adults. She and her husband collaborated on several book projects, including Jungle Oil: The Search for Venezuela's Hidden Treasure and A Sierra Mosaic: Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe. In addition to writing books, Barbara authored many articles and columns for various newspapers, including columns about books for the Reno Gazette-Journal. She and her husband were inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1996.

Land died in Urbana, Illinois on February 22, 2020.


2 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Barbara Land (1923-2020) was a Nevada free-lance author who, either singly or with her husband, Myrick Land, wrote books for young readers, non-fiction for adults, and newspaper columns about literature, Nevada authors, Nevada book-related topics, and human interest stories. The collection includes manuscripts and galley proofs of Land's books, The telescope makers and Evolution of a scientist; copies of several of her published books; and her articles written for various magazines in the American west.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Manuscripts and Galley Proofs; 2) Published Books; 3) Articles

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Barbara Land in July 1996.

Related Materials

2006-12: Barbara Land Papers 2006-21: Myrick Land Papers

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections photo archives.

A Part of

Nevada women's archives.


Guide to the Barbara Land Papers
Susan Searcy
August 1, 1996
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

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