Anthony Shafton Research Papers

Identifier: 2017-83

Scope and Contents

Anthony Shafton Research Papers contains research and publication materials on Shafton's book, The Nevada They Knew, published in 2017 by Fonthill Media. Series 1, Research Materials, comprises a majority of the collection and includes copies of letters to and from Walter Van Tilburg Clark and Robert Cole Caples, research emails, interviews with individuals who knew Clark and Caples, Shafton's notes, and information regarding his first research trip to Reno. Of interest in this series is a comprehensive collection of reproductions of Caples' artistic works collected by Shafton during the course of his research.

Series 2, Publication Materials, contains correspondence with the University of Nevada Press, and correspondence and information from Fonthill Media/Arcadia Publishing, the eventual publisher of the book. Also included in this series are drafts and supporting digital files.


  • 2011-2022


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

Anthony Shafton (1937- ) is a Chicago native and Reno resident, with degrees from Harvard College and Stanford's graduate Creative Writing Program. He has published five books: The Apostate Heriger (1962), a novel; Conditions of Awareness (1976), a monograph on primate psychology and human paleopsychology; Dream Reader (1995), a survey of psychological approaches to dream interpretation; and Dream-Singers (2002), a sociology of African-American dreaming and dream sharing.

The Nevada They Knew, Shafton's most recent book published in 2017, is about the friendship between artist Robert Cole Caples and author Walter Van Tilburg Clark and Shafton's associations with the two men. The book is a culmination of many years of correspondence that began when Shafton wrote a fan letter to Clark about his novel The City of Trembling Leaves. Through Clark's introduction, Shafton met Caples in 1964, overnighting at Robert and Rosemary Caples' Connecticut estate. Shafton never met Caples again, but the two corresponded from 1964 until the artist's death in 1979.


4.625 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



Anthony Shafton is a Chicago native, Reno resident, and author of five books, including The Nevada They Knew. Collection contains research and publication materials for Shafton's book, The Nevada They Knew.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Research Materials; 2) Publication Materials; 3) Post-Production Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Anthony Shafton in November 2017. Additional materials received in December 2022.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the UNR Special Collections Department:

The Nevada They Knew [Special Collections Stacks: ND237.C25 S53 2017]; The Nevada They Knew Index, Notes, and References (2017-79); Robert Cole Caples Correspondence with Anthony Shafton (2011-17)


Guide to the Anthony Shafton Research Papers
Jessica Maddox
February 2018
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)