Myrick Land Papers

Identifier: 2006-21

Scope and Contents

Collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and materials related to Land's careers as a journalism professor and freelance writer. Letters from Norman Mailer and Hunter S. Thompson are included in the collection. Of particular interest are jury notes and videotapes of the 1980 Morey Kaplan murder-for-hire trial in Washoe County, Nevada, which was part of a project for a legal argumentation course in the University of Nevada, Reno Speech and Theatre Department. Land's unpublished manuscript for Death and the Lucky Lady (A True Crime Book), based on the Kaplan case, is included in the collection. No materials are included about the assassination of John F. Kennedy or Lee Harvey Oswald.


  • 1959-1999


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

Myrick (Mike) Land was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on February 26, 1922. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942-1943, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1945. As an undergraduate, he was a reporter and editor for the California Bruin newspaper. In 1946, he obtained a Master's degree at Columbia University's School of Journalism and also won a Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to travel in Europe. Only later did he meet his future wife, Barbara Neblett, at a party for Columbia Journalism School's graduate students.

From 1949-1952, Land served as Director of Information in Europe and North Africa for the American National Red Cross. Land and his wife Barbara, who married in 1949, lived in Germany from 1951-1952. Returning to New York in 1952, he served as editor for Scholastic Magazines until 1955, assistant editor for This Week from 1955-1959, and had articles published by the New York Times. In 1955, Land also published his first book, Search the Dark Woods. While senior editor for Look magazine from 1959-1966, he was involved in editing the serialization of William Manchester's manuscript for The Death of a President, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Land then served as Look's assistant managing editor from 1967-1971. Later, the Lands collaborated with Robert L. Oswald on a biography of his brother, Lee Harvey Oswald, that was published in 1967. In 1970, Land won a Scroll Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his 1969 novel, Quicksand.

In 1972, the Lands moved to Brisbane, Australia, where he was a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Queensland and was instrumental in establishing Australia's first school of journalism. In 1976, the Lands relocated to the United States, this time settling in Reno, Nevada. Land joined the University of Nevada, Reno's journalism faculty. Excluding a short break from 1979-1981 when Land taught journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Land served as a UNR journalism faculty member until his retirement from in 1993. The author of nearly 200 magazine and newspaper articles, Land taught courses at UNR in reporting, news and magazine editing, magazine writing, and book writing. A second edition of his 1987 textbook, Writing for Magazines, was published in 1993.

While at UNR, Land was editor and publisher for the University's alumni magazine, UNR Times, transforming it from a newsprint format to a full-color magazine. Land was a member of the Magazine Advisory Committee for Nevada: The Magazine of the Real West, which was published in Carson City, Nevada. Throughout their marriage, Barbara and Myrick collaborated on several nonfiction books for children and adults. They were inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1997, Land published "Act Three Act Two Act One: A Suspense Play".

Myrick Land died in Reno on March 25, 1998.


2.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Myrick Land (1922-1998) was a journalism professor, freelance writer and author who served on the University of Nevada, Reno journalism faculty from 1976-1979 and 1982-1993. Collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, notes, and material related to Land's career as a journalism professor and writer.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Manuscripts; 2) Research Notes and Materials; 3) Personal Records; 4) Journalism Faculty Career

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Barbara Land in May 2006.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the UNR Special Collections Department:

Barbara Land Papers (96-22); Northern Nevada at the Turn of the Millennium Project Interviews (2012-14)


Guide to the Myrick Land Papers
Betty Glass
February 2009
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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)