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A Guide to the John Graves Papers, 1920-2006 (Bulk dates: 1946-2004)

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Graves, John
Title: John Graves Papers
Dates: 1920-2006 (Bulk dates: 1946-2004)
Abstract: Forty-nine boxes of typescripts, galley proofs, correspondence, printed material, photographs, scrapbook material, notes, and artifacts, among other items, document almost the entire writing career of John Graves (1920- ).
Identification: Collection 010
Extent: 49 boxes (33.5 linear feet)
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Southwestern Writers Collection, Wittliff Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos

Biographical Sketch/Historical Sketch

Born August 6, 1920 in Fort Worth, Texas, John Alexander Graves III grew up in that city until moving away to attend college in 1938. He graduated from Rice Institute (now Rice University) with a B.A. in English in 1942, then entered the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific theater until being wounded by a Japanese grenade on the island of Saipan. After the service, Graves traveled to Mexico for a few months then attended Columbia University, earning an M.A. in English from there in 1948. He began his professional writing career while still a graduate student by publishing a short story, titled “Quarry,” in The New Yorker in 1947.

Graves taught English from 1948 to 1950 at The University of Texas at Austin, but left academia and Texas behind to spend a year freelance writing in New York City. From January 1953 to July 1955 he spent abroad, living mostly in Spain, including the Canary Islands for some months on a resident colony of writers and artists. During these years he wrote articles for publications like Holiday and Town and Country but also worked on fiction, including a semi-autobiographical novel, The Spotted Horse. Graves concentrated on finishing the novel after returning to the United States, but his agent rejected the final manuscript and Graves soon came to realize the novel was not publishable as a whole.

In the spring of 1957 Graves returned home to help care for his gravely ill father. In November of that year, Graves completed a three-week canoe trip down part of the Brazos River that he feared was about to be changed forever by dams. His narrative chronicle of the trip was first published as a magazine article in Holiday, and later Graves added history, philosophy and folklore which resulted in his first major book, Goodbye to a River (1960). The book attracted national attention and critical praise for its original style. It won the Carr P. Collins Award of the Texas Institute of Letters in 1961 and was nominated for a National Book Award that year. In the meantime, Graves took a teaching job at Texas Christian University, married Jane Cole (his second marriage) and purchased the first of his limestone acres in Somervell County near the town of Glen Rose.

After three years assisting in and writing for a U.S. government study of pollution of the Potomac River, Graves returned to Texas and focused on converting his country acreage from a weekend getaway into a permanent home with a manageable farm and cattle ranch. In that time he also contributed to journals, magazines and books with introductions, articles, and essays—work that has continued to the present day. His observations and ruminations about his relationship with the land as a farmer and rancher led to the publication of his second major book, Hard Scrabble: Observations on a Patch of Land (1974). Hard Scrabble describes both the promise and adversity of country life, touching on subjects like animals, tools, construction, weather, water, ecology, agriculture, and migrant workers.

Starting in 1976, Graves again focused on life in the country in a series of essays that were published in Texas Monthly magazine. The essays examined topics such as fences, meat, tobacco, cows, chickens, dogs, and bees, and were collected and published for Graves’ third major book, From a Limestone Ledge: Some Essays and Other Ruminations about Country Life in Texas (1980). Some essays follow up topics which he discussed in Hard Scrabble, but all focus on the “more or less country things which came to interest” Graves. From a Limestone Ledge was nominated for an American Book Award.

Although Graves has not published an extensive number of books, his contributions to magazines, books and anthologies spans over five decades. He has written introductions and narratives for a number of books and reports, often on Texas history and Texas environment, such as Cowboy Life on the Western Plains, Texas Heartland: A Hill Country Year and The Water Hustlers. Two of Graves’ most famous magazine pieces, “The Last Running” and “Blue & Some Other Dogs,” later became their own books, published first by Encino Press. Another well-received essay, “Recollections of a Texas Bird Glimpser,” written for the art book, Of Birds and Texas (1986), transformed into a limited edition book, Self-Portrait, With Birds (1991).

In 1996 the University of Texas Press published A John Graves Reader, which gathered together fiction and non-fiction pieces, both published and unpublished, including a long, reworked excerpt from his failed novel, The Spotted Horse. More recently, Graves wrote text for the photography books Texas Rivers (2002) and Texas Hill Country (2003), and in 2004 Knopf published his memoir, Myself and Strangers, which focused on his years abroad as a freelance writer.

John Graves is one of the most important Southwestern writers. Three of his early short stories were collected in the O. Henry award series. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1963 and a Rockefeller fellowship in 1972. Numerous awards and recognitions have followed him throughout his writing career. Although he is generally considered a regional and nature writer due to his settings and subjects, his style, which incorporates fiction, folklore, autobiography, philosophy, and observation, defies provincial or topical boundaries. Perhaps the best example of this is Goodbye to a River, which has never gone out of print since first being published in 1960, and is still celebrated for its keen ruminations on the historical, attitudinal and natural worlds that intertwined around Graves as he canoed down the river.

Graves is married to the former Jane Cole of New York, and they have two daughters, Helen and Sally. John and Jane still live and work on Hard Scrabble near Glen Rose, though after retiring from farming many years ago Graves decided to let the land return to its natural state.

Scope and Content Note

Forty-nine boxes of typescripts, galley proofs, correspondence, printed material, photographs, scrapbook material, notes, and artifacts, among other items, document almost the entire writing career of John Graves (1920- ). The collection has been arranged into seven series: Writings (1946-2004, n.d.), Correspondence (1943-2006, n.d.), Institutional Activities (1960-1998), Awards & Honors (1961-2004), Personal Materials (ca. 1920-2002, n.d.), Clippings (ca. 1940-2004, n.d.), and Writings by Others (1942-2002, n.d.). The author’s original order has been maintained where possible.

The collection gives an overview of Graves’ literary career, and with numerous drafts of many of his books, essays and short stories, it is particularly strong in illustrating his writing process. Another strength of the collection lies in its documentation of the editorial process, illustrated by the correspondence with publishers and agents found in both the Works and Correspondence series. Numerous letters between Graves and fans, family and friends were added to the collection in 2007, making the Correspondence series at ten boxes the second most voluminous. Other highlights of the collection are personal photographs and journals in the Personal Materials series.

SERIES I: Writings, 1946-2004, n.d. Boxes 1-21, 43, 47 The Writings series includes research notes, typed manuscripts, galley proofs, printed materials, correspondence, and other materials chronicling Graves’ literary contributions from his earliest short stories to his more recent essays and memoir. Materials from all of his books are included; additional document boxes contain Graves’ short stories, articles, speeches, book introductions, and notes. Many of these materials were annotated by Graves with personal comments when he donated the materials to Bill Wittliff.

Manuscript materials relating to the books Graves is credited as writing or co-writing make up the first sub-series. Materials are arranged alphabetically by book title. Of particular interest in the files pertaining to his first book Goodbye to a River are photographs taken by Graves during his trip down the Brazos River, the plate proofs of the first edition, and two printed articles written before the publication of the book. There are also drafts of his second book, Hard Scrabble, and his 2004 memoir, Myself and Strangers. The materials relating to From a Limestone Ledge have to do with the publication of the book itself; materials relating to the essays that were previously published in Texas Monthly are in the following sub-series. Likewise, materials under Blue & Some Other Dogs, The Last Running, and Self-Portrait, With Birds have to do with the book versions of these writings, not the original versions, which can be found in the next sub-series.

The General sub-series is devoted to the many short stories, essays, book introductions, tributes, and unpublished pieces written by Graves, and spans almost six decades. This subseries is also the largest in the collection, filling eleven document boxes, plus oversize. The works within it are arranged alphabetically by title, usually according to the official published title, but sometimes by a book title if Graves’ piece is an untitled introduction, or a draft title if the piece is unpublished. Many of these files contain correspondence, notes and research as well as typescripts and drafts. Some files also include or are limited to the publication itself that published it, or a clipping or photocopy of the published piece.

Graves’ work for Texas Monthly is thoroughly documented in the General sub-series, including the typescripts, galleys, clippings and correspondence he kept in two binders, covering ten years of published essays in the magazine. The manuscript of Graves’ first published short story, “Quarry,” can be found in this sub-series, as well as one of his most famous pieces, “The Last Running,” in both fiction and screenplay formats. Note that the long essay, “Notes & Scraps from a Personal Journal, 1946-1956,” is restricted from access until five years after the death of Mr. Graves.

The third and last sub-series covers speeches that Graves wrote and delivered, arranged alphabetically by the event or occasion. Like the previous two sub-series, these files contain drafts, correspondence, published forms, notes and other materials related to their subjects.

SERIES II: Correspondence, 1943-2006, Bulk Dates, 1959-2006, n.d. Boxes 11-12, 21-22 The Correspondence series contains letters that highlight Graves’ writing career, with letters to and from publishers, agents, fellow writers, fans, event organizers and others. Insights into Graves’ personal life and thoughts are also found in letters between Graves and longtime friends and family members. Graves kept carbon copies and later computer printout copies of many of his letters to others, so the researcher gets both sides of the letter-writing dialogue, in these folders and elsewhere in the collection where correspondence is included.

The vast majority of the correspondence is filed alphabetically by last name, though in a handful of cases by institution name, event name, or subject. Within the folders that are labeled with a range of names the correspondence is arranged and labeled in smaller folders. Folders that have just one name written on them means the volume of letters warranted its own folder (or in some cases, more than one folder).

The correspondence in the John Schaffner file is notable for chronicling the agent-writer relationship. Schaffner was Graves’ agent until 1979, and this file, covering eighteen years, highlights their personal and professional association during that time. Writers Rick Bass, Angus Cameron, Nick Lyons and John N. Cole have considerable amounts of correspondence with Graves, as does writer and photographer Bill Wittliff, who has also been a close friend of and sometime collaborator with Graves through the years. Though less voluminous, the letters between Graves and Cormac McCarthy reveal a respect and kinship between the two men.

Daughters Helen Graves and Sally Jackson also have a considerable amount of correspondence in this series. Fleet Lentz and Abe Rothberg each have multiple folders, making evident their important friendships with Graves. Another significant friendship documented in letters is that of Graves and Samuel Hynes, who have been close friends since their days together at Columbia University. These letters are arranged in two parts, one restricted and one not. Letters donated by Mr. Hynes himself for inclusion in the John Graves Papers are restricted from access until after the deaths of both gentlemen. There are also two other, unrelated letters placed at the end of the series that are restricted until 30 years after the death of Mr. Graves.

SERIES III: Institutional Activities, 1960-98 Boxes 32 There are two main parts to this series: Texas Institute of Letters, and Classes & Workshops. The former sub-series deals with Graves’ membership in and activities with T.I.L., including two folders of his 1971-73 presidency of the organization; while the latter sub-series contains syllabus information and notes related to two courses and one workshop taught by Graves. The files in these two sub-series are arranged chronologically. The last part in Institutional Activities is a file relating to the “John Graves Essay Contest,” conducted by The University of Texas Press. Graves was the judge of the final three-place winners of the contest.

SERIES IV: Awards & Honors 1961-2004, Bulk Dates, 1975-97 Box 33 This series is arranged chronologically, and contains mainly invitations, programs and photographs related to awards and honors bestowed upon Graves. A significant portion of this series deals with the Dallas Museum of Art’s “John Graves Day,” celebrated in May 1995, and includes video recordings of the event as well as correspondence, clippings and programs.

SERIES V: Personal Materials, ca. 1920-2002, n.d. Bulk Dates, 1938-1999, n.d. Boxes 34-43, 47-49 Notebooks, legal papers, financial papers, photographs, journals, objects and academic records make up the majority of the materials in this series. Graves’ academic career is well documented through grade reports and written recommendations, class notes from undergraduate and graduate school, and his Columbia University Master’s thesis on William Faulkner. Of particular interest in this series is the notebook Graves used while traveling in Europe and his journal of a trip down the Rio Conchos, as well as many copy prints of family photographs. Objects of note include Graves’ Royal Standard typewriter and the paddle and tent he used during his canoe trip down the Brazos River in 1957.

Materials in this series are arranged chronologically according to sub-series. The “Reading Notes” journals in Box 38 may not be viewed or duplicated without the permission of John Graves or Bill Wittliff.

SERIES VI: Clippings, ca. 1940-2004, n.d. Box 44, 47 Photocopies—and the originals, when available—of newspaper and magazine clippings related mostly to Graves’ writing career can be found in this series. The clippings are filed in chronological order. A number of issues of entire magazines are kept in Box 47, due to their large sizes.

SERIES VII: Writings by Others, 1942-2002, n.d. Box 45-46 This series consists mainly of draft photocopies and printouts of other people’s novels, essays, screenplays and poetry. Also included are correspondence, clippings, research, notes and page proofs. A handful are essays written about Graves, but the majority of the files are creative works that Graves has proofread or for which he has offered promotional comments.

The typescript "A Texas Rancher in Durango, Mexico" may not be viewed without permission from John Graves or Bill Wittliff.


Access Restrictions

Some materials restricted. Please contact the SWWC for information about access.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Graves Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection/Texas State University-San Marcos

Acquisition Information

Donations since 1988. Donors: John and Jane Graves, Bill and Sally Wittliff, David Bowen, Dwain Kelly, and Samuel Hynes. Contact the SWWC for information about additional materials from this writer that have not yet been fully processed.

Processing Information

Previously processed by Jennifer B. Patterson, January 1994, Amanda York, 2002. Inventory Revised by Brandy Harris, 2005. Reprocessed by Joel Minor in 2007 with 10.5 additional linear feet of materials donated by Graves in 2006.

 Notes to Researchers 

Books in the John Graves Collection have been cataloged separately. See also the Bill Wittliff Collection, Accession Numbers 88-052, 89-023, 91-001, 91-009, 91-046, 91-128, 92-044, and 92-053 for photographs of John Graves. See 93-104 for Dorys Grover’s collection of research materials on Graves and Southwestern literature. See the Bud Shrake Collection for a letter from Graves to Shrake. See Wittliff 98-042 for Ned Blessing television series script by WDW and Graves.

The Southwestern Writers Collection also holds materials related to the production of A John Graves Reader, including copies of numerous works, correspondence, drafts, galleys and publicity materials, in the UT Press Collection of A John Graves Reader (Collection 090).

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin holds 2.5 linear feet of Graves materials: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/ fa/graves.john.html.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Series I: Writings, 1946-2004, n.d.

Published Books, 1957-2004, n.d.
Blue & Some Other Dogs, 1957-2004, n.d.
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, corrected typescript
From a Limestone Ledge, 1978-81
Box Folder
1 2 Publisher correspondence
3 Preface drafts and content notes
4 Typescript fragments, handwritten notes
5 Personal mss. copy
6 Publisher's working copy
7 Galley proofs
8 Master galley proof
Box Folder
2 1 Final galley proof
2 Page proof (unbound)
3 Page proof (bound)
4 Promotion
5 Reader correspondence
6 Reviews
Goodbye to a River, 1957-91, n.d.
Box Folder
2 7 Photographs
8 Published pieces about trip written by Graves
9 Leftover passages and book notes
Box Folder
3 1 Book design
2 Plate proof (1 of 2)
3 Plate proof (2 of 2)
4 Memorandum of Agreement for British edition
5 Reviews
6 Senate Resolution No. 487
7 Truitt correspondence
8 Log for proposed movie
9 Texas Book Club Edition - newsletter, correspondence, preface draft
Hard Scrabble, 1973-76, n.d.
Box Folder
4 1 Photographic slides
2 'Incomplete Draft'
3 Reserve copy of final draft (1 of 2)
4 Reserve copy of final draft (2 of 2)
5 “Living with the Land,” excerpt in Texas Monthly
6 Correspondence
7 Reviews
A John Graves Reader, ca. 1996
Box Folder
4 8 ‘UTP Possibles & Leftovers’
9 'Final Text' (1 of 2)
Box Folder
5 1 'Final Text' (2 of 2)
The Last Running, (Encino Press edition), 1974
Box Folder
5 2 Correspondence
Myself and Strangers, 1994-2004, n.d.
Box Folder
5 3 Log entries
4 Correspondence, various
5 Correspondence, Knopf
6 Draft, Sept. 2002
7 Draft, Mar. 2003 (copy 1 of 3)
Box Folder
6 1 Draft, Mar. 2003 (copy 2 of 3)
2 Draft, Mar. 2003 (copy 3 of 3)
3 Draft, June 2003
4 Draft, with list of copies and final changes, June 2003
Box Folder
7 1 Draft, with donation note, June 2003 (copy 1 of 2)
2 Draft, with donation note, June 2003 (copy 2 of 2)
Page Proofs
Box Folder
7 3 'AU's 1st Pass'
4 'Master 1st Pass'
Box Folder
8 1 'AU's 2nd Pass'
2 'Master 2nd Pass'
3 Jan. 2004
4 [Not dated or named]
5 Uncorrected proof
6 Knopf
Self-Portrait, With Birds, 1991, n.d.
Box Folder
9 1 Drafts
Texas Heartland: A Hill Country Year, 1975, n.d.
Box Folder
9 2 Corrected typescripts, galley proof, marketing, copyright
Texas Hill Country, 2003
Box Folder
47 3 Page proof
Texas Rivers, 1997-2003
Box Folder
47 4 color page proofs
Box Folder
9 3 Corrected typescripts, correspondence, contract, royalty statements
4 Reviews
Water Hustlers, 1970, n.d.
Box Folder
9 5 Publisher’s Agreement, correspondence, map
6 Galley proof
General, 1946-2003, n.d.
Box Folder
10 1 "America the Raped" – The Houston Postclipping, 1969
2 "Anything's a Shame" – corrected fragments, n.d.
3 "The Aztec Dog" – corrected typescript, carbon copy and printout, The Colorado Quarterly(Summer 1960), correspondence, 1959-91, n.d.
4 "The Banana Germ" – corrected typescript, n.d.
5 Beekeeping essays – typescripts (2), correspondence, 1976, n.d.
6 'A Beginning for Something' – corrected typescripts (of two different pieces), n.d.
7 Birds of Tarrant County 2nd Edition forward – corrected typescript, clipping of first edition version, correspondence, 1978-79
8 Bones for Barnum Brown book jacket comments – typescript, n.d.
9 Branding Iron subject sketches – corrected typescript, notes, n.d.
10 The Brave Bulls introduction – printout, diskette, n.d.
11 "The Bright New Waters" – correspondence, typescript, research, Ford Times Nov. 1964 issue, 1959-64
12 Canary book beginning – fragment, n.d.
13 "The Compress" and "Hot Day in the Baptist County" – corrected typescripts (2), correspondence, 1988, n.d.
14 "Controlling Condensation" – Pipe Lovers issue, 1949
Cowboy Life on the Texas Plains introduction, 1981-82, n.d.
Box Folder
10 15 Correspondence, contract
16 Research
17 Corrected drafts (3), notes, correspondence
18 Corrected drafts (2), galleys, reception invitation
Box Folder
11 1 The Creek and the City – publication, 1967
2 Cynthia Ann Porter forward – correspondence, corrected drafts (2), proofs, 1990-91
3 "Davis Birdsong and the Secretary of France" – typescript, n.d.
4 Digging Into South Texas History preface – correspondence, corrected drafts (7), published version, 1980
5 "Don't Blame Daddy, He's Just Nervous" – notes, n.d.
6 "The Dreamer" - correspondence, typescript, Readers & Writers May-June 1966 issue, 1960-66
7 "The Earth Remains Forever" forward - correspondence, notes, printout, 2000-01
8 "The Emergency Stop" - typescript, n.d.
9 "Failure" - typescript, 1946
10 "The Farthest Place" - corrected typescript, n.d.
11 Fences book - correspondence, research, notes, fragments, 1978-79
12 "Fiddle Dance" - corrected typescripts (2), correspondence, 1960-64, n.d.
13 "Field Sports - A Glance" - corrected typescript, n.d.
14 "The Fire Pit" - corrected fragment, n.d.
15 "Firecrackers Without Synthesis" (review of Vangel Griffin) - The New Leader issue, 1961
"Fishing the Run," 1980-81, n.d.
Box Folder
12 1 Correspondence, contract, drafts, fragments, notes
2 Drafts, galleys
3 "A Fluid Kind of Southerner" - notes, corrected typescript, 1960
4 'Fragment: an ending for a story' - typescript page, n.d.
5 "Friends of the EE. UU." - corrected typescript, n.d.
6 Frontier Guns catalogue introduction - correspondence, corrected carbon copy, catalogues (2), 1964
7 "The Green Fly" - photocopies of published piece (4), 1955
8 Gringos in Mexico forward - corrected typescript, 1987
9 'Growing Up in Texas' piece - correspondence, corrected typescript, 1969
"The Gulf: A Sketch with Some Somber Tints," 1990, n.d.
Box Folder
12 10 corrected typescripts and printouts, notes, fragments (1 of 2)
11 corrected typescripts and printouts, notes, fragments (2 of 2)
12 "Harry Jackson--A Note" - published piece, 1961
Home Place text, 1955-62, n.d.
Box Folder
13 1 correspondence, research
2 photographs, negatives
3 passages and listings, publication
4 "Home to Candelaria" - typescript, n.d.
5 "If You're So Smart Why Ain't You Rich?" - corrected typescript, n.d.
6 "I'm Looking Out the Backdoor" - fragment, n.d.
7 "In Avila" - typescripts (3), correspondence, 1961-69
8 "In the Absence of Horses" - correspondence, corrected typescripts, Escapade issue, 1959-61, n.d.
9 "An Island Full of Noises" - corrected typescript fragments, n.d.
10 'Jamie' - corrected typescript and manuscript fragments, n.d.
11 "A Joy of Doubt" - corrected copy, n.d.
"The Last Running" (short story), 1958-74, n.d.
Box Folder
13 12 correspondence, literary purchase agreement
13 corrected typescript, clippings, Atlantic Monthly issues (2) and cover proof, Cavalcade issues (2)
The Last Running (screenplay), 1990-98, n.d.
Box Folder
13 14 corrected typescript and printout drafts (4), notes
15 printout fragments of 5th draft, test printouts of rewrites, corrected printout fragment
Box Folder
14 1 first full and complete drafts (corrected printouts) (3)
2 second drafts (corrected printouts) (2)
3 third drafts (corrected printouts) (2)
4 fourth drafts (corrected printouts) (2)
Box Folder
15 1 correspondence, printout draft
2 “The Laughter from the Western Shores” – corrected typescript and published piece, carbon copy revision, 1954-62
3 “The Lost Americans” – photocopied Holiday article (2), 1954
4 “Love vs. Pedro Rakoczy” – Today's Woman issue, 1953
5 “The Meaning of Moonlight” – corrected carbon copies (2) and typescript, n.d.
6 “Mixed Signals at Roaring Valley Institute” – Esquire issue, 1955
7 “A Need for Laughter” – carbon copies (2), typescript, correspondence, 1959, n.d.
8 New Shelter piece – correspondence, notes, corrected typescript fragments, New Shelter pilot issue, 1979, n.d.
9 ‘Notes and Scraps from a Personal Journal, 1946-1956’ essay – separation sheet (RESTRICTED)
10 ‘Odd Spain & Europe Scraps’ – typescript fragments and drafts, notes, n.d.
11 “The Off-Season” – carbon copy, galleys, Stateside issue, 1947
12 Oil Notes introduction – correspondence, printout, 1994
13 "The Old Country" – photocopy of published piece, 2003
14 "The Other Texas Frontier" – correspondence, fragments, typescripts (2), 1984
15 "Our Own Piece of Country" – correspondence, corrected printouts (3) and proofs (2), 1996-98, n.d.
16 “The Overlap Land” – photocopy of article in Holiday, 1964
“Paw Prints,” 1996
Box Folder
15 17 log, correspondence, printout, page proof (copy)
Box Folder
47 2 inscribed posters (2)
Box Folder
15 18 ‘People’ – manuscript/typescript character sketches and notes, n.d.
19 Poetry – correspondence, typescripts, 1959, n.d.
20 “Quarry” – correspondence, carbon copy typescript, The New Yorker issue, 1947
Box Folder
16 1 ‘Range Goats’ piece – correspondence, corrected typescripts (2) and fragments, 1979
"Recollections of a Texas Bird Glimpser," 1981-85, n.d.
Box Folder
16 2 correspondence, log, notes, book review by Graves, Author-Publisher Agreement, marketing (Of Birds and Texas)
3 corrected fragments and miscellaneous pages
4 first and second full drafts
5 corrected typescript of Of Birds and Texas, corrected typescript of essay, final version of essay
6 photocopy of uncorrected galleys (Of Birds and Texas)
7 "The Reminiscence of an American Friend," second draft, n.d.
“Rice University: The Pangs of Change,” 1964
Box Folder
16 8 photocopy of article
Box Folder
47 1 Holiday issue with article
Box Folder
16 9 “Some Notes on Texas Landscapes” (introduction to Texas Landscapes) – correspondence, partial early draft, fragments, first-third drafts, corrected page proofs, 1978-80
10 Southern Living pieces – correspondence, carbon copies of submissions, notes, 1989-91
11 “The Spanish Myth in Literature” - The New Leader) issue, 1960
Box Folder
17 1 "A Special Place: The Texas Hill Country" - cassette tapes (2), n.d.
"The Speckled Horse," n.d.
Box Folder
17 2 typescript fragments
3 carbon copy fragments
4 Stanford, Geoffrey piece – corrected typescript fragments, correspondence, 1979, n.d.
5 Staub, Jack reminiscence – correspondence, corrected typescripts (3), 1983, n.d.
6 “Story of Them (The Owl)” – notes, typescript, n.d.
7 Tenerife writings – manuscript note (in Spanish), translation, correspondence, photocopies of articles (in Spanish), note, 1955-2004
8 “Texas as Maybe a Place” – first and second drafts, correspondence, corrected submitted typescript, 1977, n.d.
Texas Monthly columns, 1977-86, n.d.
Box Folder
17 9 “All That Litters” – corrected draft, fragments
10 “Big River” – corrected draft, fragments
11 “Building Fever” – corrected drafts (2), fragments
12 “Dead Oaks” – correspondence, notes, fragments, corrected first-third drafts, research, galleys
13 “Drinking” – corrected drafts (2), fragments
Box Folder
18 1 “The Exhausted Land” – fragments
2 “Fencing Myself In” – fragments, notes
3 “The Heat Treatment” – corrected drafts (2), fragments
4 “Kindred Spirits” – corrected draft and proof copies, fragments, clipping
5 “Lord of the Flies” – corrected drafts (2), fragments, notes
6 “The Loser” – corrected drafts (2), fragment
7 “Poultry in Motion” – corrected typescript draft
8 “Sacred Cows” – notes, fragments, corrected drafts (3), correspondence
9 “The Snuff of Dreams” – fragments, corrected drafts (3)
10 “Stayin’ Alive” – fragments, corrected drafts (2), galleys
11 “Through All Kinds of Weather” – fragments, corrected drafts (2)
12 “Whose Woods Are These?”–fragments, corrected drafts(2)
13 “The World to Wine” – corrected draft
14 'Texas Monthly Correspondence,' 1975-84
Box Folder
19 1 Texas Monthly issues, 1977-78
2 Texas Monthly issues, 1979
3 Texas Monthly issues, 1981
4 'Texas Monthly Published Pieces I,' 1976-78 (1 of 2)
5 'Texas Monthly Published Pieces I,' 1976-78 (2 of 2)
Box Folder
20 1 'Texas Monthly Published Pieces II,' 1979-85 (1 of 2)
2 'Texas Monthly Published Pieces II,' 1979-85 (2 of 2)
3 'Texas Novel Notes' - manuscript and typescript notes, n.d.
4 Texas Skies introduction - correspondence, printout drafts (2), 1996-97
5 This Studbborn Soil introduction - corrected drafts (2) and fragments, notes, 1986, n.d.
6 "Thoughts on the Occasion of a Second Viet Nam Moratorium" - correspondence, corrected typescript, 1969-70
7 "TMT" - corrected carbon copy, n.d.
8 “To Voters Who Care What Happens to Somervell County” – fragment, miscellaneous pages, n.d.
9 “Tribute to George Williams for Sallyport” – correspondence, corrected carbon copy, copies of Sallyport (2), 1976
10 “The Truth of the West” – copies of The New Leader (2), 1960
11 Untitled essay - miscellaneous pages, n.d.
12 Untitled fragment, n.d.
13 "U.S. Go Home" - clipping, n.d.
14 "A Valley" - corrected carbon typescripts (3), 1954
Vaquero introduction, 1992-2003
Box Folder
20 15 log, correspondence, text, notes, passages
Box Folder
47 5 page proofs
Box Folder
20 16 Varmints project - correspondence, 1978-79
17 "Walker, on the Wild Side" - correspondence, printout draft, 1996
18 "Who's Gonna Shoe Your Foot?" - fragments, notes, n.d.
19 'Y2K Piece for Dallas Morning News' - printout draft, 1979
Box Folder
21 1 Dallas Historical Society Awards for Excellence (for A.C. Greene) – correspondence, program, BOT list, manuscript of remarks, 1985
2 Brown, Richard memorial service - typescript, 1979
3 Knopf tribute at Harry Ransom Center – correspondence, printout of remarks, poster, publication, 1995
4 “The Old Guard: Dobie, Bedichek & Webb” – correspondence, invitations, programs, notes, fragments, drafts (3) of speech, 1982-83
5 Reid, Jan benefit dinner - corrected printouts of remarks, 1998
6 “Sense of Place” talk for Univ. of Dallas – corrected typescript of remarks, n.d.
7 “The Southwest as the Cradle of the Writer” – The American Southwest: Cradle of Literary Art (book with text of speech), 1981
8 Southwestern Writers Collection opening - drafts (4) of speech, 1991
9 Texas Folklore Society / Friends of the Texas A&M University Library meeting – correspondence, notes, fragment, drafts (2), 1982-83
10 Texas Institute of Letters - acknowledgement of McCombs/Tinkle Award – correspondence, program, press release, speech notes, fragments and drafts (2), 1983
11 “T.I.L. [Texas Institute of Letters] piece for A.C. [Greene]” – corrected typescript and fragment, n.d.
12 “Texas Myths and Texas Writing” – notes, fragments, drafts (4), 1984
13 Trinity Valley School Commencement Address – newsletter with text of speech, 1981
14 Western Writers Symposium in Albany, TX – correspondence, clipping, printout of speech (not used), 1998


Series II: Correspondence, 1943-2006, n.d. (bulk 1959-2006)

Box Folder
22 1 Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs, 1967
2 A--Arteseros, 1976-2001, n.d.
3 Associated--Avila, 1980-2002
4 B--Bass, Ramona, 1991-2004, n.d.
5 Bass, Rick, 1990-2005
6 Battle--Bode, 1966-2002, n.d.
7 Bodio, Steve, 1990-2004, n.d.
8 Bourbon--Brunk, 1979-2003
9 Buck, Homer, 1995-2006
10 Bull--Bush, 1977-2004, n.d.
Box Folder
23 1 C--Callery, 1994-2000, n.d.
2 Cameron, Angus, 1980-99
3 Camp--Card, 1993-2001
4 Cardenas, Jeffrey (Waterlight/The Saltwater Angler), 1987-2005
5 Carney--Clark, Carol Lee, 1992-2002
6 Clark, Stephen L. (SLC Photographs/Gallery), 1995-2004
7 Clark, Steve--Coifton, 1994-2004, n.d.
8 Cole, Henry, 1984-2004
9 Cole, John N., 1979-2002
10 Collins--C-unknown, 1965-2006, n.d.
11 Davenport--Dixon, 1976-2005, n.d.
12 Dobie/Paisano Project, 1965-66
13 Dobson--Donovan, 1985-2000, n.d.
14 Douglas, Deborah D., 1993-2001
15 Douglas, Sam--D-unknown, 1943-2002 (bulk 1998-2002), n.d.
Box Folder
24 1 E--Erickson, Eric, 1979-2001, n.d.
2 Erickson, John, R., 1977-2006
3 Etheridge--E-unknown, 1978-2006, n.d.
4 F--Fondren, 1980-2003, n.d.
5 Foote, A. Lee, 1990-96
6 Fort Worth Day School, 1962
7 Foster--Furman, 1981-2004
8 G--Graham, 1981-2006
9 Graves, Helen/Princeton University, 1977-81
10 Graves, Helen, 1989-2004
11 Graves, Jo--Groome, 1944-2006 (bulk 1991-2006), n.d.
12 Grover, Dorys Crow (East Texas State University), 1985-2004
Box Folder
25 1 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1962-77
2 Guthrie--G-unknown, 1995-2004, n.d.
3 H--Hagan, 1980-2006
4 Hale, Leon, 1991-2005
5 Halpern--Hannah, 1991-2002, n.d.
6 Hard Scrabble Book Sales, 1976-78
7 Harkins--Harrison, Kitty, 1991-2005, n.d.
8 Harrison, Thomas P. III, 1976
9 Hartley, Margaret L. (Southwest Review), 1965
10 Hart--Hiatt, 1992-2006, n.d.
11 Hickey, David C., 1963, n.d.
Box Folder
26 1 Hightower--Hollingsed, 1981-2004, n.d.
2 Holt--Huston, 1992-2005
3 Hynes, Samuel, RESTRICTED (until deaths of Hynes and Graves)
4 Hynes, Samuel, unrestricted, 1976-2005, n.d.
5 I, 1981-99
6 J--Jackson, Harry, 1966-92, n.d.
7 Jackson, Sally, Robert and family, 1988-2005, n.d.
8 Jaskilla--Jones, Kathryn, 1987-2004, n.d.
9 Jones, Stephen, 1974-2001
10 'Journal Fragments 1959-1965'
11 Juannah--J-unknown, 1972-2003
12 K--Kerr, 1979-2003
13 Kilgore, Rick, 1996-2001
Box Folder
27 1 Killian--Klintenick, 1979-2002
2 Knopf, 1960-79
3 Koger--Kopp, 1976-99
4 L--Leeson, 1974-2005, n.d.
5 Lentz, Fleet (1 of 2), 1995
6 Lentz, Fleet (2 of 2), 1996-2004, n.d.
7 Leonard--Lipscomb, 1991-2004, n.d.
8 Lish, Gordon (Behavorial Research Laboratories / Educational Development Corporation), 1965-68, n.d.
9 Livingston--Lyons, 1980-2004, n.d.
Box Folder
28 1 Lyons, Nick (1 of 5), 1987-88
2 Lyons, Nick (2 of 5), 1989
3 Lyons, Nick (3 of 5), 1990-91
4 Lyons, Nick (4 of 5), 1992-94, n.d.
5 Lyons, Nick (5 of 5), 1995-2005, n.d.
6 M--MacLeod, 1992-2002, n.d.
7 Macrorie, Ken (CCCC Journal), 1961-63
8 Madigan--McCurdy, 1979-2005, n.d.
9 McDonald--McVean, 1978-2002
Box Folder
29 1 Meichsel--Mitchem, 1981-2006, n.d.
2 Montgomery, Phil, 1994-2005, n.d.
3 Mooney--Mussehl, 1977-2005, n.d.
4 N, 1981-2002, n.d.
5 O, 1978-2003, n.d.
6 Pacini--Palmer, 1995-99
7 Paluxy River Program, 1967-68
8 Parham--Pugh, 1981-2006, n.d.
9 R--Rogoyska, 1969-2005, n.d.
10 Rothberg, Abe (1 of 2), 1977-99
Box Folder
30 1 Rothberg, Abe (2 of 2), 2000-06
2 Rothberg, Lewis--Rutson, 1962-2002, n.d.
3 S--Schafer, 1981-2003, n.d.
4 Schaffner, John, 1961-79
5 Schaffner, Val--Shaw, 1980-2006
6 Shearer, Bill, Travis, Kathy, 1985-2004
7 Sheffield, Dick, 1997-2000
8 Sheets--Southwestern, 1961-2004, n.d.
9 Spiegelman--Swank, 1972-2005, n.d.
10 Tarkington, Sallie estate, 1968-92, n.d.
11 Taylor--Texas Book & Author Brunch, 1981-2004
12 Texas Book Festival, 1996
Box Folder
31 1 Texas Christian University (contracts and correspondence), 1960-67
2 Texas Christian University Sigma Tau Delta--Tynan, 1979-2003, n.d.
3 U--V, 1979-2001
4 W--Watt, 1962-2003, n.d.
5 Weems, Eddie (UT Press/Baylor University), 1963-96
6 Weeren--Wiley, 1991-[2004], n.d.
7 Williams, George: Distinguished Alumni Award, Rice University, 1995
8 Williams--Wilson, 1991-2002, n.d.
9 Winckler, Suzanne, 1985-2005
10 Winship--Wishcamper, 1994-97
11 Wittliff, Bill, Reid and Sally, 1971-2004, n.d.
12 Woo--Wynne, 1992-2003, n.d.
13 Y--Z, 1996-2005, n.d.
14 RESTRICTED (2 letters to be opened 30 years after Graves' death)


Series III: Institutional Activities, 1960-98

Texas Institute of Letters, 1961-97 (bulk 1964-73)
Box Folder
32 1 Meetings, membership, newsletters
2 Carr P. Collins and Friends of the Dallas Public Library Awards
3 Executive Committee
4 Periodical Prose Award contest
5 "Taste" symposium
6 Presidency (1 of 2)
7 Presidency (1 of 2)
8 Meetings, membership, newsletters
Classes & Workshops Taught, 1960-81
Box Folder
32 9 English 332
10 Writing course
11 Ft. Worth Country Day School
12 "John Graves Essay Contest," 1997-98


Series IV: Awards & Honors, 1961-2004 (bulk 1975-97)

Box Folder
33 1 Texas State Resolution No. 487, 1961
2 Collins Award for Best Texas Work of Non-Fiction, 1975
3 Dinner for Jim Bones and John Graves, Texas A&M, 1975
4 American Book Awards nomination, 1981
5 Texas Christian University Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree, 1983
6 Distinguished Alumni, Association of Rice Alumni, 1984
7 Texas Lecture and Symposium on the Humanities, 1984
8 Dallas Awards for Excellence in Community Service, 1985
9 Literary Lions Dinner, Friends of the Dallas Public Library, 1986
10 “Texas Images and Realities” panelist, 1986
John Graves Day, 1994-97
Box Folder
33 11 Correspondence
12 Photographic images (106 slides & 2 negatives)
13 Video recordings of event, part 1 & 2 (2 VHS & 2 DVD copies)
14 Video recordings of event, part 3 & 4 (2 VHS & 2 DVD copies)
15 Program & clippings
16 Texts of speeches (Helen & Sally Graves)
17 Book and Author Luncheon, Hood County Friends of the Library, ca. 2000
18 Lifetime Achievement Award, Texas Medal of Arts, 2003
19 “One Book, One Arlington,” 2003
20 Ninth Annual Stars of Texas Preservation Awards, 2003
21 International Award of Excellence in Conservation, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 2004


Series V: Personal Materials, ca. 1920-2002 (bulk 1938-99), n.d.

Photographs, 1920s-1990s
Box Folder
34 1 originals, 1920s (1)
2 originals, 1930s (1)
3 originals, 1940s (6)
4 originals, 1950s (11)
5 originals, 1960s (1)
6 originals, 1970s (3; 1 of these is in box 47)
7 originals, 1990s (7; 1 of these is in box 47)
8 copy prints, 1920s (27)
9 copy prints, 1930s (3)
10 copy prints, ca. 1940s (9)
11 copy prints, ca. 1950s (18)
12 copy prints, 1960s (19 b/w, 5 color)
13 copy prints, 1970s (61 b/w, 1 color)
14 copy prints, ca. 1980s (5 b/w, 3 color)
15 copy prints, ca. 1990s (13 b/w, 13 color)
16 copy negatives, 1920s-1990s (30 strips)
Academics, ca. 1938-48
Box Folder
34 17 Grades
18 Rice Institute notes
19 Correspondence
20 Columbia University notes
21 Master's essay
'Reading Notes,' 1946-69 - RESTRICTED
Box Folder
35 1 Notes on contents and restrictions
n/a 'Reading Notes' journals in binders (2)
Legal & Financial, 1946-76
Box Folder
36 1 Veterans Affairs
2 Texas Veterans Land Program
3 Somervell County Property
4 Equitable Savings Association
5 Andrea Muro immigration
6 Frances C. Graves estate
7 Jackson County farm
8 Home and farm insurance
9 Income Tax notes
10 ID Cards, 1948-55
Notes, 1948-97
Box Folder
36 11 Dreams
12 Europe
13 Milton, various books, Spanish language, Spain
14 'Livestock'
15 'Jackson County Land Sale Negotiations'
Box Folder
37 1 'Florida Fishing Notes'
2 'Texas Coast Notes'
3 ‘Fishing, Fly-Tying, Rod-Making, etc.’
4 ‘Florida Keys Fishing Notes’
5 Newsletter for Retired Marines, 1957-99
Research, 1960-94
Box Folder
37 6 Mississippi trip, maps (2) – correspondence, clipping
7 Audubon/conservation lectures – outlines, clipping, publications
8 Nuclear power plant in Somervell County – correspondence, clippings
9 Home projects – notes, diagrams, drawings, product literature
Box Folder
38 1 Comanche Peak Plant – correspondence, clippings, copies of affidavits, reports and memos
2 Born of the River forward – correspondence, reports, LCRA literature
Rio Conches trip, 1965-67
Box Folder
38 3 Notebook (Prospectus, correspondence, notes, slide index, clippings)
4 Slides (61)
Trinity Valley School, 1973-2000
Box Folder
38 5 Children's enrollment
6 Newsletter (with reprinted 1960 Mission Statement written by Graves)
7 General materials, 1980-2002
8 Interviews – list of questions, n.d., corrected proof, 1996
Artifacts, 1957-1973, n.d.
Box Folder
39 1 Belt buckle, mailing box
2 Rubber mold for belt buckle (2 pieces)
3 Ceramic mold for belt buckle (1 piece)
4 “Silent Partner” inflatable figures (2)
Box Folder
40 n/a Tan cotton baseball cap worn by Graves
n/a Plastic slide box labeled “John Graves’ Hardscrabble – 1973, photos by Bill Wittliff,” separation sheet
Box Folder
41 n/a Royal Standard typewriter used by Graves
Box Folder
42 n/a Three ring binders (8) separated from contents, separation sheets
Box Folder
43 n/a Three ring binders (4) separated from contents, separation sheets
Box Folder
48 n/a Fly reels (5) handmade by Graves
Box Folder
n/a n/a Canoe paddle Graves used on 1957 Brazos River trip (kept in room 780)
Box Folder
49 n/a Small green camp tent Graves used on 1957 Brazos River trip (kept in “cage” in Annex B)


Series VI: Clippings, ca. 1940-2004, n.d.

Box Folder
44 1 ca. 1940-59
2 ca. 1960-61
3 ca. 1962-72
4 1974
5 1975-79
6 1980
7 1981
8 1982
9 ca. 1983-92
10 ca. 1996-97
11 ca. 2001-04


Series VII: Writings by Others, 1942-2002 (bulk 1975-98), n.d.

Box Folder
45 1 All for Love by Turk Pipkin – printout, 2002
2 “Construction” by Donald Bartholomew – corrected printout, notes, n.d.
3 “The Ecotopian Landscape of John Graves” by Don Scheese – photocopy of essay, n.d.
4 Grover, Dorys Crow – photocopies of two published stories and one conference paper, 1975-85
5 “John Graves” by unknown author – photocopy of essay, n.d.
6 “John Graves Tribute, November 11, 2000” by William Broyles – printout of speech, 2000
7 Las Capeas by Euginio Noel – annotated book, corrected typescript of translation, 1952
8 “The Last of the Old Time Cowboys” by unknown author – photocopy of essay, n.d.
9 Legends of the Fall screenplay by Bill Wittliff - first draft, 1990
10 McNeal, Tom - poetry, correspondence, 1942
Myself and Others by Alexander Brook, 1977-98
Box Folder
45 11 correspondence, clippings, will
12 corrected typescript
Box Folder
46 1 “Paisano” by Bill Porterfield – research, notes, misc. typescript pages, n.d.
2 ‘Swede Johnson Papers’ – clipping, misc. manuscript pages, 1942, n.d.
3 Texas Bound anthology – correspondence, photocopies of contents, 1997
4 A Texas Rancher in Durango, Mexico by Thomas P. Harrison III, - bound typescript with corrections by Graves, n.d. – RESTRICTED (need permission of John Graves or Bill Wittliff to view)
5 Tom Northway by Marshall Terry – correspondence, page proofs, 1991
6 “Undaunted Courage” teleplay by Bill Wittliff – photocopy of script, 1997
7 Untitled essay about Graves by unknown author – photocopied typescript fragment, n.d.