University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Peter Matthiessen:

A Preliminary Inventory of an Addition to His Papers in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Matthiessen, Peter, 1927-
Title: Peter Matthiessen, Addition to His Papers
Dates: 1950s-2003
Abstract: This collection of Peter Matthiessen Papers is an addition to accessions received in 1995 and 1998, for which preliminary inventories are also available. Included are recent works, articles and essays, correspondence, personal and career-related material, books, and audio cassettes.
Extent: 27 boxes, 1 oversize box (13.10 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Scope and Contents

This collection of Peter Matthiessen Papers is an addition to accessions received in 1995 and 1998, for which preliminary inventories are also available. Included are recent works, articles and essays, correspondence, personal and career-related material, books, and audio cassettes.

The Papers are organized in three series: Series I. Works, ca. 1967-2003 (bulk 1997-2003); Series II. Correspondence, 1975-2002; and Series III. Personal and Career-Related, ca. 1950s-2003.

The Works Series includes research material, notes, typescript drafts, and publication material for recent books in Subseries A: Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes (2002), Bone by Bone (1999), End of the Earth, Voyages to Antarctica (2003), and Tigers in the Snow (2000). Also present are galley proofs for Killing Mr. Watson (1990) and an excerpt from Lost Man's River (1997).

Subseries B includes articles for Audubon, Outside, and The New Yorker. Titles include "The Last Great Strand" for Audubon (1967); "Burning Bright" (2002), "Footprints in the Last Wild Place" (2003), and "Mean Spirit" (1995) for Outside; and "Tiger in the Snow" for The New Yorker (1997). Considerable material is included for "In the Great Country," Matthiessen's contribution to the book Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land (2003).

The correspondence in Series II. includes personal and literary letters from notables such as Edward Abbey, John Barth, Kay Boyle, Benjamin Bradlee, Bill Clinton, Peter Coyote, Don DeLillo, Alex and Eugenie Dolberg, John Elder, Victor Emanuel, William Gaddis, George Garrett, Martha Gellhorn, Allen Ginsberg, Nadine Gordimer, Peggy Guggenheim, Joseph Heller, Edward Hoagland, John Irving, Peter Jennings, Timothy Leary, Norman Mailer, Frank McCourt, W.S. Merwin, Peter Nabokov, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, James Salter, Charles Simic, Wiliam Styron, Studs Terkel, Paul Theroux, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Penn Warren, and Howard Zinn. There is a small number of letters written by Matthiessen to others, as well as family correspondence.

Material in Series III., Personal and Career-Related, includes articles about Matthiessen, awards, interviews, photographs and slides, public appearances, and works of others. Awards include the Cooper Prize (2001), Heinz Award (1999), and the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award (2002), among others. Visual images include photographs from Matthiessen's Paris Review days in the 1950s and his recent appearance at the 2000 Texas Book Festival. Public appearances include benefits, conferences, lectures, memorials, readings, and seminars.



The material is in good physical condition and is open for research

Separated Material

Books and audio cassettes received with the Papers were transferred to appropriate departments within the Ransom Center.

Administrative Information


Purchase, 2004 (Reg. no. 15198)

Processed by:

Alex Jasinski and Liz Murray, 2004

Container List

Series I. Works, ca. 1967-2003

Subseries A. Book-length Works
Box Folder
1 Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes (2002)
1-2 Proposals, outlines, and research
3 Early drafts, including magazine versions
4-5 Draft with editor's comments; working title "Travel with Cranes"
Box Folder
2 1-4 Corrected typescript drafts, various chapters
Box Folder
3 1-4 Corrected typescript drafts, cont'd
5 Setting copy
Box Folder
4 1 Setting copy, cont'd
2-3 Mixed drafts and page proofs
4 Corrected page proofs, various sections
5 Illustrations and maps, drafts and proofs
6 First pass page proofs, 4/30/01
Box Folder
5 1 First pass page proofs, cont'd
2-3 Author's proofs, second pass, 8/14/01
4-5 Second pass master proofs of revised first pass pages
Box Folder
6 1-2 Master pages, proofs, 9/11/01
3 Reviews
Bone by Bone (1999)
Corrected typescript drafts
4-6 Various sections, 9/96
Box Folder
7 1 Various sections, 9/96, cont'd
2-4 Complete draft, 9/96
Box Folder
8 1-3 Revised draft, July-August 1998
4 Setting copy, November 1998
Box Folder
9 1-2 Setting copy, cont'd
3-4 Proofs, master set, first pass, December 1998
Box Folder
10 1-2 Uncorrected proofs, 2/24/99
3-5 Corrected pages from publisher, March 1999
6 Blue line proofs and dust jacket
7 Reviews
8 Dust jacket copy and proofs for The Cloud Forest, The Peter Matthiessen Reader, and The Snow Leopard (Czech translation)
Box Folder
11 End of the Earth, Voyages to Antarctica (2003)
1-3 Research material
4 Photographs of Antarctica, esp. penguins
5-6 Outlines and notes
Corrected typescript drafts
7 "Cambell and Enderby" and explorer sections
8 "The Last Clean Land"
Box Folder
12 1 Part 1, "Macquar2"
2 Part 1, variant draft
3-4 Part 2, early drafts
5 "Worst Journey," footnotes
6 Partial draft
7 Mixed typescript pages and notes
8 Draft, 4/7/02
9 Part 1, 4/7/02
Box Folder
13 1 Part 2, April-May 2002
2 Part 1, Nov. 2002
3 Draft fragments, Dec. 2002
4-5 Parts 1-2, author's copy, 12/2/2002
6 Part 2, 1/25/03
Box Folder
14 1-3 Drafts, Jan. 29-31, 2003
4 Part 1, draft 3, author's clean copy, 3/20/03
5-6 Parts 1-2, draft 3, Byers copy, 3/20/03
7 Partial draft, 4/1/03
Box Folder
15 1-2 Draft with note from Steve Byers
3 Lightly corrected draft
4 Page proofs, incomplete
* Galleys [*removed to oversize box 28]
Killing Mr. Watson (1990)
5-6 Galley proofs
7 Reviews
Box Folder
16 Lost Man's River (1997)
1 Excerpt in The Paris Review, #144, Fall 1997
2-3 Articles and reviews
Tigers in the Snow (2000)
4-5 Research material
Box Folder
17-19 Research material, cont'd
Box Folder
20 1-5 Corrected typescript drafts and notes
Box Folder
21 1 Corrected typescript drafts and notes, cont'd
2 Corrected typescript, with Becky's notes
3 Uncorrected typescript
4 Setting copy, 8/23/99
5 Corrected page proofs, partial
Box Folder
22 1-3 Corrected page proofs
4 Reviews and publicity
Subseries B. Articles and essays, 1967-2003
5 "Burning Bright," for Outside, Oct. 2002
"In the Great Country," in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land (2003)
6 Notes
7-8 Research material
Box Folder
23 1 Research material, cont'd
2 Drafts
* Galleys [*removed to oversize box 28]
3 "Footprints in the Last Wild Place,"Outside, Feb. 2003, proofs for adapted essay
4 "The Last Great Strand,"Audubon, March/April 1967, published version
5 "Mean Spirit,"Outside, Oct. 1995, published version
"Tiger in the Snow,"The New Yorker, Jan. 6, 1997
6-7 Notes
8-16 Drafts
Box Folder
24 1-3 Drafts, cont'd
4 Uncorrected proofs
5 Published version

Series II. Correspondence, 1975-2002

Box Folder
24 6 A-C, including
Abbey, Edward
Abbot, John
Babenko, Hector
Baekeland, Tony
Barth, John
Bass, Rick
Boyle, Kay
Bradlee, Benjamin
Brooks, Allan
Campbell, William
Carney, Frederika
Clinton, Bill
Cole, John
Coyote, Peter
Crews, Harry
7 "Adventurer of the Soul: Peter Matthiessen's Life in the World," documentary film project
8 D-F, including
Davis, Paul
DeKooning, Lisa
Delano, Frank
DeLillo, Don
Dickey, Patsy
Dillard, Annie
Doig, Ivan
Dybek, Stuart
Elder, John
Emanuel, Victor
Erdrich, Louise and Dorris, Michael
Fisketjon, Gary
Fuller, Blair
9 Dolberg, Alex and Eugenie
10 Family and personal
11 Fans
12 G-L, including
Gaddis, William
Gallagher, Tess
Garrett, George
Gellhorn, Martha
Gerber, Dan
Gibson, Margaret
Ginsberg, Allen
Goldman, Amy
Gordimer, Nadine
Gray, Francine
Guggenheim, Peggy
Hall, Oakley
Heller, Joseph
Hoagland, Edward
Humes, Harry
Iyer, Pico
Jennings, Peter
Jones, Kaylie
Kidder, Tracy
LaDuke, Winona
Leary, Timothy
Lopez, Barry
Lord, Sheridan
Box Folder
25 1 Harrison, Jim
2 Indian Country
3 Irving, John
4 M-O, including
MacLehose, Christopher
Mailer, Norman
McClatchy, J. D.
McCourt, Frank
McGuane, Tom
McKibben, Bill
Meidav, Edie
Merchant, Ismail
Merwin, William (W.S.)
Miles, Hugh
Morris, William
Moynihan, Daniel P.
Nabokov, Peter
Ortiz, Simon
5 Matthiessen, Peter (outgoing)
6 Norman, Howard
7 P-Sn, including
Parnall, Peter
Paulsen, Frederik
Peacock, Doug
Peterson, Roger Tory
Porter, John Edward
Rafelson, Bob
Rattray, David
Rattray, Everett
Reid, Robert
Remnick, David
Rogers, Pattiann
Roth, Philip
Roy, Arundhati
Rushdie, Salman
St. John, David
Salter, James
Schainberg, Larry
Schaller, George
Sefina, Carl
Shaw, Adam
Shawn, William
Sheed, Wilfrid
Sifton, Elizabeth
Silko, Leslie Marmon
Simic, Charles
Snyder, Gary
8 Snow Leopard
9 So-Sz, including
Southern, Terry
Sproul, Barbara C.
Stanton, Doug
Steele, Max
Stegner, Lynn
Steinberg, Saul
Stern, Richard
Stone, Robert
Straus, Roger W. Jr.
Strete, Craig
Styron, Tom
Styron, William
Sullivan, Phil
10 T-Z, including
Terkel, Studs
Theroux, Paul
Turner, Frederick
Turner, Jack
Turner, Kay
Vonnegut, Kurt
Warren, Robert Penn
Wenning, Bobby and Claire
White, Randy Wayne
Williams, Joy
Williams, Terry Tempest
Winter, Evelyn
Winter, Paul
Woiwode, Carole and Larry
Wright, Charles
Young, Nancy
Zen Studies Society
Zinn, Howard
11 Unidentified

Series III. Personal and Career-Related, ca. 1950s-2003

Box Folder
26 1* Articles about Matthiessen [*oversize removed to box 28]
2 Cooper Prize, Society of American Historians, 2001
3 Heinz Award, Heinz Foundation, 1999
4 Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, Lannan Foundation, 2002
5 Various awards, including Distinguished Service Award (Society for Conservation Biology, 1999), Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for State Author (N.Y. State, 1995), John Hay Award (Orion Society, 1999)
6 "The Art of Fiction CLVI," typescript draft
7 "The Art of Fiction CLVII" in Paris Review, #150, Spring 1999
Box Folder
27 1 Miscellaneous material, articles on others, Royal Opera Program "Sophie's Choice"
Photographs and slides
2 1950s, from "Paris Review...Early Chapters," Checkerboard Film Foundation documentary (2001)
* 1995, Matthiessen at his desk in Sagaponack, in Jill Krementz's "The Writer's Desk 2000 Calendar" [*removed to oversize box 28]
1999-2000, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Photographs of Members, photocopied booklet
1999 and 2001, expeditions
2000, Texas Book Festival
Undated, Cincinnati Zoo
Public appearances
3-4 Benefits, conferences, lectures, memorials, readings, seminars
5 "An Evening with William Styron," The Library of Virginia, 2000
Works of others
6 Miles, Hugh and Houseman, Chip. "Spirit of the Snow Leopard," proposed film
7 Pizzey. "Birds of Australia"
8 Plimpton, George. "An Interloper in the canyon of heroes," undated article in The New York Times

28 Oversize