Guide to the Bill Brown Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Brown, Bill, 1910-
Title: Bill Brown papers
Dates: 1936-1972 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (3 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 424
Summary: William Louis Brown (1910-1964) was a teacher, editor, reporter, ranger, and author of books and short stories for young people. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia relating to Brown's interest in writing adventure stories drawn from his own life experiences.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

William L. Brown was born on April 5, 1910, in Myrtle Point, Oregon. He was the son of Louis E. Brown, a life insurance representative, and Viola May (Davis) Brown. He married Gertrude E. (Rosalie) Moore, an author, on June 30, 1942. They had three children, Deborah Ann, Celia Jeanne, and Camas Eve. Brown was educated at the University of Oregon from 1930-1931, and Mexico City College in 1950.

Brown first worked as a reporter for the Coos Bay World in Coos Bay, Oregon, from 1934-1938. During this time, from 1936-1937, he participated in a small boat voyage to the South Seas. He then worked as an editor of the 300 Magazine in San Francisco, California, from 1940-1942. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces, 301st Service Group, 319th Service Squadron, where he served until 1944, becoming a sergeant. During his years of service he was stationed in India and Burma. In 1953 he joined the California Division of Beaches and Parks in Lagunitas as a ranger, remaining there until 1964. From 1960-1962, he was a member of the Fairfax City Park Commission. He also spent some time teaching creative writing in an adult education program in Marin County and Sonoma County, California.

Brown used his experiences in the South Seas, India, and Burma to furnish ideas for adventure stories. Under the name Bill Brown, he wrote four books: Roaring River (1953), which won the Commonwealth Club of California's silver medal for Best Juvenile Book; Uncharted Voyage (1955); People of the Many Islands (1958); and The Rain Forest (1962). With his wife Rosalie Brown, under the name William L. Brown, he wrote seven lighter, more humorous books: Forest Firemen (1954); Whistle Punk (1956); The Boy Who Got Mailed (1957); Big Rig (1959); The Department Store Ghost (1961); Tickly and the Fox (1962); and The Hippopotamus That Wanted to be a Baby (1963).

William L. Brown died on September 28, 1964.

Content Description

The William Louis Brown Papers consist of the manuscripts of two books and fifteen short stories or articles. The correspondence includes letters from Brown in 1936-1937 on his South Seas voyage; wartime letters during the years 1942-1945 from Fort Dix, New Jersey; India; and Burma; and correspondence with literary agents and publishers. There is a file of the publication The Gremlin, of which Brown served as editor. Copies of his published works are also included.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Manuscripts Librarian of the Division of Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Bill Brown Papers, Ax 424, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series: Manuscripts; Correspondence; Books and Periodicals; Mementos; January 1970 Addenda; May 1970 Addenda; May 1974 Addenda.

Acquisition Information :  

Gift of Rosalie Moore in 1965.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Manuscripts: Books
1 1 Roaring River. Manuscript
1 2 Roaring River. Page proofs
1 3 People of the Many Islands. Manuscript
1 4 People of the Many Islands. correspondence

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Manuscripts: Short Stories
1 5 The Biggest Story in the World. Published in Fantasy and Science Fiction
1 5 The Black Stump. Published in Fantasy and Science Fiction
1 5 It's Crawdaddies in July
1 5 Fiddlin' Dagger Queen. Published in Blue Book
1 5 Gold in the Dunes. Published in True
1 5 Holy Cow. Published in Open Road
1 5 Pie Allah Mode. Published in Open Road
1 5 Pork and Beans. Published in Open Road
1 5 The Rogue. Published in Open Road
1 5 The Tiki's Treasure. Published in Open Road
1 5 The Tronk and the Trumpet. Published in Fantasy and Science Fiction
1 5 War Paint for Pike. Published in Jack and Jill
1 6 South Sea Trip. Notes and stories 1936-1937

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1 7 South Sea Trip 1936-1937
1 8 Military 1942-1943
1 9 Military 1944
1 10 Military, undated
1 11 Military 1945
1 12 Coward-McKann (Alice Torrey)
1 13 Coward-McKann (Alice Torrey)
1 14 Coward-McKann (Alice Torrey)
1 15 Miscellaneous
1 16 Correspondence
1 17 Correspondence
1 18 Correspondence

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Books and Periodicals
1 19 Big Rig
1 19 The Department Store Ghost
1 19 Uncharted Voyage
1 19 Roaring River
1 19 Rain Forest
1 20 Assorted magazines

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1 21 Newspaper clippings
1 22 Miscellaneous
1 23 The Gremlin

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January 1970 Addenda
2 1 Rivers in the Sea. ( People of the Many Islands)
2 2 Rivers in the Sea
2 3 Rivers in the Sea
2 4 Rivers in the Sea
2 5 Roaring River
2 6 Rahera. ( Uncharted Voyage)
2 7 Big Rig
2 8 The Boy Who Got Mailed
2 9 The Square Marble
2 10 Correspondence
2 11 Biographical material; publishing history
2 12 Mementos

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May 1970 Addenda
3 1 Correspondence. Incoming, A-Z 1947-1969
3 2 Correspondence. Outgoing 1955-1969
3 3 Manuscripts

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May 1974 Addenda
3 4 Correspondence. Incoming
3 5 Fantasy and Science Fiction
3 6 Correspondence. Outgoing
3 7 Manuscripts
3 8 Tear sheets and miscellaneous

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  • Personal Names :
  • Brown, Bill, 1910---Correspondence
  • Subject Terms :
  • Adventure stories, American
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Children's literature, American

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