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Inventory of the Charles Bernard Nordhoff Papers, 1880-1950
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Charles Bernard Nordhoff Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1880-1950
    Creator: Nordhoff, Charles Bernard, 1887-1947
    Extent: Number of containers: 9 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Abstract: This collection was acquired as a gift from Mrs. L.G.W. Nordhoff in June 1983. Acquisition number 1043. The collection consists of 943 items in 103 folders, contained in eight boxes. The collection prefix is "NC".
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open to qualified researches by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL. 

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Charles Bernard Nordhoff Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Biographical Note

    Novelist Charles Bernard Nordhoff (1887-1947), alone and in collaboration with James Norman Hall, drew from experiences in turn-of-the-century California, where he was raised, in France during his stint as a pilot and ambulance driver during World War I, and in the South Seas, notably Tahiti, as well as from historical events and native myths to produce successful and popular novels. During the course of his life he authored or co-authored sixteen books between 1919 and 1946, as well as numerous articles and essays.
    Nordhoff was best-known for his collaborative efforts with Hall in the writing of Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea,and Pitcairn's Island. The two men's approaches combined well, as they often wrote alternating chapters in their works, integrating their styles more and more seamlessly as the years passed.

    Scope and Content

    The material consists of typescripts of Nordhoff's works, correspondence to and from Charles Nordhoff to his co-author James Hall, to various publishers, and letters to and from a variety of friends and relations, including former Secretary of the Interior Gifford Pinchot, Adlai Stevenson, A.P. Watt, Ellery Sedgwick, and others. The collection includes typescripts of Nordhoff's works, extensive family and writing-related correspondence, numerous photographs, and copies of magazines, journals, and comic books in which articles or works by Nordhoff were published.
    This relatively small but important collection appears to be the only extensive primary source of Nordhoff materials available.