Scope and Content of Collection
Miller, Max, 1899-1967
Title: Max Miller Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1924 - 1981
3.50 linear feet
(8 archive boxes and 3 oversize folders)
Abstract: Papers of Max Miller, La Jolla (California) author and reporter for the San Diego Sun. Miller is best known for his book
I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1932), the first of nearly twenty books on subjects including the modern U.S. military, Southern California,
and Baja California (Mexico). His travel book THE CRUISE OF THE COW (1951) records his exploration of the Baja California
coasts. The collection contains correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family, especially letters (1950 - 1953) from
his wife written during his service in the Korean War; photographs of Miller and others; newspaper clippings of articles by
Miller, about Miller, and reviews of his several books; and typescripts, including drafts of THE CRUISE OF THE COW and FROM
THESE WINDOWS (1955), as well as unpublished works. Also included are notebooks for several of Miller's books, including
I COVER THE WATERFRONT and THE FAR SHORE (1945); miscellaneous personal items; and ephemera. The papers span Max Miller's
writing career, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1940s and 1950s.
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0158
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Max Miller Papers, MSS 0158. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Max Miller (1899-1967) was born in Traverse City, Michigan. After attending the University of Washington, Miller wrote for
the EVERETT DAILY NEWS, then took a job in San Diego as a waterfront reporter for the SAN DIEGO SUN. He became an active
member of the La Jolla, California community, where he lived with his wife, Margaret Ripley Miller, until his death in December
1967. Miller left newspaper writing after publishing his best-selling book, I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1932), and continued to
publish a book annually over the next twenty years. His subjects often included the modern U.S. military and the regions
of Southern California and Baja California (Mexico). Miller served as a writer and information gatherer for the U.S. Naval
Department Office of Public Information during World War II and the Korean War.
Scope and Content of Collection
Accession Processed in 1996
The accession processed in 1996 includes manuscripts spanning Max Miller's writing career (1933 - 1962) and arranged in two
series: 1) WRITINGS and 2) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.
SERIES 1: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series contains Miller's early draft manuscripts of published works, notably DAYBREAK FOR OUR CARRIER (1944)
and the travel novel THE CRUISE OF THE COW (1951) recording his exploration of Baja California (Mexico). Also included are
drafts for the unpublished works BLACKBURN'S SQUADRON, THE SHIP THAT CAME IN, and WRITTEN WHILE SITTING ON A CACTUS. Often
included are materials omitted from final published versions. The materials are arranged alphabetically.
SERIES 2: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series contains several letters to Miller, a letter from Miller to Howard Chernoff, notes on a
text, and newspaper clipping book reviews.
Accession Processed in 2006
The accession processed in 2006 contains material relating to Miller's life, work, and military service, with the greatest
portion consisting of personal correspondence and newspaper clippings dating from the 1940s and 1950s.
The papers are arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, 3) NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, 4) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 5) MISCELLANEOUS
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series contains correspondence with Miller's colleagues, friends, and family, with the greatest portion
written by Margaret Ripley Miller from the periods of Max Miller's military service (1944 - 1946; 1950 - 1953). Her letters
illustrate life in La Jolla (California) in the mid-twentieth century, comment extensively on the Millers' social milieu,
note her efforts to establish her own writing career, and document her occasional role as liason between Max Miller and his
publishers. To a lesser extent, the CORRESPONDENCE series also includes fan mail and business correspondence. Other notable
correspondents include author Walt Coburn, newspaper executive John P. Scripps, KFMB television and radio general manager
Howard Chernoff, and Miller's good friend Rear Admiral Harold Blaine Miller (no known relation). Through his later affiliation
with the American Petroleum Institute, Harold B. Miller aided Max Miller's research for his book about the oil industry SPEAK
TO THE EARTH (1955). The series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
SERIES 2: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Typescripts, B) Notes, and C) Newspaper Articles.
A) The Typescripts subseries contains typewritten works authored by Miller, including drafts for THE CRUISE OF THE COW (1951),
FROM THESE WINDOWS (1955), and the unpublished works THE SHIP THAT CAME IN and BEACH BUMS.
B) The Notes subseries contains loose-leaf handwritten notes and notebooks containing material used in or related to several
of Miller's books. Of special interest are Miller's notebooks containing material used in I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1932) and
Miller's book about the D-Day landing at Normandy, THE FAR SHORE (1945).
C) The Newspaper Articles subseries contains clippings of newspaper articles authored by Miller.
SERIES 3: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
The NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) Articles, and B) Reviews.
A) The Articles subseries contains articles about Miller and miscellaneous subjects from Miller's files. The subseries is
arranged alphabetically by subject.
B) The Reviews subseries contains reviews of Miller's books. The series is arranged alphabetically by title.
SERIES 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains personal photographs, a small number of photographs used for publication, and two photo albums
entitled "Max Miller's Pictures of the Pacific Theater, World War II," and "S.S. Ernie Pyle Launching."
SERIES 5: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series includes publication announcements, pamphlets, miscellaneous ephemera and personal items,
and a scrapbook compiled by Margaret Ripley Miller containing reviews of her book ALONG OUR COAST.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Miller, Max, 1899-1967 -- Archives
Silks, Mattie, 1845 or 6-1929
Birds -- Mexico -- Baja California (Peninsula)
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American
Aircraft carriers -- United States
Prostitution -- Colorado -- Denver
Petroleum industry and trade -- United States
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula) -- Description and travel
California, Gulf of (Mexico) -- Description and travel
San Diego (Calif.) -- Description and travel
Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Cruise of the cow
Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Daybreak for our carrier
Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Holladay Street
Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Speak to the earth