Scope and Content
Timeline of Published Work
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Holling Clancy Holling papers
Date (inclusive): ca.1832-1989
Collection number: 1012
Holling, Holling Clancy.
200 boxes (98.6 linear feet)
Abstract: Holling Clancy Holling (1900-1973) was an instructor, freelance designer, advertising artist, and book illustrator. He and
his wife Lucille Webster Holling collaborated on many books, including
The Book of Indians (1935) and
The Book of Cowboys (1936). He later wrote and illustrated fiction, combining nature and history themes, including
Paddle-to-the-Sea (1941). The collection consists of materials relating to books written and illustrated by Holling and Lucille.
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
- Gift of Holling Clancy and Lucille Holling, 1968.
- Gift of Lucille Holling, 1977-1986.
- Gift of Tony and Susan Thompson, 1989.
Processed by Erin Flannery, Christina Olague, Yasmin Damshenas and Rebecca Bucher, with assistance from Lilace Hatayama and
Megan Hahn Fraser, 2013.
[Identification of item], Holling Clancy Holling papers (Collection 1012). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young
Research Library, UCLA.
Holling Clancy Holling was born Holling Allison Clancy, the oldest of three children, on a farm at Holling Corners, Jackson
County, Michigan, on August 2, 1900. His father Bennett Allison Clancy worked as superintendent of Au Sable Public Schools,
and his mother taught piano. Bennett's career in education ended when Holling was about eight years old, and the family moved
to live with his maternal grandparents at the farm where he was born and spent his summer vacations.
Holling began drawing at age three and showed great interest in Native American life and animals. Both parents encouraged
him to keep journals, sketch, write, and take photographs. At age fifteen, Holling wrote his first published work, an article
for Lone Scout magazine titled "How I Built My Log Cabin," using the pen name "LONE CROW."
During Holling's teen years, his father returned to live in Canada where he was born. In December of 1918, while en route
from Canada to Michigan for the holidays, Holling's father died when the train's wooden sleeper caught on fire near Winnipeg.
When Holling's father moved to Canada, the rest of the family moved to Leslie, Michigan, where Holling attended Leslie High
School. There he played the violin, acted in theater productions, and edited and made sketches for the joke section of the
yearbook, showing promise as an illustrator. During high school and as a recent high school graduate, he spent summers working
as a laborer and sailor on Great Lakes freighters, experiences that he drew from decades later when he wrote and illustrated
At Albion College, his father's alma mater, Holling enlisted as a student soldier in the Student Army Training Corps. Holling
was honorably discharged from the United States Army on Dec. 15, 1918. With plans of becoming a cartoonist, he enrolled in
the Art Institute in Chicago at age nineteen. There he met his future wife, fellow student Lucille Webster from Indiana. They
worked for a season in an art colony near Taos, New Mexico, where they sketched and lived among members of the ancient Pueblo
peoples, learning firsthand about Native American heritage.
Holling's fascination with the southwest deserts resulted in the publication of his first book, a slender volume of free verse
that he illustrated in woodblocks titled
Sun and Smoke (1923). Two other books followed:
New Mexico Made Easy (1923), a tourist handbook with the history of New Mexico illustrated in cartoons, and
Little Big-Bye-and-Bye (1926) a story about a Pueblo boy, Holling's first book for children.
Holling became the youngest member of the scientific staff at the Field Museum (now the Chicago Museum of Natural History),
where he worked from 1923-1926. Sent to British Columbia with a guide to hunt --using bows and arrows-- Rocky Mountain goats
for a Field Museum exhibit, Holling assisted with the taxidermy, design, and installation of the exhibit, referring to the
oil sketches he created while in the goats' snowy habitat. Also at the Field Museum, Holling found a mentor in the Curator
of American Ethnology Ralph Linton, who took him on as a special student of anthropology for two years.
Citing professional reasons, the author/illustrator legally changed his name to Holling Clancy Holling in 1925 before marrying
Lucille in Chicago on May 2. The couple honeymooned on a camping trip in northern Wisconsin.
Shortly after their wedding, Holling took a faculty position on the pioneer University World Cruise of 1926-1927 that circled
the world, sailing to 39 countries over eight months. He lectured on the comparative folk art of the countries visited and
conducted sketching classes. Lucille had no official duties but volunteered in the Drama Department designing stage sets and
costumes. During the cruise, Holling did hundreds of sketches as well as many water colors from native life and local museums.
The cruise's stop in Africa inspired Holling's second children's book titled
Rum-Tum-Tummy (1927) which he wrote and illustrated while crossing the Atlantic en route back to the United States and published later
that year in 1927.
Back in the United States, Holling and Lucille worked as freelance designers, advertising artists, and book illustrators,
often signing their work "The Hollings." In New York, the Hollings set up a temporary studio in a hotel and completed artwork
for two Cunard Steamship Cruises. A New York editor suggested that Holling write a book about goats, which led to
Rocky Billy (1928) that later was included in school readers.
Opening their first studio in Chicago in 1928, the Hollings designed a Montana Dude Ranch in 1929 and continued to work freelance
in advertising, developing copy and color pages for national ad campaigns, and contributing syndicate material in color for
In 1938, the Hollings moved from Chicago to southern California. In the spring of 1944, their new home Deerwood was built
from Lucille's plans on four acres of woodland in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains.
Using an early streamlined automobile trailers outfitted as a studio, the Hollings set out on a series of camping trips throughout
the United States, Canada and Mexico. Avid researchers, the couple recorded notes in journals, sketched, painted, took copious
photographs, and collected postcards and clippings, gathering material over the years for a series of richly illustrated children's
fiction books that convey Holling's love of nature, history, and geography.
The first book in what his publisher Houghton Mifflin would later advertise as "The Famous Holling Series" was Paddle-to-the-Sea.
Named a Caldecott Honor book,
Paddle-to-the-Sea tells the story of a Native American boy's miniature wood carving of a man paddling a canoe. Starting a four-year journey
at Lake Nipigon, Canada,
Paddle-to-the-Sea continues from one adventure to the next through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. His other
Tree in the Trail (1942),
Minn of the Mississippi (1951), and
Pagoo (1957) also focus on nature and/or history themes and share a similar format. On the left pages of these books, there is
an informative narrative text with detailed pencil sketches along the margins. On the right page is a full five color watercolor
illustration reproduced by offset. While her name is not listed on these later books, Lucille Webster Holling contributed
her research, criticism, and illustrations.
Holling responded personally to the many classes of school children and devoted fans who wrote fan mail and sent their own
art to him. The Hollings themselves did not have children.
Between writing books, Holling worked as an artist for Walt Disney Productions from 1943-1945, during which time he traveled
on business with a Disney Group to Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. He also did advertising work for Levi Strauss between
1947-1948. The author/illustrator enjoyed many years of membership in the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners, a club founded
in 1946 for men devoted to the history of the old West.
In his later years, Holling suffered from ill health due to Parkinson's disease and died on September 7, 1973.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of materials relating to the private and professional lives of author and illustrator Holling Clancy
Holling and his wife Lucille Webster Holling, also an artist and a frequent collaborator. Included is biographical material,
photographs, film, audio tapes, correspondence, commercial art, books, watercolors and sketches, unpublished writings and
artwork, research, objects, and materials documenting the recognition given to Holling's work. Of particular interest are
typescripts and artwork from Holling's children's book series that includes his classic
Paddle-to-the-Sea, sketches and journals from the author's travels on a university world cruise and on numerous camping trips throughout the
United States, autobiographical writings, materials related to his upbringing on a Michigan farm, personal photographs, correspondence
with publishers, and many letters from admiring and inquisitive schoolchildren. This collection is enhanced by annotations
written by the Hollings on several items.
Timeline of Published Work
New Mexico Made Easy with words of modern syllables
Sun & Smoke: Verse and woodcuts of New Mexico
Little Big Bye-and-Bye
Rum-Tum-Tummy: The Elephant Who Ate
Roll Away Twins
Claws of the Thunderbird: A Tale of Three Lost Indians
Rocky Billy, The Story of the Bounding Career of a Rocky Mountain Goat
Twins Who Flew Around the World
The Blot: Little City Cat, by Phyllis Crawford
Little Folks in Other Lands, by Watty Piper (a.k.a. Eulalie Page)
The Road in Storyland, by Watty Piper (a.k.a. Eulalie Page)
Book of Cowboys
Folk Tales Children Love, by Watty Piper (a.k.a. Eulalie Page)
Book of Indians
Little Buffalo Boy
Tree in the Trail
Children of Other Lands, by Watty Piper (a.k.a. Eulalie Page)
Minn of the Mississippi
The Magic Story Tree: A Favorite Collection of Fifteen Fairy Tales and Fables
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged in the following series:
- Personal and Family Life
- Photographs, Films and Sound Recordings
- Early Career
- Published Works
- Unpublished Writings and Art
- Professional Recognition
- Lucille Webster Holling
- Books from Holling's Library
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Holling, Holling Clancy --Archives.
Holling, Lucille Webster --Archives.
Authors, American --20th century --Archival resources.
Illustrators --United States --Archival resources.
Genres and Forms of Material
manuscripts for publication.