This collection contains the papers of
Orange County, California historian James ("Jim") Doren Sleeper (1927-2012). Jim Sleeper
specialized in Orange County history, especially the Irvine Ranch, Rancho Mission Viejo, and
the O'Neill Ranch. The Sleeper papers are comprised of research files, clippings from local
Orange County newspapers, manuscript and published versions of Sleeper's scholarly writings,
annotated copies of books, maps, and ephemera. Also included is biographical material, such
as school records, correspondence, and family photographs.
James "Jim" Doren Sleeper (1927-2012) was a leading Orange County historian. A native of
Santa Ana, his interest in local history began in the late 1930s. After graduation from
Santa Ana High School and service in the Army Air Force in the last days of World War II,
Sleeper worked as a newspaper reporter, teacher, forest ranger, and a public relations man
before switching to history full time in the 1960s. He served as staff historian for The
Irvine Company (1965-1969), and later filled a similar role for the Rancho Mission Viejo
Company. He worked as a historical consultant on environmental impact reports, legal cases,
for both the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times, and many other public and
122.3 Linear Feet
(80 record cartons, 18 flat boxes, 13 rolled item boxes, 10 a/v
boxes, 2 legal document boxes, 1 letter document box, 1 half letter document box)
Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the
creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please
contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The collection is open for research.