Finding Aid to the Harry C. James Manuscript Collection MS.582

Finding aid prepared by Holly Rose Larson
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
2012 October 9

Title: Harry C. James Manuscript Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS.582
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1953-1968
Abstract: This collection contains the manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and articles by Harry C. James from 1953-1968.
creator: James, Harry Clebourne, 1896-

Processing history

Processed by Glenna Schroeder, circa 1977-1981. Finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, 2012 October 9, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).


Donations from F. W. Hodge, 1939 June; Harry C. James, circa 1955; and Library staff.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and articles by Harry C. James from 1953-1968. Materials by James include a draft of The Hopi Indians manuscript with annotations by F. W. Hodge, a publisher's copy for The Hopi Indians: Their History and Their Culture, proof sheets for Cahuilla Indians, and a 1939 article from Desert Magazine. Collection also includes biographical materials on James.

Preferred citation

Harry C. James Manuscript Collection, 1953-1968, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.582; [folder number] [folder title][date].


Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.


Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit or contact library staff at An item-level list is available

Biographical note

Harry Clebourne James (1896-1978) was a friend of F. W. Hodge, and made several donations of artifacts to the Southwest Museum between 1941 and 1956.
James, a native of Ottawa, Canada, came to Los Angeles in 1913, admittedly moviestruck. He worked behind the camera for several of the early film companies, including D.W. Griffiths. His one venture as an actor failed because he couldn't force a scowl on cue in an audition with his new friend, Dorothy Gish. The Gish sisters, Dorothy and Lillian, as well as many other early Hollywood celebrities, were early and enduring supporters of many James causes, including the Cahuenga Council, his first boys group, the Western Rangers, and the Trailfinders. The council was named for the original inhabitants of the Hollywood Hills, where James conducted his first hikes and camps with a Penobscot Indian actor, Tahamount, known in the films as Dark Cloud.
James established his school in Altadena in 1926, the year before he and Grace were married, and she became the teacher of basic required subjects while James and his friends conducted classes in Indian and conservation themes and led the summer-long camping adventures into Indian areas throughout the West. His lifelong involvement with the Hopi apparently began about 1921 when a short camping trip to Old Oraibi with the Trailfinders lengthened into a two-week stay due to flooded roads. The Pueblo people befriended James and the boys, providing them with food and endless nights of legend telling. The incident had a profound effect on James and most of his best writing from that time concerned the descendants of the Anasazi. James was instrumental in the founding of two early-day Southern California philanthropic groups in the Charles Lummis tradition, the National Association to Help the Indian and the Indian Welfare League.


  1. The Hopi Indians - first draft with corrections and suggestions by F. W. Hodge
  2. The Hopi Indians - Their History and Their Culture – publisher’s copy
  3. The Hopi Indians - Their History and Their Culture – copy 2 - photographs to accompany it are in the photographic archive
  4. Cahuilla Indians - proof sheets - B copy
  5. “The Evil One That Came Up from the Underworld” Desert Magazine vol. 2 no. May 1939
  6. “Some Personal Recollections of Stewart Edward White and Charles Fletcher Lummis” from a talk given before “the Westerners” Nov. 1968 (Lummis is not in this part)
  7. “Will James” - description

Related Archival Materials note

On the Trail of Kit (Christopher) Carson (trip) of the Trailfinders School for Boys. Altadena, Calif. 1939. Type Report. Retained in Christopher Carson Collection MS 597.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Cahuilla Indians
Cahuilla Indians: The Men called Master
Desert Magazine
Hopi Indians
Hopi Indians: Their History and Their Culture
Proofs (Printing)