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Guide to the James R. Evans Diary MS 201
MS 201  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement

  • Title: James R. Evans Diary
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 201
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1923-1924 and undated
    Abstract: The collection contains one diary written by James R. Evans beginning in March 1923 and records events related to prospecting in the Imperial Valley and the surrounding desert.
    creator: Evans, James R.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Jody Valente on January 24, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    James R. Evans Diary, MS 201, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    James R. Evans was a geologist, mining engineer, and prospector who traveled through California’s Imperial Valley in the 1920s. Little biographical information is revealed about Evans within the journal. During a significant part of the diary, he travels and lives with Anne L. Evans, though he does not explicitly state that she is his wife. At one point in the diary, he includes excerpts from her diary revealing that his nickname is “Jim” or “Jimmy.”

    Scope and Content

    James R. Evans’ diary begins in March 1923. The diary is typed, but includes several handwritten notes by Evans. The first twenty pages of the journal include entries on his travels from San Diego to his intended destination of 29 Palms, noting day of the week and time recorded, though dates (month, day and/or year) are not included. The second portion of the diary commences on page 22 and takes on a different tone. Evans documents places traveled and the people he meets along the way, with many entries recorded in a storytelling manner. He frequently stays at Shaver’s Well, notes the various other wells where he camps, and documents prospecting trips that take him toward 29 Palms, Mecca, the Salton Sea, Cottonwood, and El Centro. Only one date is recorded in the latter part of the diary: and it is February 5, 1924, when a meteor passes through where Evans is camped. Throughout the diary, he notes the hold that both the desert and that mining have over man, noting that he is no exception.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 860919.


    The collection is arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Evans, Anne L.
    Evans, James R.
    Greer, Jim
    Black Eagle (Calif.)
    Cottonwood (Calif.)
    Dale Mining Camp (Calif.)
    Desert Queen Ranch (Calif.)
    Imperial Valley (Calif. and Mexico)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    Shaver's Well (Calif.)