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Charles Nordhoff Papers: Finding Aid
mssNordhoff Papers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Charles Nordhoff Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1907-1953
    Bulk dates: 1909-1947
    Collection Number: mssNordhoff Papers
    Creator: Nordhoff, Charles, 1887-1947.
    Extent: 943 items in 9 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the professional and personal papers of American writer Charles Bernard Nordhoff (1887-1947), who collaborated with James Norman Hall to write The Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea, Pitcaim's Island, and other novels.
    Language: English and French


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Charles Nordhoff Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Mrs. L.G.W. Nordhoff, June 1983.

    Biographical Note

    Novelist Charles Bernard Nordhoff (1887-1947), alone and in collaboration with James Norman Hall, drew from experiences in turn-of-the-century California, where he was raised, in France during his stint as a pilot and ambulance driver during World War I, and in the South Seas, notably Tahiti, as well as from historical events and native myths to produce successful and popular novels. During the course of his life he authored or co-authored sixteen books between 1919 and 1946, as well as numerous articles and essays.
    Nordhoff was best-known for his collaborative efforts with Hall in the writing of Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea,and Pitcairn's Island. The two men's approaches combined well, as they often wrote alternating chapters in their works, integrating their styles more and more seamlessly as the years passed.

    Scope and Content

    Professional and personal papers of writer Charles Nordhoff (1887-1947). The material consists of typescripts of Nordhoff's works, correspondence to and from Charles Nordhoff to his co-author James Hall, to various publishers, and letters to and from a variety of friends and relations, including former Secretary of the Interior Gifford Pinchot, Adlai Stevenson, A.P. Watt, Ellery Sedgwick, and others. The collection includes typescripts of Nordhoff's works, extensive family and writing-related correspondence, numerous photographs, and copies of magazines, journals, and comic books in which articles or works by Nordhoff were published. There are approximately one dozen items in French, primarily incoming correspondence.
    This relatively small but important collection appears to be the only extensive primary source of Nordhoff materials available.


    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Hall, James Norman, 1887-1951 -- Correspondence.
    Nordhoff, Charles, 1887-1947 -- Archives.
    Nordhoff, Charles, 1830-1901 -- Family -- Archives.
    Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946 -- Correspondence.
    Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1835-1914 -- Correspondence.
    Authors, American -- 20th century -- Archives.
    World War, 1914-1918.
    World War, 1939-1945.
    Tahiti (French Polynesia : Island)
    United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    United States -- Intellectual life -- Sources.


    Letters (correspondence) United States 20th century.
    Manuscripts from publication United States 20th century.
    Personal papers United States 20th century.
    Photographs United States 20th century.
    Professional papers United States 20th century.

    Alternate Authors

    Hall, James Norman, 1887-1951.
    Nordhoff, Charles, 1830-1901.
    Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946.
    Sedgwick, Ellery, 1872-1960.
    Watt, A. P. & Sons.