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Max Miller Papers
MSS 0158  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Miller, Max, 1899-1967
    Title: Max Miller Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1924 - 1981
    Extent: 3.50 linear feet (8 archive boxes and 3 oversize folders)
    Abstract: Papers of Max Miller, La Jolla (California) author and reporter for the San Diego Sun. Miller is best known for his book I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1932), the first of nearly twenty books on subjects including the modern U.S. military, Southern California, and Baja California (Mexico). His travel book THE CRUISE OF THE COW (1951) records his exploration of the Baja California coasts. The collection contains correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family, especially letters (1950 - 1953) from his wife written during his service in the Korean War; photographs of Miller and others; newspaper clippings of articles by Miller, about Miller, and reviews of his several books; and typescripts, including drafts of THE CRUISE OF THE COW and FROM THESE WINDOWS (1955), as well as unpublished works. Also included are notebooks for several of Miller's books, including I COVER THE WATERFRONT and THE FAR SHORE (1945); miscellaneous personal items; and ephemera. The papers span Max Miller's writing career, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1940s and 1950s.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0158
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Max Miller Papers, MSS 0158. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    Max Miller (1899-1967) was born in Traverse City, Michigan. After attending the University of Washington, Miller wrote for the EVERETT DAILY NEWS, then took a job in San Diego as a waterfront reporter for the SAN DIEGO SUN. He became an active member of the La Jolla, California community, where he lived with his wife, Margaret Ripley Miller, until his death in December 1967. Miller left newspaper writing after publishing his best-selling book, I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1932), and continued to publish a book annually over the next twenty years. His subjects often included the modern U.S. military and the regions of Southern California and Baja California (Mexico). Miller served as a writer and information gatherer for the U.S. Naval Department Office of Public Information during World War II and the Korean War.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Accession Processed in 1996
    The accession processed in 1996 includes manuscripts spanning Max Miller's writing career (1933 - 1962) and arranged in two series: 1) WRITINGS and 2) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.
    The WRITINGS series contains Miller's early draft manuscripts of published works, notably DAYBREAK FOR OUR CARRIER (1944) and the travel novel THE CRUISE OF THE COW (1951) recording his exploration of Baja California (Mexico). Also included are drafts for the unpublished works BLACKBURN'S SQUADRON, THE SHIP THAT CAME IN, and WRITTEN WHILE SITTING ON A CACTUS. Often included are materials omitted from final published versions. The materials are arranged alphabetically.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series contains several letters to Miller, a letter from Miller to Howard Chernoff, notes on a text, and newspaper clipping book reviews.
    Accession Processed in 2006
    The accession processed in 2006 contains material relating to Miller's life, work, and military service, with the greatest portion consisting of personal correspondence and newspaper clippings dating from the 1940s and 1950s.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series contains correspondence with Miller's colleagues, friends, and family, with the greatest portion written by Margaret Ripley Miller from the periods of Max Miller's military service (1944 - 1946; 1950 - 1953). Her letters illustrate life in La Jolla (California) in the mid-twentieth century, comment extensively on the Millers' social milieu, note her efforts to establish her own writing career, and document her occasional role as liason between Max Miller and his publishers. To a lesser extent, the CORRESPONDENCE series also includes fan mail and business correspondence. Other notable correspondents include author Walt Coburn, newspaper executive John P. Scripps, KFMB television and radio general manager Howard Chernoff, and Miller's good friend Rear Admiral Harold Blaine Miller (no known relation). Through his later affiliation with the American Petroleum Institute, Harold B. Miller aided Max Miller's research for his book about the oil industry SPEAK TO THE EARTH (1955). The series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
    The WRITINGS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Typescripts, B) Notes, and C) Newspaper Articles.
    A) The Typescripts subseries contains typewritten works authored by Miller, including drafts for THE CRUISE OF THE COW (1951), FROM THESE WINDOWS (1955), and the unpublished works THE SHIP THAT CAME IN and BEACH BUMS.
    B) The Notes subseries contains loose-leaf handwritten notes and notebooks containing material used in or related to several of Miller's books. Of special interest are Miller's notebooks containing material used in I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1932) and Miller's book about the D-Day landing at Normandy, THE FAR SHORE (1945).
    C) The Newspaper Articles subseries contains clippings of newspaper articles authored by Miller.
    The NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) Articles, and B) Reviews.
    A) The Articles subseries contains articles about Miller and miscellaneous subjects from Miller's files. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject.
    B) The Reviews subseries contains reviews of Miller's books. The series is arranged alphabetically by title.
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains personal photographs, a small number of photographs used for publication, and two photo albums entitled "Max Miller's Pictures of the Pacific Theater, World War II," and "S.S. Ernie Pyle Launching."
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series includes publication announcements, pamphlets, miscellaneous ephemera and personal items, and a scrapbook compiled by Margaret Ripley Miller containing reviews of her book ALONG OUR COAST.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Miller, Max, 1899-1967 -- Archives
    Silks, Mattie, 1845 or 6-1929
    Birds -- Mexico -- Baja California (Peninsula)
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American
    Aircraft carriers -- United States
    Prostitution -- Colorado -- Denver
    Petroleum industry and trade -- United States
    Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula) -- Description and travel
    California, Gulf of (Mexico) -- Description and travel
    San Diego (Calif.) -- Description and travel


    Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Cruise of the cow
    Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Daybreak for our carrier
    Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Holladay Street
    Miller, Max, 1899-1967. -- Speak to the earth