The Norman Clyde Papers document the climbing adventures of, and offer insights into
the life of, one of California's greatest mountaineers, and one of the foremost chroniclers of the Sierra Nevada
range. They also help to preserve the history of mountaineering in the High Sierra. The bulk of the papers
consist of various drafts of Clyde's narratives about the Sierra Nevada range, as well as mountains in Arizona,
the Canadian Rockies, Idaho, Montana, Southern California, Washington, Wyoming, and numerous national parks.
Clyde's writings include stories and articles about entire ranges, specific peaks, climbs, first ascents,
rescues, wildlife, fishing, skiing, and mountaincraft. Many of his stories have been published, but most of
those in this collection have not. Clyde's contemporaries in the climbing world recognized the contributions he
made to mountaineering and his place in the history of the exploration of the High Sierra. Other significant
materials in the collection reflect this recognition. There is a draft manuscript of, and correspondence and
notes related to, a Sierra Club book project dedicated to Clyde's life and writings. Though Clyde spent much of
his time alone, he had a great many friends and admirers. His personal and professional correspondence records
his communications with them, as well as with editors, environmental organizations, and climbing clubs. Some of
these friends and colleagues, including Hervey Vogé, Bruce Kilgore, Jules Eichorn, and Fred Fertig,
interviewed Clyde in December, 1967 and January, 1968. Transcripts of these interviews, in which Clyde recounts
his 50-plus years of climbing history, are also in the collection. Materials dated after Clyde's death in 1972
were compiled by others.
Norman Asa Clyde was born on April 8, 1885, in Philadelphia, the son of Charles and Isabel "Belle" Clyde. He
was the oldest of their nine children. The family moved to Ohio when he was three. His father, an itinerant
Presbyterian clergyman, rarely stayed at one parsonage for more than a year. In 1897, when Clyde was 12, the
family moved to Canada, near Ottawa. There Clyde became an expert hunter and fisherman. His father educated him
at home, schooling him in Greek and Latin. After his father's death in 1901, his mother moved the family back to
Western Pennsylvania. There Clyde attended Geneva College, graduating with a degree in classics in 1909.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in
writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94270-6000.
Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright
owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.