Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
Vardis Fisher Papers, 1927-1974
- Vardis Fisher, 1895-1968
- Vardis Fisher Papers
- 1927-1974 (inclusive)19271974
- 1 cubic foot
- Collection Number
- MG218 (collection)
- Correspondence of Vardis Fisher, chiefly with Francis Laney, concerning preparation of the manuscript for the Works Progress Administration's Idaho Encyclopedia, and with George Kellogg, primarily concerning Kellogg's bibliography of Fisher; also letters from Harry Schwartz to Milo Nelson concerning an article on Fisher, with draft and edited typescripts; transcripts of radio interviews of Fisher by Alan Swallow; and copies of articles by or about Fisher.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Born in Annis, Idaho, March 31, 1895, Vardis Fisher was the son of Joseph and Temperance (Thornton) Fisher. He received his early education from his mother until he was ready for grade 5 or 6 and began attending Poplar elementary school. He attended the high school in Rigby, Idaho where he graduated in 1915. He received his A.B. from the University of Utah in 1920, then attended the University of Chicago where he received his M.A. in 1922 and his Ph.D in 1925.
He married his first wife, a childhood sweetheart Leona McMurtrey, on September 10, 1917. They had two children before she died in 1924. In 1928 he married Margaret Trusler with whom he had one child; they were divorced in 1939. In 1940 he married Opal Laurel Holmes, and lived with her in Hagerman, Idaho, until his death on July 9, 1968.
Following his graduation from the University of Chicago he taught English at University of Utah for several years, then at New York University where he became friendly with Thomas Wolfe. In 1931 he moved back to his father's ranch in Idaho in order to continue writing, and when in 1935 he was named director of the WPA writer's project in Idaho he moved to Boise.
Following his marriage to Opal Holmes in 1940 he built a home near Hagerman, Idaho, where he wrote his monumental Testament of Man series. He wrote novels, historical works, essays, and newspaper columns and was considered Idaho's most prominent and prolific author.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The material in this record group includes correspondence from Vardis Fisher to University of Idaho Professor Francis Laney concerning the Idaho Writer's Project, between Vardis Fisher and University of Idaho Humanities Librarian George Kellogg, and letters from Harry Schwartz to Kellogg's successor, Milo Nelson, concerning Schwartz's article on Fisher. There are also articles by and about Vardis Fisher.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The material in this group has been arranged in two series: correspondence and other materials and articles about and by Vardis Fisher.
The first group includes correspondence from Vardis Fisher to University of Idaho geology professor Francis Laney concerning articles to be used in the Idaho Writer's books, original letters to George Kellogg, Humanities librarian who was working on a bibliography of Fisher, and carbons of Kellogg's letters to Fisher, and letters to Milo Nelson from Harry Schwartz concerning his article on Fisher. Also included are transcripts of two interviews with Fisher, several articles about him and printed articles by him, which also include a typescript of a portion of his book Suicide or Murder. The final items in this series are an article about and an invitation to the film "Jeremiah Johnson" based on Fisher's novel Mountain Man.
The second series consists of photocopies of articles about and by Fisher. Those about him are arranged alphabetically by author, those by him are alphabetical by title. With the exception of "Postscript on Maturity" there is no duplication between series.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Series I. Correspondence and Other Materials , 1935-1974Return to Top
Correspondence from Vardis Fisher concerning Idaho Writer's Project
Correspondence from Vardis Fisher to George Kellogg
Correspondence from George Kellogg to Vardis Fisher
Correspondence between Harry Schwartz and Milo Nelson
Interviews with Vardis Fisher
Articles about Vardis Fisher
Articles by Vardis Fisher
Jeremiah Johnson: article and invitation
Series II. Articles , 1927-1970Return to Top
A. Articles about Vardis Fisher
Davis, David B. Children of God: an historian's evaluation. Western humanities review, winter
Flora, Joseph M. Vardis Fisher and the Mormons. Dialogue: a journal of Mormon thought
Flora, Joseph M. Vardis Fisher and Wallace Stegner: teacher and student. Western American Literature
Kellogg, George A. First man of Idaho letters. Bookmark
Long, Louise. Children of God. [reviewed in] Southwest review
B. Articles by Vardis Fisher
Antelope people. Antelope people: the North family. Voices
|March 1928, April 1929|
Author's field day; a symposium on Marxist criticism. New masses
|July 3, 1934|
Charivari. Rocky Mountain review
An Essay for men. Esquire
Fifteen against death. Rocky Mountain review
Hometown revisited; the Antelope Hills, Idaho. Tomorrow
Joe Burt's wife. Direction, Autumn
A legend of red hair. Direction
The Mormons. Transatlantic
The Mothers. Omnibook
My experiences with Thomas Wolfe. Tomorrow
Novel writing is my trade. Tomorrow
Old Timers. Globe, intimate journal
Overalls or trails. Globe, intimate journal
A Partnership with death. Rocky Mountain review
Postscript on maturity. Inland
Sonnets to an imaginary Madonna. Voices
|December 1926/January 1927|
Thomas Wolfe and Maxwell Perkins. Tomorrow
Western novel--a symposium: Vardis Fisher. South Dakota Review
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence
- Fisher, Vardis, 1895-1968
- Laney, Francis Baker, 1875-1938
- Nelson, Milo
- Federal Writers' Project (Idaho)
- Idaho -- Bio-bibliography -- Correspondence
- Resident of Hagerman, Idaho; novelist and director of Idaho Writers' Project for the Works Progress Administration
- Kellogg, George Alexis, 1916-1970
- Schwartz, Harry W. (Harry Warren)
- Swallow, Alan, 1915-1966