William Neal Harrison Papers

MC 487

Special Collections
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444
Email: specoll@uark.edu

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Zachary Morgan, 2017.

Materials are in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Creator
Harrison, William Neal
Title
William Neal Harrison Papers
Inclusive Dates
1956-1999
Identification
MC 487
Extent
8.25 linear feet (19 boxes)
Repository
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Acquisition Information

The William Neal Harrison Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by William Harrison of Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 19, 1990.

Processing Information

Prepared by Julie Watkins; completed in June 1999.

Three additional Rollerball drafts were transferred from the accession file to the collection as Box 12, Folders 5-7 by Katrina Windon in April 2019.

Preferred Form of Citation

William Neal Harrison Papers (MC 487), Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Biographical Note

William Neal Harrison, novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter, was born on October 29, 1933, in Dallas, Texas. He received a B.A. in 1955 from Texas Christian University and an M.A. in 1959 from Vanderbilt University. As both an undergraduate and graduate student, Harrison had some of his poetry and essays published in student publications. At Vanderbilt, Harrison became involved in theatre as an actor, director, and playwright, and he also received awards for his short stories. Harrison spent a year in the University of Iowa's Creative Writing Program before teaching for two years at Texas College of Arts and Industries in Kingsville, Texas. He accepted a faculty position in the English Department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1964; the following year Harrison established the University of Arkansas's Creative Writing Program, which, within a period of a few years, achieved national recognition.

Harrison's best-known works are The Theologian, In a Wild Sanctuary, Rollerball Murder and Other Stories, Rollerball (screenplay), Africana, Savannah Blue, and Burton and Speke. He has received several awards and honors, including the Columbia School of Journalism Prize in Fiction (1971), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1974), a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1977), and the Christopher Award for Television (1979).

Scope and Content Note

The Harrison collection contains extensive personal and professional correspondence; notes and manuscripts of the majority of the novels; manuscripts of several short stories; drafts of poetry; reviews of Harrison's works; articles pertaining to Harrison's career; published copies of selected short stories; interviews; photographs; and royalty statements.

Arrangement of the Papers

Arranged by subject.

Material is arranged and described in three series:

  1. Vitae and bibliographies 1955-1998
  2. Correspondence
    1. Chronological arrangement 1956-1982
    2. Subject arrangement, personal and corporate name
  3. Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Published or produced
    1. Novels
    2. Short story collections
    3. Short stories
    4. Screenplays and television dramas
    5. Articles
    6. Book reviews
  4. Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Not published and produced
    1. Novels
    2. Short story collections
    3. Short stories
    4. Screenplays and television dramas
  5. Manuscripts and notes. Poetry
  6. Printed materials
    1. Reviews and articles
    2. Rollerball (film)
    3. Theatre programs and notices
    4. Short stories and articles, published copies
  7. Miscellaneous materials
    1. Photographs
    2. Royalty statements
  8. Oversize Materials

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection

series I: Vitae and bibliographies,

1955-1998

Box 1

series I Box 1 Folder 1

Vitae and bibliographies, 1955-1998

series II: Correspondence,

1956-1982

Boxes 1-6

The following chronological and subject arrangements of WH's correspondence reflect the Special Collections Division's policy to preserve an author's original filing system whenever possible.

subseries 1: Chronological arrangement,

1956-1982

Boxes 1-4

Correspondence to and from fellow writers, editors, colleagues, and former classmates and teachers, primarily. Some correspondents in chronological arrangement also have individual files in subject arrangement. Substantial correspondence with Lee Abbott, Walton Beacham, W.D. Blackmon, Vance Bourjaily, Bob Brown, Jeff Brown, A.S. Burack, Verlin Cassill, Scott Catlett, Warnock Davies, Charles East, Lisel Eisenheimer, Lee Ellsworth, Paul Engle, Seymour Epstein, George Garrett, Ellen Gilchrist, William Carrington Guy, Barry Hannah, Steve King, James Landis, Owen Laster, Seymour Lawrence, Gordon Lish, Michael Mewshaw, Brian Moore, Harold Onstad, Lee Reynolds, Philip Roth, Bill Seale, Theodore Solotaroff, Robert Ward, Tom Whalen, Ben Whitehill, Richard Yates, and John Yount.

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence, 1956-1961

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1962

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 3

Correspondence, 1963

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 4

Correspondence, 1964

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 5

Correspondence, 1965

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 6

Correspondence, 1966

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 7

Correspondence, 1967

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 8

Correspondence, 1968

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 9

Correspondence, 1969

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 10

Correspondence, 1970

series II: 1 Box 1 Folder 11

Correspondence, 1971

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 1

Correspondence, 1972

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 2

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1973

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 3

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1973

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 4

Correspondence, 1974

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 5

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1975

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 6

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1975

series II: 1 Box 2 Folder 7

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1976

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 1

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1976

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 2

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1977

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 3

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1977

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 4

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1978

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 5

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1978

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 6

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1979

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 7

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1979

series II: 1 Box 3 Folder 8

Correspondence [1 of 2], 1980

series II: 1 Box 4 Folder 1

Correspondence [2 of 2], 1980

series II: 1 Box 4 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1981

series II: 1 Box 4 Folder 3

Correspondence, 1982

subseries 2: Subject arrangement. Personal and corporate name,

Boxes 4-6

Correspondence with fellow writers and colleagues, and editors at publishing houses. Some correspondents with individual files in subject arrangement also have correspondence in chronological arrangement.

series II: 2 Box 4 Folder 4

Bantam Books

series II: 2 Box 4 Folder 5

Verlin Cassill

series II: 2 Box 4 Folder 6

Jim Crumley

series II: 2 Box 4 Folder 7

Robert Funk

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 1

George Garrett [1 of 2]

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 2

George Garrett [2 of 2]

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 3

Guggenheim Fellowship

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 4

Harper and Row

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 5

Bob Lacy

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 6

Tom McNair

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 7

Harry Minetree

series II: 2 Box 5 Folder 8

Morton Mitosky

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 1

William Morrow [1 of 2]

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 2

William Morrow [2 of 2]

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 3

Stephen Oberbeck

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 4

Robert Sorrells

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 5

Jim Whitehead

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 6

Miller Williams

series II: 2 Box 6 Folder 7

John Yount

series III: Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Published or produced,

Boxes 7-13

subseries 1: Novels,

Boxes 7-11

Includes background materials, manuscript drafts (some with WH's revisions or editor's revisions), and galley proofs of The Theologian, In a Wild Sanctuary, Lessons in Paradise, Africana, Savannah Blue, Burton and Speke, and Three Hunters.

series III: 1 Box 7 Folder 1

The Theologian. Typed script with editor's marks

series III: 1 Box 7 Folder 2

The Theologian. Galley proofs (Oversize;seebox 18)

series III: 1 Box 7 Folder 3

In a Wild Sanctuary. Typed script

series III: 1 Box 7 Folder 4

In a Wild Sanctuary. Typed script with editor's marks

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 1

In a Wild Sanctuary. Galley proofs and sample book cover and dust jacket cover (Oversize;seebox 18)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 2

Lessons in Paradise. Typed script with editor's marks

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 3

Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections (1 of 2) (Oversize;seebox 18)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 4

Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections (2 of 2) (Oversize;seebox 18)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 5

Lessons in Paradise. Contract, motion picture rights (Oversize;seebox 18)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 6

Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (1 of 4)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 7

Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (2 of 4)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 8

Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (3 of 4)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 9

Africana. Background materials. Early draft segments and correspondence scattered throughout (4 of 4)

series III: 1 Box 8 Folder 10

Africana. Typed script with WH's notes

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 1

Africana. Galley proofs with corrections (1 of 2) (Oversize;seebox 19)

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 2

Africana. Galley proofs with corrections (2 of 2) (Oversize;seebox 19)

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 3

Africana. Bound proofs and preliminary art work and sample pages

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 4

Savannah Blue. Background materials (Oversize;seebox 19)

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 5

Savannah Blue. Professional correspondence, fan mail, etc.

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 6

Burton and Speke. Background materials (1 of 2)

series III: 1 Box 9 Folder 7

Burton and Speke. Background materials (2 of 2)

series III: 1 Box 10 Folder 1

Burton and Speke. First half typed script with editor's marks

series III: 1 Box 10 Folder 2

Burton and Speke. Second half typed script with editor's marks

series III: 1 Box 10 Folder 3

Three Hunters. Background materials, early draft segments, and correspondence

series III: 1 Box 11 Folder 1

A Safari to the Lake (later Three Hunters). Typed script

series III: 1 Box 11 Folder 2

Three Hunters. Typed script

series III: 1 Box 11 Folder 3

Three Hunters. Typed script (without "attack chapter"). Editor's marks

series 2: Short story collections,

Box 11

One or more drafts of the following short stories appearing in The Buddha in Malibu: "The Big Bang Theory of Love," "The Rocky Hills of Trancas," "Yes, I've Bought a Couple of Options Myself," "Pretty Girl and Fat Friend," and "The Buddha in Malibu".

series III: Box 11 Folder 4

The Buddha in Malibu. Drafts of selected stories

subseries 3: Short stories,

Box 12

Drafts and manuscript versions of the following selected short stories published by WH: "Afternoons There Are in Limbo," "The Blurb King," "The Warrior," "Nirvana, Gotterdammerung, and The Shot Put," "The Arsons of Desire," "Rollerball Murder," "Under the House," "Weatherman: A Theological Narrative," "The Good Ship Erasmus," "Stuntman," "Down the Blue Hole," "The Makeup Man," "On Location," and "Two Cars in a Cornfield".

series III: 2 Box 12 Folder 1

Short stories. Published [1 of 2]

series III: 2 Box 12 Folder 2

Short stories. Published [2 of 2]

subseries 4: Screenplays and television dramas,

Boxes 12-13

Drafts of Rollerball, A Shining Season, and Mountains of the Moon, and final shooting scripts for A Shining Season and Mountains of the Moon.

series III: 3 Box 12 Folder 3, 5-7

Rollerball

series III: 3 Box 12 Folder 4

A Shining Season

series III: 3 Box 13 Folder 1

Mountains of the Moon

subseries 5: Articles,

Box 13

Drafts of the non-fiction articles "Names and Places: A Short Literary Memoir," "Terminal Win" (also a draft of "How to Be," which appears to be an earlier version of "Terminal Win"), and "Detecting London".

series III: 4 Box 13 Folder 2

Non-fiction articles

subseries 6: Book reviews,

Box 13

Typed manuscripts of reviews of the following books (it is unclear whether all were published) written by WH: Nabokov's Dark Cinema by Alfred Appel, The Starship and the Canoe by Kenneth Brower, In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin, Geronimo Rex by Barry Hannah, Ray by Barry Hannah, The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen, The Singing Knives by Frank Stanford, The Farm on the River of Emeralds by Moritz Thomsen, and Shedding Skin by Robert Ward.

series III: 5 Box 13 Folder 3

Book reviews

series IV: Manuscripts and notes. Prose. Not published or produced,

Boxes 13-16

subseries 1: Novels,

Boxes 13-14

Drafts for two unfinished novels, Doing Life and The Shadow That Lost Its Man, and background material for Doing Life

series IV: 1 Box 13 Folder 4

Doing Life. Background material

series IV: 1 Box 13 Folder 5

Doing Life. Unfinished draft

series IV: 1 Box 14 Folder 1

The Shadow That Lost Its Man (working title). Unfinished draft

subseries 2: Short story collections,

Box 14

Drafts of selected stories to be included in forthcoming short story collection, Texas Heat.

series IV: 2 Box 14 Folder 2

Texas Heat. Selected drafts

subseries 3: Short stories,

Box 14

Drafts of short stories that were never published. Early story titles are "The Gulf," "The Spring and Summer of Barney Kirk," "Things As They Are," and "Oldest Serpent of the Heart." Later story titles are "Raising Some Quiet Hell in Texas," "The Poker Club," "The Junkyard," "Zoom in, Flashback, and Slow Dissolve," "Celluloid" (unfinished), and "Hogging It All in Vegas".

series IV: 3 Box 14 Folder 3

Early stories

series IV: 3 Box 14 Folder 4

Later stories

subseries 4: Screenplays and television dramas,

Boxes 14-16

Drafts of unproduced screenplays adapted from WH's works, and from a novel by Richard Yates, Cold Spring Harbor; drafts of unproduced screenplays commissioned by television and film production companies.

series IV: 4 Box 14 Folder 5

In a Wild Sanctuary. Contract, motion picture rights (Oversize;seebox 19)

series IV: 4 Box 14 Folder 6

In a Wild Sanctuary. Screenplay drafts [1 of 2]

series IV: 4 Box 14 Folder 7

In a Wild Sanctuary. Screenplay drafts [2 of 2]

series IV: 4 Box 14 Folder 8

The Hermit. Screenplay draft

series IV: 4 Box 15 Folder 1

The Arsons of Desire. Screenplay draft

series IV: 4 Box 15 Folder 2

Untitled television play

series IV: 4 Box 15 Folder 3

Miss Lady

series IV: 4 Box 15 Folder 4

Bluegrass

series IV: 4 Box 15 Folder 5

Jack of Spades

series IV: 4 Box 15 Folder 6

Bicycle Summer (based on Cold Spring Harbor)

series IV: 4 Box 16 Folder 1

The Mensa Murder

series IV: 4 Box 16 Folder 2

Upriver

series V: Manuscripts and notes. Poetry,

Box 16

Drafts (in some cases multiple drafts with revisions) of poetry written by WH from 1955 to c.1965.

series V Box 16 Folder 3

Poetry, 1955-ca. 1965

series VI: Printed Materials,

Boxes 16-17

subseries 1: Reviews and articles,

Box 16

Includes reviews of WH's works; articles on WH's career; the University of Arkansas's Creative Writing program; articles regarding conferences, workshops, and lectures that WH attended or presented; and interviews with WH.

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 4

Early works. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 5

The Theologian. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 6

In a Wild Sanctuary. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 7

Lessons in Paradise. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 8

Rollerball Murder and Other Stories. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 9

Rollerball (film). Newspaper coverage of the filming process

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 10

Africana. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 11

Savannah Blue. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 12

Burton and Speke. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 13

The Buddha in Malibu. Reviews

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 14

Anthologies containing WH's works

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 15

Articles regarding WH or Creative Writing Program

series VI: 1 Box 16 Folder 16

Conferences, workshops, lectures, and interviews

subseries 2: Rollerball (film),

Boxes 16-17

Correspondence, articles (see also articles folder in Subseries 1 above), and miscellaneous materials related to filming of Rollerball. Includes WH's "The Mutations of Rollerball," which is a commentary on the short story, the film production process, and the final film version.

series VI: 2 Box 16 Folder 17

Rollerball (film) [1 of 2]

series VI: 2 Box 17 Folder 1

Rollerball (film) [1 of 2]

subseries 3: Theatre programs and newspaper notices,

Box 17

Program for a play entitled Barnaby, which was written by WH; programs for plays WH acted in or directed while attending, or shortly after graduating from, Vanderbilt University. Local newspaper notices.

series VI: 3 Box 17 Folder 2

Theatre programs and newspaper notices

subseries 4: Short stories and articles, published copies.,

Box 17

Copies of selected short stories and articles by WH taken from the magazines in which they appeared.

series VI: 4 Box 17 Folder 3

Short stories and articles, published copies

series VII: Miscellaneous materials,

Box 17

subseries 1: Photographs,

Box 17

Various promotional head shots of WH, singles of WH, and photographs of WH with Merlee Harrison, Jim Whitehead, Miller Williams, George Garrett, William Peden, Richard Yates, Verlin Cassill, and James Seay. Group shot of actors on Rollerball team and opening shots (one crediting WH with teleplay) of A Shining Season.

series VII: 1 Box 17 Folder 4

Photographs

subseries 2: Royalty statements,

Box 17

Royalty statements and check stubs from various publishers. Additional royalty statements are scattered throughout correspondence files.

series VII: 2 Box 17 Folder 5

Royalty statements

subseries : Oversize Materials,

Boxes 18-19

Materials listed here are too large to store in their logical locations. Within the boxes they are arranged according to series and subseries numbers.

subseries VIII Box 18 Folder 1

The Theologian. Galley proofs

subseries VIII Box 18 Folder 2

In a Wild Sanctuary. Galley proofs and sample book cover and dust jacket cover

subseries VIII Box 18 Folder 3

Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections [1 of 2]

subseries VIII Box 18 Folder 4

Lessons in Paradise. Galley proofs with corrections [2 of 2]

subseries VIII Box 18 Folder 5

Lessons in Paradise. Contract, motion picture rights

subseries VIII Box 19 Folder 1

Africana. Galley proofs with corrections [1 of 2]

subseries VIII Box 19 Folder 2

Africana. Galley proofs with corrections [2 of 2]

subseries VIII Box 19 Folder 3

Savannah Blue. Background materials

subseries VIII Box 19 Folder 4

In a Wild Sanctuary. Contract, motion picture rights

END OF COLLECTION

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