Finding Aid to the Collection of Ambrose Bierce Papers, 1875-1925, bulk 1890-1913

Finding Aid written by Alison E. Bridger
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Collection of Ambrose Bierce Papers, 1875-1925, bulk 1890-1913

Collection Number: BANC MSS C-H 62

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Finding Aid Written By:
Alison E. Bridger
Date Completed:
April 2007
© 2007 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Collection of Ambrose Bierce papers
Date (inclusive): 1875-1925,
Date (bulk): bulk 1890-1913
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-H 62
Creators : Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914?
Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes, 1 volume, and 1 oversize folder Linear feet: 0.75
Repository: The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
Abstract: Contains outgoing correspondence, including letters to his daughter Helen D. Cowden, a young friend Amy L. Wells, fellow writers William Chambers Morrow and James Tufts, and publisher Walter Neale. See container list for a complete listing of correspondents. Also includes a sketch of Bierce by Wells, clippings about and by Bierce, writings by Amy L. Wells, a letter to Wells asking for information pertaining to Bierce's disappearance, and poems by brother Albert Sherwood Bierce. The album of letters to Helen D. Cowden includes two photographs of Ambrose Bierce, a copy of a poem, and transcriptions of Bierce's letters to his daughter.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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 .
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Collection of Ambrose Bierce Papers, BANC MSS C-H 62, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Alternate Forms Available

Part of the collection is available on microfilm, see container list for details. (BANC FILM C-H 62 and BANC FILM 2166)

Related Collections

Ambrose Bierce papers. (BANC MSS 75/57)
Herman George Scheffauer papers. (BANC MSS C-H 89; BANC MSS 73/87; BANC MSS 84/22)
Ina Donna Coolbrith collection of letters and papers. (BANC MSS C-H 23)
Partington family papers: additions. (BANC MSS 81/143)
Ambrose Geinett Bierce papers at Stanford University.
Papers of Ambrose Bierce at the Clifton Waller Barrett Library, the University of Virginia.

Separated Material

Bierce Cartoon of the "Aviator Second Trip" has been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. (BANC PIC 19xx.067--C)

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914?
Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914?--Correspondence
Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914?--Portraits
Cowden, Helen D. --Correspondence
Wells, Amy L. --Correspondence
Morrow, W. C. (William Chambers), 1853-1923--Correspondence
Tufts, James--Correspondence
Neale, Walter, 1873-1933--Correspondence
Bierce, Albert Sherwood--Poetic works
Authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
Satirists--Correspondence
Letters
Clippings
Poems
Photographs

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Collection of Ambrose Bierce Papers were given to and purchased by The Bancroft Library from various sources over many years. Items in the collection are identified with respect to provenance on folders.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

System of Arrangement

Arranged to the folder level.

Processing Information

Re-Processed by Alison E. Bridger in 2007.

Biographical Information

Ambrose Bierce, born June 24, 1842 in Meigs County, Ohio, was an American author best known for his satire and supernatural stories. Many of his stories also came from his experiences serving in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
After the war, Bierce moved to San Francisco, where he worked on several publications including Overland Monthly, the San Francisco Argonaut, the Wasp, and the San Francisco Examiner. In 1896, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he lobbied for William Randolph Hearst while still contributing to many newspapers and magazines.
Bierce married Mollie Day, a wealthy miner's daughter, in 1871, and they had two sons, Day and Leigh, and a daughter, Helen. The couple separated in 1888, then divorced in 1905.
Late in 1913, Ambrose Bierce joined Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution, where all trace of Bierce was lost. It is believed that Bierce probably died in the battle of Ojinaya on January 11, 1914.

Scope and Content of Collection

Contains outgoing correspondence, including letters to his daughter Helen D. Cowden, a young friend Amy L. Wells, fellow writers William Chambers Morrow and James Tufts, and publisher Walter Neale. See container list for a complete listing of correspondents. Also includes a sketch of Bierce by Wells, clippings about and by Bierce, writings by Amy L. Wells, a letter to Wells asking for information pertaining to Bierce's disappearance, and poems by brother Albert Sherwood Bierce. The album of letters to Helen D. Cowden includes two photographs of Ambrose Bierce, a copy of a poem, and transcriptions of Bierce's letters to his daughter.

Container List

 

Series 1 Correspondence 1875-1925

Physical Description: Box 1, folders 1-18; box 2, folders 1-5; volume 1

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains outgoing correspondence including letters to his daughter Helen D. Cowden, a young correspondent Amy L. Wells, other writers including William Chambers Morrow and Bierce's publisher Walter Neale. Includes only one incoming letter. For more correspondence written by and to Bierce see related collections list.
Box 1, Folder 1

Blaire, James D. 1908

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 2

Cecil, A.P. 1890, 1925

Box 1, Folder 3

Chisholm, Joseph F. 1903

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Volume 1

Cowden, Helen D. 1885-1912

Scope and Content Note

Also includes transcriptions of letters; a poem by Bierce; two photographs of Bierce. Has John Francis Neylan bookplate.

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 4

Jones, F. A. 1909

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 5

MacFarlane, E. C. 1885

Box 1, Folder 6

Mackay, Robert 1905

Box 1, Folder 7

Maxwell, Mr. 1907

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 8

Morrow, William Chambers 1894-1897

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 9

Neale, Walter 1909-1913

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Portions also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 10

Nieto, Rose Frankel circa 1897

Box 1, Folder 11

Pollard, Percival 1893-1897

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 12

Rearden, Timothy H. 1875

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 13

Robertson, Alexander M. 1909

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 14

Rowell, Joseph Cummings undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 15

Sargent, H. H. 1909

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 16

Schearer, Flora 1894-1896

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 17

Tufts, James 1893-1899

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 2, Folder 1-5

Wells, Amy L. 1893-1913

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
Box 1, Folder 18

Danziger, Adolphe (incoming) 1900

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
 

Series 2 Amy L. Wells miscellany undated

Physical Description: Box 2, folders 6-10; oversize folder 1A

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains other papers of Amy L. Wells that came with her correspondence from Bierce relating to Bierce and her writing. Includes a sketch of Bierce by Wells, manuscript and printed copies of Wells writings, and clippings about and by Bierce.
Box 2, Folder 6

Sketch of Ambrose Bierce undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
Box 2, Folder 7

Clippings of Ambrose Bierce writings undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
Box 2, Folder 8

Clippings about Ambrose Bierce undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
Box 2, Folder 9

Amy L. Wells writings undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
Oversize Folder 1 A

Amy L. Wells writings undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
Box 2, Folder 10

Amy Wells collection miscellaneous undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM C-H 62.
 

Series 3 Miscellaneous papers related to Ambrose Bierce undated

Physical Description: Box 1, folders 19-20

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Contains poems written by Albert Sherwood Bierce, Ambrose's brother and other miscellaneous items.
Box 1, Folder 19

Bierce, Albert Sherwood poems undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.
Box 1, Folder 20

Miscellaneous 1910, undated

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Also available on microfilm BANC FILM 2166.