Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Halliburton, Richard, 1900-1939
Richard Halliburton Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1900-1973 (mostly 1903-1940)
61 boxes and 29.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-34; 40-52; B-000880; P-000018; L-000008; P-000047; P-000050; P-000048; L-000009; P-000049; P-000017
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 35-39


Richard Halliburton traveled extensively in the first part of twentieth century after graduating from Princeton University in 1921. The collection contains autograph and typescript drafts of seven of Halliburton's books, short stories, essays, school notes, and other travel memorabilia, as well as Halliburton's correspondence with his parents and others, research materials about Rupert Brooke, and a significant group of photographs documenting his travels throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The papers span Halliburton's short but adventurous life, from his Lawrenceville School essay, "Disillusioned," through his Princeton University years (Princeton Class of 1921), his years of worldwide travel, lecturing, and writing, to his posthumously-published "autobiography" of letters to his parents (1940). Autograph and/or typescript drafts of seven of his books, The Royal Road to Romance (1925), The Glorious Adventure (1927), New Worlds to Conquer (1929), The Flying Carpet (1932), Seven League Boots (1935), A Book of Marvels (1937), and Second Book of Marvels (1938), are present, as are some short stories, essays, and notes from his school days. There are also passports, publishing contracts, memorabilia, maps, and newspapers clippings. Halliburton's numerous letters to his parents (1919-1939) provide a vivid account of his travels, and they are supplemented by a large quanitity of photographic prints and negatives documenting the locations he visited, many of which were never published in his books. Correspondence of others includes letters from Devil's Island prisoners, with some manuscripts. Also present are Halliburton's research materials for a biography of Rupert Brooke that he never wrote, including his correspondence with Brooke's friends and acquaintances and summaries of interviews he had with them, as well as copies of Brooke's works and correspondence, some clippings, and photographs.


The collection is arranged into the following five series: Works; Correspondence; Biographical Materials; Photographs; and Papers of Others.

Collection Creator Biography:

Halliburton, Richard, 1900-1939

Richard Halliburton was an American traveler, adventurer, and author, whose books about his exploits captured the romantic spirit of his generation. He followed Ulysses' route through the Mediterranean and emulated Lord Byron by swimming the Hellespont. He swam the Panama Canal, ran from Marathon to Athens, visited the penal colony at Devil's Island, and climbed the Matterhorn, Mount Olympus, and Mount Fuji. These and other experiences became the basis for Halliburton's romantic narratives; and his literary career developed out of his meticulous logging of events that occurred on his adventures. However, in March 1939, Halliburton left Hong Kong aboard a motor-powered Chinese junk called the "Sea Dragon", which he had built, en route to San Francisco. Both he and his boat disappeared after encountering a severe typhoon, some 1,200 miles west of Midway Island.

Collection History


Papers of Halliburton are a gift of Wesley Halliburton. Collection of letters and telegrams from Halliburton to his editor is a gift of Thomas Orchard. Photographs are a gift of William C. Wilson. Misc. manuscripts, documents, correspondence are a gift of the First National Bank of Memphis. 3 Letters from Halliburton to P.L. Williams were purchased in 2005. An inscribed copy of The Royal Road to Romance was a gift of Patricia A. Oakes in 2017.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Finding aid updated and all photographic materials rehoused by Kelly Bolding in 2016, with assistance from Fiona Bell '18.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright and literary rights for materials created by Richard Halliburton in this collection are held by the Trustees of Princeton University. When copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from Firestone Library. The 78 letters and 5 telegrams by Halliburton to Lawrance Chambers, his editor at Bobbs-Merrill, require permission from Louis de Rochemont if they are to be used for movie or TV productions. Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Richard Halliburton Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-34; 40-52; B-000880; P-000018; L-000008; P-000047; P-000050; P-000048; L-000009; P-000049; P-000017
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 35-39

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

Publications: All of Halliburton's books were published by Bobbs-Merrill of Indianapolis: The Royal Road to Romance (1925), The Glorious Adventure (1927), New Worlds to Conquer (1929), The Flying Carpet (1932), Seven League Boots (1935), A Book of Marvels (1937), Second Book of Marvels (1938), Richard Halliburton: His Story of His Life's Adventures (1940).

Subject Terms:
Adventure and adventurers -- 20th century.
Authors and publishers -- United States -- 20th century.
Fathers and sons -- United States -- 20th century.
Prisoners' writings, French -- French Guiana -- Devil's Island -- 20th century.
Schools, Russian -- Photographs.
Seri Indians -- Photographs.
Students -- Soviet Union -- Photographs.
Travelers -- Maps.
Travelers, American -- 20th century.
Voyages and travels -- 20th century.
Voyages around the world -- 20th century.
Genre Terms:
Drafts (preliminary versions)
photographs -- 20th century.
France. Armée de terre. Légion étrangère
Brooke, Rupert, 1887-1915
Angkor (city) -- Photographs.
Athens (Greece) -- Photographs.
Athos (Greece) -- Photographs.
Baalbek (Lebanon) -- Photographs.
Bagdad (Iraq) -- Photographs.
Bali (Indonesia) -- Photographs.
Borneo (Malaya) -- Photographs.
Boulder Dam (Colo.) -- Photographs.
Corfu Island (Greece) -- photographs
Dardanelles -- Photographs.
Devil's Island (French Guiana) -- Photographs.
Egypt -- Photographs.
Ethiopia -- Photographs.
Fort Jefferson (Fla.) -- Photographs.
Gibraltor -- Photographs.
Greece -- photographs
Iguazu Falls (Brazil) -- Photographs.
Iran -- Photographs.
Istanbul (Turkey) -- Photographs.
Ithakē (Greece) -- Photographs.
Java (Indonesia) -- Photographs.
Jerusalem (Israel) -- Photographs.
Kasmir (India) -- Photographs.
Ladakh (India) -- Photographs.
Leh (India) -- Photographs.
Macchu Picchu (Peru) -- Photographs.
Manila (Philippines) -- Photographs.
Morocco -- Photographs.
Moscow (R.S.F.S.R.) -- Photographs.
Olympus, Mount (Greece) -- Photographs.
Petra (Jordan) -- Photographs.
Saint Petersburg (Russia) -- Photographs.
San Salvador -- Photographs.
Taj Mahal (Agra, India) -- Photographs.
Taorima (Sicily) -- Photographs.
Tempe (Greece) -- Photographs.
Thailand -- Photographs.
Tiberias Lake (Israel) -- Photographs.
Timbuctoo (Mali) -- Photographs.
Vladivostok (Russia) -- Photographs.