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Collection Overview

Ullman, James Ramsey, 1907-1971
James Ramsey Ullman Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1915-1971 (mostly 1935-1970)
111 boxes and 37.03 linear feet
Storage Note:
This is stored in multiple locations. ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 1-48; 100-105 Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 49-99; 106-110; 87a


Consists of the extant papers of James Ramsey Ullman (Princeton Class of 1929), American novelist, theatrical producer, world traveler, and mountain climber. Included are manuscripts of most of his major works, many shorter works, correspondence, and subject files.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The papers of Ullman (Princeton Class of 1929) contain manuscripts of most of his major works, many shorter works, correspondence, and subject files. Included are nine nonfiction works, such as High Conquest (Phila.: J.B. Lippincott, 1941), Americans On Everest, and Mad Shelley (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1930); ten novels, including The Day on Fire (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1958), based on the life of Rimbaud, The Sands of Karakorum (Phila.: J. B. Lippincott, 1953), and The White Tower (Phila.: J. B. Lippincott, 1945); twelve plays; and numerous articles, short stories, and poems. In addition, there are diaries (1920-1971), financial papers, documents, photographs, magazines containing his works, and papers of other persons, where plays produced by Ullman, but written by Lynn Root, Irving Ramsdell, and others, have been filed.

Ullman's correspondence contains letters of fellow adventurers, family, and friends, such as Norman Dyhrenfurth, Temple Fielding, Robert Kaufman, J. Monroe Thorington, and Alexander F. Ullman (his father, who lived in New York City), as well as fan mail from 1935 to 1971. The subject files reflect his interests in mountaineering, Robert Kaufman, world travel, and literature, and include notes, letters, and printed matter pertaining to the American Mt. Everest expedition (1963), of which Ullman was a member, the American Field Service, Broadway shows of the 1930s, and travel brochures and itineraries to the South Pacific, Africa, South America, and other global points.

Collection Creator Biography:

Ullman, James Ramsey, 1907-1971

James Ramsey Ullman was an American novelist, theatrical producer, world traveler, and mountain climber. Born in New York in 1907, Ullman attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated from Princeton University in 1929. After graduation, Ullman moved to Brooklyn, where he worked as a reporter and features writer at a newspaper. He soon left the newspaper to produce theatre, launching such productions as Faraway Horses, Men in White, Blind Alley, and The Milky Way. After a string of failed productions, Ullman traveled to the Amazon and published a travelogue, The Other Side of the Mountain, upon his return to America. He took a job with the Federal Theatre and turned to freelance writing, producing short stories and articles on mountain climbing, one of his greatest hobbies. He penned a book on the subject titled High Conquest in 1941. Ullman died in 1971.

Collection History


Gift of author. Additions are a gift of Mrs. James R. Ullman and Vincent L. Hennessy.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed in 2003. Finding aid written in 2003.

Biography written by Jessica Marati, '08.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

James Ramsey Ullman Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
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