Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

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 (scarcpxm): Boxes 1-48; 100-105
  • Firestone Library (scamss): 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

Scope and Contents

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.

The 2022 accrual was a gift from Colin Kaufman in July 2022 (AM 2023-036).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

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

Biography written by Jessica Marati, '08.

The 2022 accrual was processed and added to the finding aid by Amy C. Vo in October 2022. Materials in this addition were intellectually integrated into the existing arrangement of the collection, namely into Subseries 9B: American Mt. Everest Expedition.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

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, 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, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. 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 any questions, please feel free to contact 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:

James Ramsey Ullman 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.
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 1-48; 100-105
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 49-99; 106-110; 87a