Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Phillips Family Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
circa 1880-1973 (mostly 1900-1940)
6 boxes and 4.0 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-6


Consists of photographs, manuscripts, diaries, and ephemera relating to Edward H. Phillips (1868-1944), his wife Marie Kempton Phillips (1881-1946), and their daughter Jean Sarah Phillips (1908–1985) that document ranch life in and around Montana around the turn of the 20th century as well as Ed Phillips' involvement in Wild West shows, including Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and his career as a Hollywood actor.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of photographs, manuscripts, diaries, and ephemera relating to Edward Phillips, his wife Marie Kempton Phillips, and their daughter Jean Phillips that document the family, in particular Edward Phillips' career as a cattle rancher, Wild West show performer, and Hollywood actor. Notably, there are over 550 negatives (available in digital form) taken by Marie Kempton Phillips with a hand-held camera dating from circa 1904 to 1938, many of which depict life on a Montana ranch, novelty steer riding and rodeo scenes, horse races and other performances, branding, cattle, wagon trains, horse-breaking, and more.

Also of special interest are Marie's diary for 1904 documenting the period when her and her husband traveled back and forth from Montana to New York working various jobs at cattle ranches and performing in contests and a Wild West show in Coney Island; photographs of Kempton family members (some with stamps from Miles City, Montana, the studio of frontier photographer L. A. Huffman); a letter from Ed and Marie Phillips and a short diary written while on board the U.S.M.S. "St. Louis," describing the voyage to England with the cast of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show; a draft of an unpublished autobiography by Ed Phillips and his daughter Jean; and Jean Phillips' 1939 diary that documents her father's time working for Columbia Studios.

Also included in the collection are research materials about the Phillips family, the Kempton family and ranch, and related topics.

Collection History


Purchase, 2010 . (AM 2011-104).


Published materials were removed from the collection during 2015 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in May 2015. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in May 2015.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The negatives of Marie Kempton Phillips and Jean Phillips are closed to researchers.

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:

Phillips Family 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:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-6