James A. Michener Poland Papers
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of manuscripts, research materials, galleys, maps, correspondence and fan mail, articles, and essays, as well as Michener's activities related Space, NASA, Radio Free Europe, Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), Media Advisory Panel, UNESCO, and the Washington State University, Boundary Layer Air Chemistry Profile Research at South Pole. The Poland Collection was separated from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Collection (SC 1-27) for better accessibility. Researchers may also want to consult: Home Collection (SC 1-31, Unprocessed Box 9) Vertical File About/By Michener (SC 1-30, Box 2, Folder:1985 -- German Language Reviews of "Poland") Harry Ransome Humanities Research Center (HRC) Collection (SC 1-27, Oversize Box 13) for oversize items relating to Poland.
- Existence: Date acquired: 19971100
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Source of Acquisition
Received in November 1997 from the University of Texas at Austin as per requests in James A. Michener's will.
Method of Acquisition
Inventory prepared by Shirley Soenksen on 2008.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. Please contact the UNC University Libraries Archival Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org 970-351-2854 for further information.
Biographical or Historical Information
James Albert Michener was born in 1907 to unknown parents and raised as an orphan in the care of widow Mabel Michener of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. By the time he graduated from high school in 1925, he had visited 45 out of the 48 states. He was given a scholarship to Swarthmore, and after graduating summa cum laude in 1929, he traveled and continued his education at nine universities inside and outside the United States. During this time, he also taught in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and at the Harvard School of Education. When he was not teaching, Michener worked as a textbook editor in New York, and he joined the British Merchant Marines. During WWII, he joined the Navy, making use of his experience in the British Merchant Marines to climb through the ranks to lieutenant and his knowledge of history to carry out sensitive assignments in the South Pacific. It was this experience that brought about Tales of the South Pacific in 1947, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Michener used this novel as the cornerstone of his writing career, publishing almost 50 books in the next 50 years, including Sayonara, Hawaii, The Source, Iberia, Caravans, The Covenant, Sports in America, and Poland. In 1977, a four-part public television series called The World of Michener covered Israel, Hawaii, Spain, and Poland, just a few of the countries upon which his books have been based. Several other books have been turned into movies or miniseries, and two of his novels have been turned into musicals (most notably South Pacific, which won its own Pulitzer Prize). During the time that he was publishing, however, Michener did not ignore the world around him. He ran for Congress in 1962 and held positions on several committees, including the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, the U.S. Postal Service stamp committee, and an advisory position on a council for NASA. He also spoke often at congressional hearings and at functions of those organizations in which he held particular interest. James A. Michener died at the age of 90 on October 16, 1997 in Texas, three years after his third wife, Mari Yoriko Sabusawa. He had no children.Note written by Shirley Soenksen
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Language of Materials
This collection consists of manuscripts, research materials, galleys, maps, correspondence and fan mail, articles, and essays, as well as Michener's activities related Space, NASA, Radio Free Europe, Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), Media Advisory Panel, UNESCO, and the Washington State University, Boundary Layer Air Chemistry Profile Research at South Pole.
- Shirley Soenksen
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