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Bill Brown papers

Identifier: Ax 424

Scope and Contents

The William Louis Brown Papers consist of the manuscripts of two books and fifteen short stories or articles. The correspondence includes letters from Brown in 1936-1937 on his South Seas voyage; wartime letters during the years 1942-1945 from Fort Dix, New Jersey; India; and Burma; and correspondence with literary agents and publishers. There is a file of the publication The Gremlin, of which Brown served as editor. Copies of his published works are also included.


  • Creation: 1936-1972


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

William L. Brown was born on April 5, 1910, in Myrtle Point, Oregon. He was the son of Louis E. Brown, a life insurance representative, and Viola May (Davis) Brown. He married Gertrude E. (Rosalie) Moore, an author, on June 30, 1942. They had three children, Deborah Ann, Celia Jeanne, and Camas Eve. Brown was educated at the University of Oregon from 1930-1931, and Mexico City College in 1950.

Brown first worked as a reporter for the Coos Bay World in Coos Bay, Oregon, from 1934-1938. During this time, from 1936-1937, he participated in a small boat voyage to the South Seas. He then worked as an editor of the 300 Magazine in San Francisco, California, from 1940-1942. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces, 301st Service Group, 319th Service Squadron, where he served until 1944, becoming a sergeant. During his years of service he was stationed in India and Burma. In 1953 he joined the California Division of Beaches and Parks in Lagunitas as a ranger, remaining there until 1964. From 1960-1962, he was a member of the Fairfax City Park Commission. He also spent some time teaching creative writing in an adult education program in Marin County and Sonoma County, California.

Brown used his experiences in the South Seas, India, and Burma to furnish ideas for adventure stories. Under the name Bill Brown, he wrote four books: Roaring River (1953), which won the Commonwealth Club of California's silver medal for Best Juvenile Book; Uncharted Voyage (1955); People of the Many Islands (1958); and The Rain Forest (1962). With his wife Rosalie Brown, under the name William L. Brown, he wrote seven lighter, more humorous books: Forest Firemen (1954); Whistle Punk (1956); The Boy Who Got Mailed (1957); Big Rig (1959); The Department Store Ghost (1961); Tickly and the Fox (1962); and The Hippopotamus That Wanted to be a Baby (1963).

William L. Brown died on September 28, 1964.


2.5 linear feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



William Louis Brown (1910-1964) was a teacher, editor, reporter, ranger, and author of books and short stories for young people. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia relating to Brown's interest in writing adventure stories drawn from his own life experiences.


Collection is organized into the following series: Manuscripts; Correspondence; Books and Periodicals; Mementos; January 1970 Addenda; May 1970 Addenda; May 1974 Addenda.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Rosalie Moore in 1965.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Bill Brown Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by processing staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA