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Irving Petite papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Ax 581

Scope and Contents

The collection contains manuscripts, clippings, and published books.

The initial donation of 1968 contains manuscripts and published books.

There are manuscripts for The Best Time of the Year, The Elderberry Tree, Life on Tiger Mountain, and Mr. B. Material may include drafts, page proofs, galleys, and printer's copies. There is also proofs of a newspaper article regarding Mr. B.

Published books consist of a German and a Japanese translation of Mr. B.

An addendum on 1974 contains manuscripts, clippings and a book by other authors.

Manuscript material for Meander to Alaska consists of a final galley proof and a published copy. Manuscript material for Out of the Flesh consists of a typed draft.

There are clippings from a newspaper article about the bear cub, Mr. B.

There is also a book, Birds of Point Lobos, illustrated by Jean W. Petite.


  • 1960s-1970s


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

Irving Petite (1920-2004) was a free-lance writer for the Seattle Times, and an author who wrote stories regarding outdoor life and wildlife encounters from his cabin on Tiger Mountain, Washington, including the popular, "Mr. B," about a bearcub that adopted Petite.

According to an article in the Spokesman Review, "Petite was 19 when he and a friend, Bill McCauley, bought 165 acres of logged-over Weyerhaeuser Co. land on Tiger Mountain in 1942, which they farmed and used for salvage logging. Petite dropped out of the University of Washington, where he was studying zoology. The United States had just entered World War II, and Petite was a conscientious objector.

Free-lancing feature articles for the Seattle Times and other newspapers didn’t pay the bills, so he also delivered a rural mail route for 18 years.

His big break came when another writer introduced him to Carolyn Rogers, a Reader’s Digest editor from Spokane. He got $1,500 when the magazine bought a story called “The Deer That Came to Breakfast.”

His other books include The Best Time of Year, The Elderberry Tree and Meander to Alaska, which in 1970 was the last to be published."




1 linear feet (2 containers) : 2 manuscript boxes

Language of Materials



Irving Petite (1920-2004) was a free-lance writer for the Seattle Times and an author who wrote stories regarding outdoor life and wildlife encounters from his cabin on Tiger Mountain, Washington, including the popular, "Mr. B," about a bear cub that adopted Petite. The collection contains manuscripts, clippings, and published books.


Material within this collection has been organized by accession. This organization reflects the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time. This organization is also based on the decision not to merge the various accessions and organize them as a whole at this point in time, give the fact that future accruals are anticipated and/or that this organization is deemed sufficient for access.

Researchers should note that materials within a series or accession may overlap and/or relate to materials found in other accessions or initially processed materials. For example, correspondence may be found in all or only some groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers may need to consult each accession.

Researchers should also note that similar materials can be arranged differently in each accession, depending on how the material is organized upon receipt or during initial processing. For instance, correspondence is one accession may be arranged alphabetically, while correspondence in another accession is arranged chronologically.

Other Finding Aids

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff, 1968; 1974.

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

This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal to no organization and rehousing. Multiple accession(s) for the collection have not been merged or organized as a whole. Each accession is described separately.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents.

Guide to the Irving Petite Papers
Complete Description
Tanya Parlet and Kira B. Homo.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA