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Robert E. Pinkerton and Kathrene Pinkerton papers

Identifier: Ax 591

Scope and Contents note

Kathrene Pinkerton's Two Ends to our Shoestring and photographs in the collection document the years spent in the Pinkerton's Canadian cabin with their daughter Bobs. Included is Kathrene Pinkerton's logbook of the trip to Alaska from 1924 to 1931, Three's a Crew and an untitled manuscript. She also wrote teen-age novels, autobiographical books, and a book on fur farming. Her books were translated into German and Dutch.

Robert Pinkerton's writing includes fiction, a history of the Hudson's Bay Company, as well as one of the most widely accepted books on canoes and canoeing. Most of their collaborative efforts were novelettes, which appeared in the pulp magazines from 1916 through 1935.


  • 1911-1967


Conditions Governing Access note

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 note

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 note

Robert E. Pinkerton (1882-1970) and Kathrene Pinkerton (1887-1967) were writers of both fiction and nonfiction.

Robert E. Pinkerton was born March 12, 1882 in Arena, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin for two years. He worked as a cub reporter on the Milwaukee Free Press and was later telegraph news editor for The Journal in Milwaukee.

Kathrene Pinkerton was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 9 1887. She received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, and did graduate work at the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Her early career was in social work in Chicago and public health in Wisconsin.

The Pinkertons married in 1911. Their first fictive effort a 30,000 word novelette sold to Munsey's Magazine. With the $150 earnings they departed for the wilds of Canada, where they built onto a cabin in the bush, eight miles from the village of Atikokan, Ontario. The only means of transport to and from Atikokan were by canoe in the summer and dog sled during the long Canadian winter. Their nonfiction pieces sold to outdoor magazines, totaling for their first two years work $532.00. Their fiction did not sell during this period.

Two years later the Pinkertons came out of the bush for a short while, for the birth of their daughter, Bobs, and returned by dogsled when she was seven weeks old. "For the next four and one half years," wrote Ben Hibbs, then editor of The Country Gentleman, "they sold every story they wrote."

Mrs. Pinkerton died in 1967 and Mr. Pinkerton in 1970.


4.5 linear feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



Robert E. Pinkerton (1882-1970) and Kathrene Pinkerton (1887-1967) were writers of both fiction and nonfiction, primarily writing in Canada. The collection includes correspondence, literary manuscripts, tear sheets, photo albums, books and Kathrene Pinkerton's diary.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series: Correspondence

Series: Literary Manuscripts

Series: Tear sheets

Series: Research Notes and Material

Series: Photo Albums

Series: Published Books

Series: Addenda

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Bobs Pinkerton, 1970-1972

Processing Information note

Collection processed by processing staff, September 1970.

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 Robert E. Pinkerton and Kathrene Pinkerton 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