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William Worden papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Ax 638

Scope and Contents

The collection is organized into two major sections, the initial collection dating to 1971, and addenda of 1982.

The 1971 materials consist of correspondence, manuscripts, tearsheets, and clippings.

Correspondence consists of outgoing and incoming letters from 1944 to 1964. Major correspondents include D. E. Barbey and Dolly Connelly, as well as Brandt & Brandt (a New York literary agency) and the Saturday Evening Post.

The manuscripts are mainly magazine articles, including one unpublished article titled "A quiet place to stay", as well as two short stories.

The clippings consist of two unsorted folders of Worden's columns and news stories.

The 1982 addenda consists of manuscripts of and research for Worden's book Cargoes: Matson's First Century in the Pacific, a history of the first hundred years of the Matson Navigation Company. The research materials include interview records, correspondence, and brochures, among other materials, related to Matson Navigation Company.


  • 1910-1982


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. Worden (1910-1982) was born in Koshkonong, Missouri. His family moved to Fort Scott, Kansas, where Worden attended public schools. After graduating from Drake University in 1930, he joined the staff of the Omaha Bee-News as a reporter. After a brief stint in Omaha, Worden worked for various papers eventually landing at the Knoxville Tennessee Journal, where he served on the copy-desk, as Sunday editor, and as writer of a column, "Gay Talk", clippings of which are included in the collection.

Worden settled in the Pacific Northwest in 1933, working in newspapers and advertising in Portland, Oregon. From 1934 to 1944, he was an Associated Press correspondent in their San Francisco, Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle offices. Worden also served as a war correspondent in Alaska and the Pacific. He covered the Pacific front for the Saturday Evening Post from 1944 to the conclusion of the war.

After World War II, Worden became a free lance writer, living in Tacoma and specializing in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Western Canada. He wrote both journalism and fiction about these regions.

At the outbreak of the Korean conflict, Worden again signed on with the Saturday Evening Post as a contract writer in Korea and Japan for two years. In 1952, he returned to free-lancing as a regular contributor to the Post and other major magazines. Writings from this period show a fascination with "motor-yachting" in the Puget Sound-Western Canada-Inland Passage area. In 1959, Worden joined Boeing in Seattle, serving variously as Boeing Magazine's supervisor, financial writer, and International Public Relations manager. Copies of two Boeing Magazine articles are included in the collection.

Worden died in Washington in 1982.


5 linear feet (5 containers) : 1 manuscript box, 1 legal manuscript box, 1 clamshell box, 2 record storage boxes

Language of Materials



William L. Worden (1910-1982) was a journalist who settled in the Pacific Northwest and wrote about the region. The collection consists of Worden's early correspondence and manuscripts, including manuscripts and research for his history of the Matson Navigation Company.


The collection is organized into two major sections, the initial collection dating to 1971, and addenda from 1982. The initial collection is organized into the following series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Tearsheets, and Clippings. The 1981 addenda is organized into Manuscripts and Research Materials.

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.

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 William Worden Papers
Complete Description
University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team and Austin Munsell
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