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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2530

Stewart Hall Holbrook papers for Holy old Mackinaw


Research papers and correspondence assembled by American author, Stewart H. Holbrook for his book Holy Old Mackinaw along with some additional notes and compositions.


  • Creation: 1937

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Includes Holbrook's 1937 correspondence written to gather research information on logging and lumbermen for his book Holy old Mackinaw. Also includes autograph manuscript notes and printed materials on lumbering, as well as drafts of this book and a few other writings.

Biographical / Historical

Holbrook (1893-1964) was a lumberjack, journalist, and popular historian. He was born in Newport, Vermont, but spent much of his adult life living in Portland, Oregon. Holbrook's first book, Holy old Mackinaw: A natural history of the American lumberjack, was one of his most successful works. Published by Macmillan Company in 1938, the book focused on the lives of lumbermen, their work methods, and their culture and folklore. This book spent over five months on the national bestseller list and this success convinced Holbrook to move to Cambridge, Massachusetts in July of 1938, a place he felt was "more fitting for such a prominent literary figure as himself." While back East, he wrote five more books he would call "low-brow history," but he returned to Portland in 1943. He went on to write dozens of books, including the topics of Ethan Allen, the railroads, the timber industry, the Wobblies, eccentrics of the Pacific Northwest, and for over thirty years he wrote for the Oregonian.

Source: American National Biography Online, 2007.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence with Stewart Hall Holbrook
  2. II. Compositions and research materials

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

45M-656. Deposited by Stewart H. Holbrook, Esq.; received: 1939 August 25.

Related Materials

Papers also held by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Holbrook, Stewart Hall, 1893-1964. Stewart Hall Holbrook papers for Holy old Mackinaw, 1937: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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