The Lloyd Jensen Collection of Vardis Fisher Novels, Research Materials and Memorabilia
- Table of Contents
Vardis Fisher (1895-1968) was one of Idaho's most prolific authors. Best known for his historical novels, Fisher wrote or edited 37 books, including a volume of poetry, a collection of short stories, and the highly-praised Idaho state guide (1937). He also wrote more than 50 short stories and essays for magazines as diverse as Scribner's, Esquire, and Rocky Mountain Review, as well as numerous articles for Idaho newspapers. He was still an active writer at the time of his death.
The Lloyd Jensen collection of Vardis Fisher materials at Boise State University constitutes an important resource for the study of Vardis Fisher and his writings. Included in the collection are approximately 50 postcards from 1953-1958 to Lloyd and Charlotte Jensen from Vardis and Opal Fisher, journal articles, essays, and newspaper columns by Fisher; a collection of autographed editions of Fisher's books inscribed to the Jensen's, one that includes an unpublished handwritten sonnet; reviews of Fisher's books; catalogs from used books dealers offering Fisher's works; newspaper clippings and other secondary works about him; and photos and other Fisher-related memorabilia, all collected by Jensen.
The Lloyd Jensen collection forms part of the University's Idaho Writers Archive and helps keep alive the memory of the author who has been called "the first man of Idaho letters." The collection was processed by Erin Passehl, 2009-2010.
Series I: Correspondence
- Folder 1: Kaye Jensen and Vardis Fisher (1964)
Folder 2: Lloyd Jensen and Archie Teater
Folder 3: Lloyd Jensen and Vardis Fisher (Friends of Fisher subscription list)
Folder 4: J.H. Gibson (Caxton Printers), Ervin Mueller, and Vardis Fisher (1938-1939)
Folder 5: Lloyd Jensen and “Authors of the West” (1974-1984)
Series II: Book Announcements
- Box 1:
- Folder 6: “Children of God” (Harper Prize)
Folder 7: "Gold Rushes and Mining Camps”
Folder 8: “In Tragic Life” announcement, reviews
Folder 9: “Testament of Man” Series
Series III: Bookseller Lists
- Box 1:
- Folder 10: Lloyd Jensen (1975-1990)
Folder 11: Casanova with preface by Vardis Fisher (1933-1934)
Folder 12: Sage Books (Alan Swallow), (1962)
Series IV: Newspapers
- Box 1:
- Folder 13: “Vardis Fisher Says” newspaper column (1951-1952)
Folder 14: Newspaper articles written by Vardis Fisher
Folder 15: Newspaper articles about Vardis Fisher (1968 – )
Series V: Personalized materials
- Box 1:
- Folder 16: Lloyd Jensen bookplates, Vardis Fisher writing tablet and address labels
Series VI: Photographs
- Box 1:
- Folder 17: Photographs of Vardis Fisher, Lloyd Jensen, and Fisher extended family
Series VII: Programs
- Box 1:
- Folder 18: Western Heritage Awards (1966)
Folder 19: Writer’s Conference (University of Utah, 1953) [signed]
- Folder 1: “Jeremiah Johnson” movie premiere program, tickets, oversize poster
Series VIII: Postcard scrapbook
- Box 2:
- Approximately 50 postcards (1953-1958) to Lloyd and Charlotte Jensen from Vardis and Opal Fisher, written mainly from Europe, the Middle East, and New York City, during the Fishers' travels.
Series IX: Journals and other publications with articles written by Vardis Fisher
- “As Death is Lonely.” Northwest Review 2 (Summer 1959): 71-79.
“Crime and the Great Society”. A Way Out 23 (October 1967): 47.
“The Failure of Public Education in a Democracy”. PNLA Quarterly 25 (January 1961): 102-110.
“Father and Son.” Inland (Autumn 1959): 3-11.
“The Great Pemmican Hunt: Or, the Decline of the Wild West.” Doubleday and Company Press Release (June 1956).
Printed handout on Fisher residence.
“The Lingering Frontier”. The Rotarian 108 (April 1966): 42-45.
“The Novelist and His Background”. Western Folklore 12 (January 1953): 1-8.
“Postscript on Maturity.” Inland (Winter 1960): 31-32.
“Shoshone Indian Ice Caves.” Pamphlet.
“The Storm”. ’47 The Magazine of the Year 1 (March 1947): 7-13. [inscribed and signed on cover by Vardis Fisher]
“Thousand Springs Valley”. Scenic Idaho 7 (third quarter 1952): 8-11, 25, 34.
“Vardis Fisher Comments on His ‘Testament of Man’ Series”. American Book Collector 14 (September 1963): 31-36.
“Vardis Fisher News.” Caxton Printers, 1934.
“The Western Writer and the Eastern Establishment”. Western American Literature 1 (Winter 1967): 244-259. [inscribed and signed by Vardis Fisher, front cover signed by wife Opal]
The Glory of Our West: See the West in Natural Color with Famous Authors and Photographers. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1952. [inscribed and signed on cover by Vardis Fisher]
Ingraham, Andrew. Chaucer’s Prologue, Knight’s Tale, and Nin’s Priest Tale. New York: Macmillian Company, 1915. [inscribed and signed on cover by Vardis Fisher, filled with his handwritten notes]
“Salmon River Mines.” Idaho Yesterdays 6 (Spring 1962): 40-48. [contains notes by Vardis Fisher]
Swallow, Alan. “On the Testament of Man.” Inland (Autumn 1959): 25-28.
Taber, Ronald W. “Vardis Fisher: New Directions for the Historical Novel.” Western American Literature (Winter 1967): 285-296. [front cover signed by Fisher’s wife, Opal]
Vizetelly, Frank H. The Preparation of Manuscripts for the Printer. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1905. [inscribed and signed by Vardis Fisher]
Series X: Journals and other publications with articles written about Vardis Fisher
- Box 4:
- Arrington, Leonard J. and Jon Haupt. “The Mormon Heritage of Vardis Fisher.” Brigham Young University Studies 18 (Fall 1977): 27-47.
Authors of the West Bookseller and Catalog. Dundee, Oregon. [Catalog numbers 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19].
Carmer, Carl. “Passionate Traders (Pemmican)”. Saturday Review (June 23, 1956): 16.
Crandall, Allen. Fisher of the Antelope Hills. Manhattan, Kan.: The Crandall Press, 1949.
Fisher, Opal. “Vardis Fisher Memorial”. The Cabellian 3 (Autumn 1970): 25-27.
Fisher, V.E. “Psychic Shock Treatment for Early Schizophrenia.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 14 (April 1944): 358-367. [reprinted; author is brother Vivian]
Flora, Joseph M. “The Early Power of Vardis Fisher.” American Book Collector 14 (September 1963): 15-19.
Flora, Joseph M. “Vardis Fisher and James Branch Cabell: A Postscript”. The Cabellian 3(Autumn 1970): 7-9.
Flora, Joseph M. “Vardis Fisher and Wallace Stegner: Teacher and Student”. Western American Literature 5 (Summer 1970): 121-128.
Foote, Ellis. “The Unholy Testator”. American Book Collector 14 (September 1963): 9-12.
Hayden, Carl E. Western Writers and Sportsmen. Salt Lake: The Valley Press, 1949. [Limited first edition, nos. 63, 66, 69].
Holmes, Opal Laurel. “Once in a Wifetime”. American Book Collector 14 (September 1963): 13-14.
Holmes, Opal Laurel. “Vardis Fisher was Not a Mormon.” Press release, 1979.
Hutchens, John K. “One Thing and Another”. Saturday Review (August 10, 1968): 31.
“Idaho Individualist”. Arts and Sciences (Spring 1962): 9-12.
“Idaho Individualist”. MD (Medical Anthropology) 5 (November 1961): 143-146.
Kellogg, George. The Bookmark. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Library, 1965.
Margarick, P. “Vardis Fisher and His Testament of Man”. American Book Collector 14 (September 1963): 20-24.
Mazzulla, Fred M. “Undue Process of Law Here and There”. Denver Westerners Monthly Roundup 20 (October 1964): 3-5. [VF mentioned in article on p. 4]
McConnell, Virginia. “Alan Swallow and Western Writers.” South Dakota Review 5 (Summer 1967): 88-97.
Milton, John R. Three West: Conversations with Vardis Fisher, Max Evans, Michael Straight. Vermillion, S.D.: Dakota Press, 1970.
Offutt, Andrew. “Orphan With a Gun.”
Swallow, Alan. “Alan Swallow Interviews Vardis Fisher on his Testament Series.”
Swallow, Alan. “Poetry of the West.” South Dakota Review (Autumn 1964): 77-87.
Taber, Ronald W. “Sacagawea and the Suffragettes: an interpretation of a myth”. Pacific Northwest Quarterly 58 (January 1967): 7-13.
Taber, Ronald W. “Vardis Fisher and the Idaho Guide: Preserving Culture for the New Deal”. Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 59 (April 1968): 68-76.
Taber, Ronald W. “Vardis Fisher: March 31, 1895-July 9, 1968”. Idaho Yesterdays 12 (Fall 1968): 2-8.
Vardis Fisher: A Critical Summary With Notes on His Life and Personality. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1939.
“The Western Novel: A Symposium”. South Dakota Review 2 (Autumn 1964): 19-23.
Lloyd Jensen collected multiple editions of most of Vardis Fisher's published works. Some were gifts from Fisher and his wife Opal; some Jensen purchased when they were published; others he acquired on the used book market. In 2008 Jensen's children donated the bulk of their father's Vardis Fisher book collection to Boise State University. The collection includes Jensen's complete collection of deluxe editions, books with personal inscriptions from Vardis and Opal Fisher, two books Fisher once owned, and other editions not previously represented in the holdings of the Boise State University Library.
For a complete list of Vardis Fisher books donated by the Jensen family, consult the Lloyd Jensen bibliography. Vardis Fisher's inscriptions in many of them are now online; click on the highlighted word "inscribed" in the bibliographic entry to see them.
For a complete list of Vardis Fisher books held in Special Collections, consult the Vardis Fisher bibliography.
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