Bronco Web white circle Blackboard white circle Maps white circle Directories white circle Search
Boise State logoSpecial Collections home


Northwest Digital Archives Digital Collections Manuscripts Idaho Writers
Rare Books Idaho Collection Ethnographic
Maps/Aerial Photos Photographs University Archives Online Exhibits Bibliographies Email Us Search our Site


Papers of Tom Trusky relating to Nell Shipman, 1984-2009

with photocopies of earlier materials contemporaneous with her life


MSS 99


            This collection consists of correspondence, research notes, clippings, photos, and other papers collected and written by Professor Tom Trusky of Boise State University during his research on silent filmmaker Nell Shipman (1892-1970).  Some of the material in the collection is contemporaneous with Shipman’s life (for example, clippings from newspapers), but most of the material is dated after 1984, when Trusky began his research.  Altogether, the processed papers fill 19 boxes, the photos 13 more.  The papers include letters back and forth with Shipman’s son, Barry Shipman (1912-1994); letters to and from people who knew Nell Shipman; correspondence with librarians, archivists, and film historians; files documenting Trusky’s discovery and acquisition of several of Shipman’s “lost” films; records of the Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival (1987); clippings, programs, and other papers from festivals featuring Shipman’s films; photocopies of newspaper clippings documenting Shipman’s career, from her own time and afterward; and other papers.  The collection was donated to the Special Collections Department by Professor Trusky in several installments, beginning in 1990.  This finding aid represents those papers donated through 2002.  The later additions (with the exception of Series 19) have not yet been processed; they will eventually be cataloged and added to this finding aid.  Boise State University also holds Nell Shipman’s own papers (MSS 81), the papers of her son Barry Shipman (MSS 90), and other collections related to Nell Shipman.


            The collection is divided into 19 series, outlined below.

                                                                                        Collection number: MSS 99
                                                                                        Dates of collection: 1984-2009, with                                                                                                        photocopies of earlier documents
                                                                                        Size of processed collection: ca. 12 ft.
                                                                                        Processed by:  Alan Virta


Finding aid prepared January 2002; updated October 2011



The papers of Tom Trusky relating to Nell Shipman are divided into nineteen series, outlined below:

Series 1:  Correspondence with Barry Shipman
Series 2:  Research correspondence

Series 3:  Documentaries, motion pictures, and plays about Nell Shipman

Series 4:  Writings by Tom Trusky about Nell Shipman

Series 5:  Publication of Shipman’s autobiography

Series 6:  Discovery and acquisition of Shipman’s films

Series 7:  Other Shipman-related projects

Series 8:  Grants

Series 9:  Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival

Series 10: Film Festivals and Other Showings

Series 11: Press clippings (mainly contemporary with Shipman’s career)

Series 12: Collected articles and references to Nell Shipman

Series 13: Subject files

Series 14: Papers from the Public Archives of Canada

Series 15: Magazines and newspapers

Series 16: Tape recordings

Series 17: Photos and photo research

Series 18: Nell Shipman Film Festival exhibit photos

Series 19: Letters from God's Country Research



Series 1: Correspondence with Barry Shipman

Tom Trusky’s association with Barry Shipman began with a letter and a telephone call in June 1984.   From then on, until Barry’s death ten years later, their collaboration was a close one.  A screenwriter himself for more than half a century, Barry Shipman aided Trusky’s research and encouraged the promotion of his mother’s films.   Barry Shipman often enclosed copies of his correspondence with others with his letters to Tom Trusky.  This series consists of  letters between Tom Trusky and Barry Shipman, together with many of Barry’s enclosures, particularly when they are referenced in the letters.  The first folder in the series is an essay written by Barry Shipman chronicling the first two years of their collaboration.  Barry Shipman’s own papers are preserved as MSS 90 in the Special Collections Department of Albertsons Library.


Box 1: Correspondence with Barry Shipman

Folder 1:    “The Professor Done Right by our Nell,” by Barry Shipman (ca. 1987)

Folder 2:    Miscellaneous papers

Folder 3:    Correspondence: 1984-1985

Folder 4:    Correspondence: 1986  (January-June)

Folder 5:    Correspondence: 1986  (July-September)

Folder 6:    Correspondence: 1986  (October-December)

Folder 7:    Correspondence: 1987  (January-March)

Folder 8:    Correspondence: 1987  (April-July)

Folder 9:    Correspondence: 1987  (August-December)

Folder 10:  Correspondence: 1988 (January-April)

Folder 11:  Correspondence: 1988 (May-August)

Folder 12:  Correspondence: 1988 (September-December)


Box 2: Correspondence with Barry Shipman

Folder 1:    Correspondence: 1989  (January-June)

Folder 2:    Correspondence: 1989  (July-December)

Folder 3:    Correspondence: 1990  (January-June)

Folder 4:    Correspondence: 1990  (July-December)

Folder 5:    Correspondence: 1991  (January-April)

Folder 6:    Correspondence: 1991  (May-August)

Folder 7:    Correspondence: 1991  (September-December)

Folder 8:    Correspondence: 1992  (January-August)

Folder 9:    Correspondence: 1992  (September-December)

Folder 10:  Correspondence: 1993  (January-June)

Folder 11:  Correspondence: 1993  (July-December)

Folder 12:  Correspondence: 1994

Folder 13:  Correspondence with Beulah Shipman: 1994-2005

Folder 14:  Correspondence with Nina Shipman Bremer

Series 2:  Research Correspondence


During the course of his research, Tom Trusky corresponded with film scholars, libraries, archives, and family, friends, and associates of Nell Shipman.  The files in this series contain Trusky’s general research correspondence.  Letters back and forth about particular projects (e.g., specific film festivals, or photo research) are filed in the appropriate series elsewhere in the collection.  

Among the correspondents listed below are Shipman’s daughter Daphne Ayers Feldman and son Charles Ayers (Folder 44). The remarkable story of the discovery of a 1919 letter from James Oliver Curwood to Nell Shipman is contained in the Mildred Stobie file.  Also included in the Miscellaneous files are “fan letters” from people who appreciated his work and promotion of Nell Shipman’s films.


Box 3:  Research Correspondence

Folder   1:    Acker, Ally: 1988-1991

Folder   2:    Alexander, Nate: 1985-1986

Folder   3:    Armatage, Kay: 1991-2003

Folder   4:    Beardmore, Vivian: 1984-1987

Folder   5:    Bowser, Eileen (Museum of Modern Art): 1987

Folder   6:    Branyon, Harold: 1986-1987

Folder   7:    Brownlow, Kevin: 1986-1987

Folder   8:    Buroker, Fred: 1987

Folder   9:    Cork, Marylyn: 1985-1995

Folder 10:    Covert, Nancy Wolff: 1987-1990

Folder 11:    Cunningham, John: 1986-1988

Folder 12:    Cowley, Amanda: 1993

Folder 13:    Eldridge, Judy: 1987-1993

Folder 14:    Feldman, Daphne Ayers (daughter of Nell Shipman): 1992, 1998

Folder 15:    Forster, Annette: 1993-2003

Folder 16:    Fulbright, Tom: 1986-1988

Folder 17:    Gibson, Frank: 1987-1992

Folder 18:    Gillis, Madlyn: 1984-1988

Folder 19:    Holbrook, Paul: 1987-1993

Folder 20:    Japenga, Ann: 1990-1991

Folder 21:    Kael, Pauline: 1986-1991

Folder 22:    Kaye, Janice: 1994

Folder 23:    Keller, Alfred S.: 1986-1987

Folder 24:    Lacher, Gary, 1986-1988

Folder 25:    Lasky, Betty: 1987

Folder 26:    Mattison, David: 1986-1989

Folder 27:    Morisset, Luc: 1986-1987

Folder 28:    Morris, Peter: 1984-1986

Folder 29:    Overmyer, Dorothy Winslow: 1984-1990

Folder 30:    Parsons, Jim, Jr.: 1990

Folder 31:    Peters, Lloyd and Lyma: 1984-1993

Folder 32:    Renk, Nancy F.: 1986-1990

Folder 33:    Shipman, Noel and Michael: 1986, 2002, and n.d.

Folder 34:    Simpson, Claude: 1984-1987

Folder 35:    Stobie, Mildred: 1989

Folder 36:    Turner, D. John: 1985-1992

Folder 37:    Walker, Juanita: 1987

Folder 38:    Walker, Marjorie: 1987-1988

Folder 39:    Wertheimer, R.: 1989-1990

Folder 40:    Will, Mary: 1986-1987

Folder 41:    Miscellaneous: A-H

Folder 42:    Miscellaneous: I-P

Folder 43:    Miscellaneous: Q-Z

Folder 44:    Ayers, Charles (son of Nell Shipman): 1997

Box 4:  Research Correspondence

Folder   1:    Boise State University (Miscellaneous): 1986-1991

Folder   2:    Hollywood Regional Library (Calif.): 1988

Folder   3:    Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation: Rick Just: 1986-1988

Folder   4:    Library of Congress: 1985-1988

Folder   5:    National Library of Australia: 1986-1987

Folder   6:    Priest Lake State Park (Idaho): Larry Townsend: 1987-1992

Folder   7:    Spokane Public Library (Wash.):  1986-1988

Folder   8:    UCLA Film, Television, and Radio Archives: 1986-1987

Folder   9:    USC Warner Brothers Archives: 1987

Folder 10:    This folder not used

Folder 11:    Book, film, and memorabilia dealers: 1986-1987

Folder 12:    Various American libraries and archives:  1985-1986

Folder 13:    Various foreign libraries and archives: 1986-1988 


Series 3:  Documentaries, motion pictures, and plays about Nell Shipman


This series consists chiefly of correspondence and proposals for proposed motion pictures and documentaries about Nell Shipman.  Additionally, it contains programs and clippings about two plays about Shipman, both entitled “Between Pictures.”


Box 4:    Documentaries, etc. about Nell Shipman

Folder 14:    Between Pictures (Nina Shipman) (Play): 1990

Folder 15:    Between Pictures (Jenny Sternling) (Play): 1993

Folder 16:    Boise State University (David E. Donnelly): 1988

Folder 17:    Butterfield, David:  1989

Folder 18:    Chenault, Robert

Folder 19:    Great North Productions: 2001

Folder 20:    Grob and Keogh : 1995

Folder 21:    Naked Eye Productions (DiFeliciantonio and Wagner): 1990-1993

Folder 22:    Naked Eye Productions: Clippings: 1992

Folder 23:    Naked Eye Productions: Grant proposal: 1990  (Closed file)

Folder 24:    Vallejo, Joan: 1988-1991

Folder 25:    Vogelsang, Judith: 1995

Series 4: Writings by Tom Trusky about Nell Shipman


Box 4: Writings by Tom Trusky

Folder 26:    Biographical material on Tom Trusky

Folder 27:    Animal and Other Drives of an Amateur Film Historian (1994)

Folder 28:    Cinema Sleuth (1987)

Folder 29:    Nell Shipman (1988)

Folder 30:    Nell Shipman: A Brief Biography (1988): Typescript

Folder 31:    Nell Shipman: A Brief Biography (1988): Italian translation

Folder 32:    Nell Shipman: A Brief Biography (1988): German translation

Folder 33:    Nell Shipman at Musee d’Orsay (1988)

Folder 34:    Nell Shipman, the Girl From God’s Country (1988)

Folder 35:    Class assignments (1986)

Folder 36:    Film summaries (1988)

Folder 37:    Film summaries, Miscellaneous

Folder 38:    A Little Hand for the Villains: Same Gender Touching in the Feature Films of Nell Shipman (2001)

Folder 39:    Nell Shipman (for Women Pioneers encyclopedia project) (2006)

Folder 40:    Lady of Lionhead (2008)


Series 5: The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart

The papers in this series relate to the posthumous publication of Nell Shipman’s autobiography, The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart.  Shipman wrote the autobiography in 1968 in Cabazon, California. Tom Trusky began seeking a publisher for it in 1985; failing that, he arranged its publication under the imprint of the Hemingway Western Studies Center at Boise State University.  It was published in 1987 and released in conjunction with the Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival in Boise.  A second edition was issued in 1991, and a third in 2001.


Box 5:    The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart

Folder   1:    Correspondence with publishers: 1985-1986

Folder   2:    Copy, front matter and index

Folder   3:    Maps: Lionhead Lodge and others

Folder   4:    Endnotes

Folder   5:    Afterword, by Barry Shipman (Typescript)

Folder   6:    “The Taming of the Few,” by Peter Morris (Typescript)

Folder   7:    Book design

Folder   8:    Design and captions for photo section

Folder   9:    Book production (Bookcrafters, Inc.)

Folder 10:    Review copy distribution and publicity lists

Folder 11:    Acknowledgements of review copies

Folder 12:    Reviews

Folder 13:    Second edition: Notes and copy

Folder 14:    Miscellaneous

Folder 15:    Third edition


Box 18:    The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart

Typescript (Beulah Shipman’s retype) of The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart, with Tom Trusky’s editorial marks for the printer.

Series 6: Discovery and acquisition of Shipman’s films


One of the goals of  Tom Trusky’s research on Nell Shipman was to locate copies of her films and acquire copies for the Idaho Film Collection at Boise State University.  He found two of the films, Back to God’s Country and The Grub Stake, in the National Film Archives of Canada and Great Britain, respectively.  Private collectors (Gary Lacher and John Cunningham) held copies of A Bear, a Boy, and a Dog and two episodes of Little Dramas of the Big Places.   Trusky  located Something New in an uncataloged film collection at the University of California, Los Angeles.  In each case, he was able to obtain copies of the films for the Idaho Film Collection.  Boise State University has issued commercially-available video cassettes of all of them except The Grub Stake.  In subsequent years, other researchers discovered two more films: a third episode of the Little Dramas and Shipman's last film, the never-released The Story of Mr. Hobbs (1947).

Tom Trusky wrote the story of his discovery of the Shipman films in “Cinema Sleuth” (Box 4, Folder 28).  Additional correspondence about the acquisition of A Bear, a Boy, and a Dog is found in the file of correspondence with Gary Lacher (Box 3, Folder 24); correspondence about the Little Dramas of the Big Places is located in the correspondence file for John Cunningham (Box 3, Folder 11).   Further correspondence regarding his attempt to purchase a publicity poster for Shipman’s film, Girl From God’s Country, is located in the correspondence file for Frank Gibson (Box 3, Folder 17).

The papers in this series consists principally of correspondence and other papers relating to his search for the films, their acquisition, and the production and distribution of video cassettes, and, in some cases, later publicity about the films.  There is also a file about Trusky's appearance in 1992 on the television program Entertainment Tonight discussing Nell Shipman and the release of the video of Something New.


Box 5: Discovery and acquisition of Shipman’s films

Folder 16:    Back to God’s Country

Folder 17:    Back to God’s Country: Music (1919)

Folder 18:    Back to God's Country: Video production: 1996

Folder 19:    Back to God's Country: Cooper, Lindsay (Correspondence): 1995-1998

Folder 20:    A Bear, a Boy, and a Dog

Folder 21:    Girl From God's County: Poster

Folder 22:    The Grub Stake

Folder 23:    Little Dramas of the Big Places

Folder 24:    Something New: Video production

Folder 25:    Something New: Video release

Folder 26:    Something New: Tinting record

Folder 27:    Something New: Correspondence with Joan Benny: 1991-1992

Folder 28:    Something New: Entertainment Tonight appearance: 1992-1993

Folder 29:    Something New: Maxwell ads: 1920s

Folder 30:    Something New: German screening (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) 1991-92   

Folder 31:    Something New: Miscellaneous

Folder 32:    The Story of Mr. Hobbs

Series 7: Other Projects

This series contains records of Trusky’s work on other Nell Shipman-related projects. 


Box 5:  Other projects

Folder 33:    Idaho Film and Video Association: Nell Shipman awards: 1993

Folder 34:    Idaho Film and Video Association: Biographical script, 1993

Folder 35:    Idaho Film and Video Association: Nell Shipman awards: 1994-1995

Folder 36:    Idaho State Lottery commercial: 1989

Folder 37:    Nell Shipman website (Boise State University): 2001

Folder 38:    Silver Screen postcards: 1992

Folder 39:    "Unlatchable Nell," by Enver Sulejman (poem and artwork): 1992

Series 8: Grants

This small series documents two grants Tom Trusky received for his work related to Nell Shipman.  His research and travel in 1986 was funded in part by a faculty research grant from Boise State University.  The 1987 Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival, which he organized, was in part funded by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council.


Box 6: Grants

Folder   1:    American Film Institute: Film preservation program: 1985

Folder   2:    Assocation for the Humanities in Idaho: Draft proposal, 1985

Folder   3:    Idaho Humanities Council: Application and award, 1986-l987

Folder   4:    Idaho Humanities Council: Draft application, 1986

Folder   5:    Idaho Humanities Council: Grant evaluations, 1987

Folder   6:    Boise State University: Faculty Research Grant application, 1986

Folder   7:    Boise State University: Faculty Research Grant finanacial papers, 1986

Series 9: Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival


In February 1987, Boise State University hosted a silent film festival named in Nell Shipman’s honor.  Featured events included the “re-premiere” of Shipman’s film Back to God’s Country, the screening of other silent films, a keynote address on “Women in Film,” a symposium on animal training, and an exhibition prepared by Tom Trusky on Shipman’s life and work.  The festival was organized by Tom Trusky with the support of other departments of the university and the Idaho Humanities Council.  During the festival, the university issued two publications, Nell Shipman’s autobiography (The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart) and a booklet entitled Canada’s Recovery & Restoration of  Back to God’s Country, by D.J. Turner, as well as a video of Shipman’s short film, A Bear, a Boy, and A Dog.  During January and March, the university broadcast a twelve-part series on early filmmakers entitledCinema Antique on its cable television station. 

This series documents Tom Trusky’s work organizing the festival.  Additional information about the Idaho Humanities Council grant is located in the Grants series also in Box 4. Correspondence regarding the broadcasting of Cinema Antique is located in the file of correspondence with its producer, Gary Lacher (Box 3, Folder 24).  A tape recording of speakers at the conference is located in Series 16.


Box 6: Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival

Folder   8:    Organizational matter

Folder   9:    Invitations, etc.

Folder 10:    Travel and honoraria

Folder 11:    Mollie Gregory, keynoter

Folder 12:    Programs

Folder 13:    Newsclippings and publicity

Folder 14:    Boise State University Canadian Studies Program

Folder 15:    Boise State University Student Programs Board

Folder 16:    Workshop, Animal training

Folder 17:    Back to God’s Country showing

Folder 18:    Research, The Freshman

Folder 19:    Research, The Lodger

Folder 20:    Research, Phantom of the Opera

Folder 21:    Research, The Scarlet Letter

Folder 22:    Research, The Ten Commandments

Folder 23:    Catalog, Films Incorporated

Folder 24:    Other film catalogs

Folder 25:    Exhibition

Folder 26:    Miscellaneous

Series 10: Film Festivals and Other screenings

Tom Trusky’s promotion of the films of Nell Shipman led to many invitations to screen the films.  Within this series are papers relating to various screenings of Nell Shipman films at film festivals and other venues, in both Europe and North America.  In almost all cases, Trusky accompanied the films and offered commentary.  See also Box 11 for program books from several festivals.


Box 6: Film festivals and other screenings

Folder 27:    Miscellaneous, 1988-1992

Folder 28:    Miscellaneous, 1993-2005

Folder 29:    Miscelleneous, 2006-


Box 7: Film festivals and other screenings

Folder   1:    Schedules

Folder   2:    1987: North Idaho-Washington: Itineraries

Folder   3:    1987: North Idaho-Washington: Sandpoint, Idaho

Folder   4:    1987: North Idaho-Washington: Spokane, Wash.

Folder   5:    1987: North Idaho-Washington: Other showings

Folder   6:    1987: North Idaho-Washington: News clippings

Folder   7:    1987: Italy: Pordenone Silent Film Festival

Folder   8:    1987: Italy: Pordenone Silent Film Festivals: Reviews

Folder   9:    1987: Boise: Idaho Historic Preservation Council

Folder 10:    1988: McCall, Idaho: Winter Carnival

Folder 11:    1988: Sun Valley, Idaho

Folder 12:    1988: Syracuse, N.Y.: Cinefest

Folder 13:    1988: Portland, Or.: Northwest Film and Video Center

Folder 14:    1988: Paris, France: Musee d’Orsay

Folder 15:    1988: New York: New School of Social Research

Folder 16:    1988: Italy: Pordenone Silent Film Festival

Folder 17:    1988: Los Angeles: Round Table West

Folder 18:    1988: Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, Pacific Film Archive

Folder 19:    1988: Sun Valley, Idaho

Folder 20:    1989: Spokane, Wash.: Cathedral and the Arts

Folder 21:    1989: Creteil, France: Films de Femmes

Folder 22:    1989: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Pacific Northwest Library Association

Folder 23:    1989: Sandpoint, Idaho: Panida Theater

Folder 24:    1989: New York: Museum of Modern Art

Folder 25:    1989: Victoria, B.C.: Royal British Columbia Museum

Folder 26:    1990: Los Angeles: UCLA Film Archives

Folder 27:    1991: Boise: Women Filmmakers Festival

Folder 28:    1991: Seattle: Seattle Art Museum

Folder 29:    1991: Littleton, Colo.: Friends of the Library

Folder 30:    1991: Sandpoint, Idaho: Panida Theater

Folder 31:    1991: Dortmund, Germany: Frauen Film Festival

Folder 32:    1991: Spokane, Wash.: Metropolitan Performing Arts Festival

Folder 33:    1992: Cologne, Germany: Feminale

Folder 34:    1992: Nell Shipman Centennial screenings (October 25, 1992)

Folder 35:    1992: Amsterdam: Netherlands Filmmuseum

Folder 36:    1992: Seattle: Women in Film/Seattle

Folder 37:    1993: Boise State University, Canada Days

Folder 38:    1993: Portland, Or.: Portland State University

Folder 39:    1994: North Idaho

Folder 40:    1995: Switzerland

Folder 41:    1996: Cape Charles, Va. (The Story of Mr. Hobbes)

Series 11: Press Clippings


Arranged here, by publication, are photocopies of press clippings relating to Nell Shipman and related themes collected by Tom Trusky during the course of his research. Most are contemporaneous with Shipman’s film career.  Most are news articles; but some are ads for her movies.  The quality of these copies varies, since many were made from microfilm.  More clippings relating to Shipman’s film Something New are located in Series 13 (Box 9), with copies of other papers obtained from Marjorie Walker.  Nell Shipman kept several press books herself, but those predating 1925 were lost.  Her press book with clippings documenting her career after 1925 is located in the Nell Shipman papers, MSS 81.


Box 8: Press clippings

Folder   1:    Notes from research trip, 1986

Folder   2:    Miscellaneous clippings: 1907-1946

Folder   3:    Canadian Moving Picture Digest: 1918-1919

Folder   4:    The Film Daily: 1920-1923

Folder   5:    Los Angeles newspapers: 1912-1954

Folder   6:    Moving Picture World: Listing

Folder   7:    Moving Picture World: Shipman miscellaneous: 1913-1920

Folder   8:    Moving Picture World: God’s Country and the Woman: 1915-1920

Folder   9:    Moving Picture World: Back to God’s Country: 1919-1920

Folder 10:    Moving Picture World: Girl From God’s Country: 1920-1920

Folder 11:    Moving Picture World: James O. Curwood: 1914-1920

Folder 12:    Moving Picture World: Canadian subjects: 1911-1925

Folder 13:    New York Times: Animals in film: 1921-1927

Folder 14:    New York Times: Filmmaking topics, Miscellaneous: 1913-1927

Folder 15:    Priest River Times (Idaho): 1922-1923

Folder 16:    Priest River Times (Idaho): 1924-1926

Folder 17:    Spokane (Wash.) newspapers: 1922-1924

Folder 18:    Spokane (Wash.) newspapers: 1925-1992

Folder 19:    Variety: 1916-1953

Series 12: Collected articles and references


This series consists of published articles about Nell Shipman and references to her in books, directories, and encyclopedias.  Most are in photocopy form, though in some cases the full magazine or journal may also be found in Boxes 12 to 14.  There are also some magazines in Boxes 12 to 14 not represented by photocopies in this series.  The articles in this series date from the 1960s onward.  In some cases, Tom Trusky’s correspondence with the author is filed in the folder with the article.  

This listing is not a complete Nell Shipman bibliography, nor are the citations below complete ones.  Full bibliographic citations for these articles are found in Appendix One.  For articles about Nell Shipman that appeared in film festival programs, or articles that appeared in newspapers in conjunction with film festivals, see the appropriate files in the Festivals series (Series 10).


Box 8: Published articles and references to Nell Shipman

Folder 20:    Bibliographical notes by Tom Trusky

Folder 21:    Entries in directories and encyclopedias

Folder 22:    American Film Institute catalog

Folder 23:    Armatage, Kay.  “Dog and Woman, Together at Last” (1991)

Folder 24:    Armatage, Kay.  “The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart” (1990)

Folder 25:    Arnold, William.  From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (1989)

Folder 26:    Brauerhoch, Annette.  “Nell Shipman, La Belle et la Bete” (19xx)

Folder 27:    Brownlow, Kevin.  From The Parade’s Gone By (1969)

Folder 28:    Codelli, Lorenzo.  From Sulla via di Hollywood (1988)

Folder 29:    Cook, Moody Powell.  “Queen of the Dogsleds” (1977)

Folder 30:    de Vries, Tjitte.   From Het Vrije Volk Weekeditie (1988)

Folder 31:    Dorn, Karen.  “Nell Shipman in Spokane Grubstake” (1979)

Folder 32:    English, Susan.  From the Spokesman-Review (Spokane) (1987)

Folder 33:    Everson, William K.  From Films in Review (1989)

Folder 34:    Everson, William K.  From The Hollywood Western (1992)

Folder 35:    Oakley, Glenn.  From Focus (Boise State University) (1989)

Folder 36:    Fulbright, Tom.  “Queen of the Dogsleds” (1969)

Folder 37:    Japenga, Ann.  “Nell Shipman: Silent No More” (1997)

Folder 38:    Martineau, B.H.  “Our Presence in History” (1981)

Folder 39:    Morris, Peter.  From Embattled Shadows (1978)

Folder 40:    Morris, Peter.  “Ernest Shipman” from Canadian Film Reader (1977)

Folder 41:    Rainey, Buck.  From Sweethearts of the Sage (1992)

Folder 42:    “Idaho’s Salute to An Actress” from Scenic Idaho (1977)

Folder 43:    Simpson, Claude.  “Nell Shipman Point” (1978) 

Folder 44:    From Sineast (1989)

Folder 45:    Smith, Judith.  “Nell Shipman, Girl Wonder” (1978)

Folder 46:    Stackhouse, Glorian.  “Almost a Movie Star” (1994)

Folder 47:    Summers, Murray.  “Fragments from Letters…”

Folder 48:    Walker, Joseph.  From The Light on Her Face  (1984)

Folder 49:    From The World of Yesterday (3 articles)  (1976)

Folder 50:    Miscellaneous

Folder 51:    Miscellaneous


Series 13: Subject files

Contained in this series are clippings, articles, correspondence, and other miscellaneous papers collected by Tom Trusky about individuals, places, and topics with some connection to Nell Shipman.  Included are files about the Doctors’ House, an historic site in Glendale, California, that was once Nell Shipman’s home, and a file on the naming and dedication ceremonies for Shipman Point on Priest Lake, Idaho, in 1977.   Also included is a bibliography of articles on women in film read by Tom Trusky during his initial research on Nell Shipman.


Box 9: Subject Files

Folder   1:    Actors and associates of Nell Shipman (Miscellaneous)

Folder   2:    Ayers, Charles H. Austin

Folder   3:    Bankson, Russell

Folder   4:    Bankson, Russell: Spokane newpaper clippings, 1925-1976

Folder   5:    Bankson, Russell: University of Oregon collection inventory

Folder   6:    Barham family background

Folder   7:    Copyright catalog entries, Shipman films

Folder   8:    Curwood, James O.: University of Michigan collection inventory

Folder   9:    Curwood, James O.: “Wapi, the Walrus” text

Folder 10:    Curwood, James O.: Miscellaneous

Folder 11:    Doctors’ House (Glendale, Calif.)

Folder 12:    Doctors’ House (Glendale, Calif.): Terry Richman correspondence, 1994-95, 2008

Folder 13:    Lady Marines

Folder 14:    Minnehaha Park (Spokane, Wash.)

Folder 15:    Mormons in film

Folder 16:    Peters, Lloyd

Folder 17:    Priest Lake, Idaho

Folder 18:    Shipman, Ernest

Folder 19:    Shipman, Nina

Folder 20:    Shipman Point dedication (Priest Lake, Idaho), 1977

Folder 21:    Van Tuyle, Bert

Folder 22:    Walker, Joseph: Biographical information

Folder 23:    Walker, Joseph: Notes (photocopy)

Folder 24:    Walker, Joseph: Something New clippings, 1918-1921

Folder 25:    Women in film: Bibliography of articles read by Tom Trusky


Folder 26:    Lone Star Ranche (Belle Angstadt): Gregory family, 2007

Folder 27:    Newhard, Robert S., 2007

Folder 28:    Shipman's animals: Spokane Humane Society, 2008

Folder 29:    Nell Shipman in Idaho (list of clippings by Tom Trusky through March 1923), 2006

Folder 30:    Kurly Kew and the Tree Princess, 2007


Series 14: Papers from the Public Archives of Canada

These files consist principally of photocopies of papers relating to Nell Shipman found in the Public Archives of Canada in Ottawa.   Tom Trusky obtained these photocopies during the course of his research.  They include copies of a few letters between Nell Shipman and Canadian film historian Hy Bossin as well as clippings from newspapers and magazines.


Box 10:  Papers from the Public Archives of Canada

Folder   1:    Hy Bossin file (1963-1964)

Folder   2:    James O. Curwood file

Folder   3:    Ernest Shipman

Folder   4:    Nell Shipman

Folder   5:    Shipman chronology by D. J. Turner

Folder   6:    Back to God’s Country—Canadian Photoplays

Folder   7:    Miscellaneous

Series 15: Magazines and Newspapers

Box 11 contains program books and reviews of film festivals featuring Nell Shipman in France, Italy, and Germany.  Boxes 12, 13, and 14 contain other journals, newspapers, and magazines with articles about or featuring Nell Shipman.


Box 11:  Magazines and Newspapers

11e Festival International Films de Femmes de Creteil et du Val-de-Marne (1989) containing “Nell Shipman” (pp. 130-131) [in French]  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 21)

Films de Femmes / Festival International de Creteil ed du Val de Marne (1989) (festival packet) [in French]  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 21)

Films in Review  (January 1988) containing “The Pordenone Festival,” by William K. Everson (pp. 33-38)  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folders 7 and 8)

Frauen Film Festival: Femme Totale 91, Katalog (1991) containing “Something New” (pp. 23-24) [in German]  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 31)

Le Giornate del Cinema Muto 2007 / 26th Pordenone Silent Film Festival [in Italian and English]

O Canada: L’Amour du Cinema from North to South (Museum of Modern Art, 1989) containing “Rediscovered Filmmaker” (pp. 39-43)  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 24)

Stumfilmdager i Tromso (Tromso International Film Festival, 2008) (p.9)


Box 12:  Magazines and Newspapers

Incredible Idaho (Spring 1978) containing “Nell Shipman Point” by Claude Simpson (pp. 33-38)

Oh! Idaho (Spring 1990) containing “Silent Movie Sleuth” by Nancy Covert (pp. 60-67, 71)

Scenic Idaho (October/November 1977) containing “Idaho’s Salute to an Actress: Nell Shipman—Queen of the Dogsleds” (pp. 24-26)

Spokane Magazine (November 1979) containing “Nell Shipman in Spokane Grubstake” by Karen Dorn (pp. 44-42)

Maclean’s (September 1, 2003) with photo of Shipman on the cover, containing “The Girl From God’s Country,” excerpts from Kay Armatage’s book The Girl from God’s Country: Nell Shipman and the Silent Cinema.

The Beaver (February-March 2004)  containing "A Nameless Heroine: Nell Shipman) and an excerpt from  Letters from God's County (pp. 18-19)


Box 13:  Magazines and Newspapers

Classic Film Collector (Fall 1969) containing “Nell Shipman, Queen of the Dogsleds” by Tom Fulbright (pp. 30- 31, 39)

Liberation (7 juin 1988) containing “La Colette des forets” (pp. 36-37) [in French]  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 14)

Priest River Times / Times Weekly (Priest River Idaho: July 29, 1987) containing article on 1987 showing of Back to God’s Country (p. 1)  (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folders 5 and 6)

Variety (March 27, 1987) containing book review of The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart  (p. 16)


Box 14:  Magazines and Newspapers

Alaska Airlines Magazine (July 1990) containing “Claim to Fame” by Jan Halliday (pp. 28-34)

Big Sky Journal (Fall 2007) containing “Images of the West: God’s Country in Black and White” by Kim Todd (pp. 64-70)

Cineaction (24/25, 1991) containing “Dog and Woman, Together at Last: Animals in the Films of Nell Shipman” by Kay Armatage (pp. 38-44)

Cinema Canada (167, October 1989) containing  “Surfacing: Canadian Women’s Cinema” by Kass Banning (pp. 12-16) and cover photo of Nell Shipman

Classic Auto Restorer (August 1993) containing “1920 Maxwell Stars in Movie” (p. 89)

Filmograph (lst quarter 1970) containing “Nell Shipman—Still a Trailblazer” by Murray Summers and “A Special Message from Nell Shipman” (pp. 2-3)

Films in Review (March 1988) containing “Rediscovery” by William K. Everson (pp. 170-172)

Frauen und Film (Heft 47, September 1989) containing “Nell Shipman: La Belle et la bete” by Annette Brauerhoch (pp. 36-45) and “Nell Shipman: Eine kurze Biographie” by Tom Trusky (pp. 46-55) [in German]

Good Old Days (April 1994) containing “Almost a Movie Star” by Glorian Terrell Stackhouse (pp. 24-26)

Hollywood Studio Magazine (February 1977) containing “Queen of the Dog Sleds” by Moody Powell Cook (pp. 30-31) and “Idaho State Park Honors Silent Film Star” by Thomas Fulbright (p. 31)

Kootenai Ruralite (May 1993) containing “Silent-Screen Star Risked Everything for her Rural Home” by Amanda Cowley (pp. 4-5)

Palm Springs Life (November 1997) containing “Nell Shipman, Silent No More” by Ann Japenga (pp. 38-42, 75)

What’s up, dog?: Over Filmdieren (NFM-Themareeks no. 11, November 1992) containing references to Nell Shipman [in Dutch]

The World of Yesterday (July 1976) containing “New State Park to Honor Silent Film Star” by Tom Fulbright (p. 5), “Nell Shipman (1892-1970)” by Lloyd Peters, Jr. (pp. 6-7), and “Nell Shipman—A Resume of Her Career” by Tom Fulbright and Barry Shipman (pp. 7-11)


Series  16: Tape recordings


Box 15:  Tape recordings

Cassette:  Barry Shipman and William Van Tagen interviewed on KBOI radio, Boise,

                        16 November 1987 in conjunction with screening of The Grubstake.

                        (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 9)

Cassette:  Tom Trusky’s introductory comments at Pacific Film Archive, University of

                        California, Berkeley, 18 November 1988  (See also Festivals, Box 7,

                        Folder 18)

Cassette:  Tom Trusky interviewed by Tom Jensen on KOA radio, Denver, 2 March

                        1991 (See also Festivals, Box 7, Folder 29)

Cassette:  Piano and Max Smith, vocalist, to accompany screening of Back to God’s

                        Country at Littleton, Colorado, 2 March 1991 (See also Festivals, Box 7,

                        Folder 29)

Cassette:  Tom Trusky reading and translating intertitles for A Bear, a Boy, and a Dog

                        in French

Cassette:  Background music of the era to accompany exhibition at Nell Shipman Silent

                        Film Festival, Boise, 1987  (2 copies) [with list of music]

Reel to reel tape:  Continuous playback tape of Shipman exhibition soundtrack

                                    (3 hours play at 1-7/8 inches per second)

Reel to reel tape:  Master Shipman exhibition soundtrack (7-1/2 inches per second)

Reel to reel tape:  Recordings of speakers at Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival,

                                    Boise, 1987

Series 17: Photos and Photo research


This series contains the paperwork documenting Tom Trusky’s search for photos of the life and career of Nell Shipman, including photo orders from institutions in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.  It also contains a small number of photos (mostly snapshots) of Tom Trusky and his activities, particularly visits with Barry Shipman and the Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival in Boise in 1987.  Photos of Nell Shipman, her activities, and her associates, whether they were donated by the Shipman family or obtained by Tom Trusky from other sources, are filed together in MSS 81, the papers of Nell Shipman.


Box 16:  Photo research (Correspondence and orders)

Folder   1:    British Film Institute (1986)

Folder   2:    Brandt, Eddie (1984)

Folder   3:    Eastern Washington State Historical Society (1986)

Folder   4:    Glenbow Museum (Calgary, Alberta) (1986)

Folder   5:    Idaho State Historical Society (1986)

Folder   6:    Montana Historical Society (1986)

Folder   7:    National Film and Sound Archive (Australia) (1986-1988)

Folder   8:    Nevada Historical Society (1986)

Folder   9:    Oregon Historical Society (1986)

Folder 10:    Peterson, W.R. “Chuck” (1986)

Folder 11:    Provincial Archives of British Columbia (1986)

Folder 12:    University of Alaska (1986)

Folder 13:    University of Idaho (1986)

Folder 14:    University of Washsington (1986)

Folder 15:    Letters of inquiry (1986)

Folder 16:    Negative responses


Box 17: Photos

Envelope 1:  Tom Trusky visiting with Barry Shipman, 1986

Envelope 2:  Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival, Boise, 1987 (Grub Stake screening)

Envelope 3:  Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival, Boise, 1987 (Symposium)

Envelope 4:  Barry Shipman at Round Table West, 1988

Envelope 5:  Tom Trusky visiting with D.J. Turner in Canada, 1992

Envelope 6:  Charles Ayres (son of Nell Shipman) in New York, 1997

Envelope 7:  Nina Shipman, 1986

Envelope 8:  Carved signatures of Nell Shipman and associates on window sill,

                        Heritage Resort, near Ione, Washington (photos 1987), from Fred


Envelope 9:  Barry Shipman, Dorothy Winslow Overmeyer, from Nancy Covert Wolf

Series 18:  Nell Shipman Film Festival Exhibit Photos


This series consists of approximately 150 photos and other graphic images, with captions, mounted on boards of foam core.  They were displayed at the Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival in Boise in 1987.   Most of the images are 8” x 10” prints, though some are considerably larger.   For references purposes, photocopies of the images have been placed in a notebook for patron use.  Many of the photos were donated to Boise State University by Barry Shipman; others were obtained by Tom Trusky from repositories and private parties.  

Also included in this series are two plywood stencils of bear paws, used to create bear tracks on the sidewalk, a publicity device first employed by Ernest Shipman to promote Back to God’s Country and replicated by Trusky at the film festival in 1987.


Exhibit Box 1:    Photos 1-16

Exhibit Box 2:    Photos 17-32

Exhibit Box 3:    Photos 33-46  (but not 35)

Exhibit Box 4:    Photos 47-63  (but not 48)

Exhibit Box 5:    Photos 64-80

Exhibit Box 6:    Photos 81-98 (but not 82 and 83)

Exhibit Box 7:    Photos 99-113

Exhibit Box 8:    Photos 115-131 (no number 127)

Exhibit Box 9:    Photos 132-140 and small caption boards (but not 135 and 136)

Exhibit Box 10:  Oversize photos 35, 82, 135, 136, 141, and 142

                            Bear paw stencils

Exhibit Box 11:  Oversize unnumbered photos

Exhibit Box 12:  Oversize photos 48, 70, 82, 83, and 114


Series 19:  Letters from God's Country Research


            In 2003 Tom Trusky published (through the Hemingway Western Studies Center) an edition of Nell Shipman's letters entitled Letters From God's Country, Nell Shipman: Selected Correspondence and Writings, 1912-1970. The book included both letters written by and written to Nell Shipman. It presented approximately one-fifth of the correspondence in the Nell Shipman collection in the Boise State University Library (MSS 81).  Tom Trusky edited the letters, assisted by Alan Virta, who as Head of Special Collection was curator of the Shipman collection.  Virta also conducted the research necessary to identify individuals named in the letters and prepared the Glossary of Correspondents (presenting the biographical information) in the back of the book.


            This series consists primarily of Virta's research on named individuals, including some letters back and forth with William F. Buckley, Jr., who, despite his initial skepticism, confirmed the identity of one of Nell Shipman's hoped-for (but never realized) financiers as his father. This series also contains the editorial correspondence (mainly emails) between Trusky and Virta during the preparation of the book.



Box 19:  Letters from God's Country Research


Folder  1         Editorial correspondence (Trusky-Virta), 2000-2002
Folder  2         Editorial correspondence (Trusky-Virta), 2003 Jan-Aug
Folder  3         Editorial correspondence (Trusky-Virta), 2003 Sept-Dec
Folder  4         Book publicity
Folder  5         Research: Elusive journal article by Nell Shipman
Folder  6         Research: Miscellaneous persons, A-L
Folder  7         Research: Miscellaneous persons, M-Z
Folder  8         Research: Ayers, Charles Austin
Folder  9         Research: Biddle, Nicholas Duke
Folder 10        Research: Buckley, William F.
Folder 11        Research: Champenois, Ruth
Folder 12        Research: Clark (Alderbrook Farm)
Folder 13        Research: Colvin, William
Folder 14        Research: Del Riccio, Lorenzo
Folder 15        Research: Diaz, Dick
Folder 16        Research: Elliott, Clyde
Folder 17        Research: Goring, J.P.
Folder 18        Research: Haskins, Henry S.
Folder 19        Research: Hurn, Philip D.
Folder 20        Research: Ibbotson, Frank
Folder 21        Research: Jacobsen, C.F.
Folder 22        Research: Johnson, Shelly
Folder 23        Research: Lowe, Otto
Folder 24        Research: Luhan, Mabel Dodge
Folder 25        Research: Magee, J. Gordon
Folder 26        Research: McManis, Georgia Burre
Folder 27        Research: Powers, Pat
Folder 28        Research: Ramirez, George
Folder 29        Research: Richberg, Donald
Folder 30        Research: Von der Au, Catherine     



Oversize items in Map Drawers

Full-size preservation photocopy of “Queen of the Dogsleds” by Tom Fulbright, from Classic Film Collector, Fall 1969

Map of Priest Lake vicinity, Idaho, 1984 

Poster for musical Doraleen, by Barry and Nina Shipman, presented at University of Hawaii-Hilo, 1986 

Hand-drawn map locating the buildings of the Lionhead Lodge complex in the 1920s. Made by Barry Shipman, 1986.  Photocopy in reduced size is located in MSS 99, Box 5, Folder 3. 

Poster for Nell Shipman Silent Film Festival,  Boise, 1987 

Poster for Pordenone film festival, 1987 

Poster for Grubstake showing at Egyptian Theater, Boise, 1987 

Unfolded cover stock for The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart, 1987 

Poster-schedule for Films des Femmes Festival (Creteil, France), 1989 

Poster for Nell Shipman film showing at Egyptian Theater, Boise, 1995

Special Collections • 1910 University Drive • Boise, ID 83725-1430 • Phone: 208-426-1204 • Email: Archives