Collection ID: LMC 2627
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Collection context


Thom, James Alexander
The Thom, James Alexander mss., 1966-2013, consists primarily of writings and correspondence related to Indiana novelist James Alexander Thom's publications.
1 folio (oversize) and 32 Boxes
English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Thom, James Alexander mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Born in Gosport, Indiana in 1933, Thom graduated from Butler University and subsequently served in the Marine Corps. After an early career as a reporter and journalist at the Indianapolis Star, he joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Journalism. His career as a novelist began in the 1970s. Known for the depth and accuracy of his research, Thom was the inaugural winner of the Gene and Marilyn Glick National Indiana Author Award in 2009. His major historical novels include Follow the River,Long Knife,From Sea to Shining Sea, and Panther in the Sky. Thom lives with his wife, Dark Rain, in a 130-year-old cabin he rebuilt in the hill country near Bloomington. Dark Rain, herself a writer, co-authored Warrior Woman with Thom.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists primarily of writings and correspondence related to Thom's publications. Writings include research, notes, drafts and page proofs pertaining to novels, articles and short stories by Thom, Dark Rain, both Thom and Dark Rain, and other authors. Correspondents include publishers and authors Richard Cady, Lucia St. Clair Robson, Scott Russell Sanders and Kurt Vonnegut. Other correspondents include former Indiana Governor Otis R. Bowen, politician and writer Ken Coates, and historian and author Howard Zinn.

The Printed series contains Thom's writings, as well as promotional materials and other printed materials. Business Records include contracts and agreements relating to Thom's novels and materials from Dark Rain's service on the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council. The Audio-Visual series includes tapes from "James Alexander Thom: Storyteller," a program about Thom's life created by Indiana University Radio and TV Services that aired in 1990.

Additions to the collection include Thom's writings, correspondence, clippings, printed materials, drawings and miscellaneous items. Writings include drafts of Thom's later novels and screenplays for adapted works. Also included in writings is a draft of an unpublished short story, "The Boy Who Didn't Want Anything." Drawings include Thom's comic strip from the 1970s, Mr. Flooby, and an illustration for his novel The Red Heart.

Acquisition information:
Acquired: 2005-2010, 2012, 2013
Processing information:

Processed by Danielle Emerling.

Completed in 2011.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Writings; II. Correspondence; III. Printed; IV. Biographical Material; V. Drawings; VI. Clippings; VII. Business Records; VIII. Writers' Conferences and Workshops; IX. Miscellaneous; X. Audio-Visual. XI. Additions.

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility); ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility) - OVFlat



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[Item], Thom, James Alexander mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452