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Frank Bonham Papers

Identifier: CLRC-96

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production materials for both young adult and adult titles, published mainly between 1960 and 1980. Materials include holographs and typescripts, outlines, notes and research material including pamphlets, clippings and photographs, and galley and page proofs. Also contained in the collection are Bonham's diaries and journals, as well as a substantial amount of correspondence to and from Bonham.


  • 1941 - 1982


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Frank Bonham was born February 25, 1914 in Los Angeles, California. He attended Glendale Junior College and the University of California Los Angeles, and served in the United States Army from 1942-1943. Frank Bonham began writing stories in the 1930s, and published his first novel for adults, Lost Stage Valley, in 1948. Throughout his career, he wrote hundreds of short stories, dozens of novels, and television scripts.

In 1960, Frank Bonham published his first work for young adults and children, Burma Rifles: A Story of Merrill's Marauders. He continued to write westerns for adults, but increasingly turned his attention to writing realistic fiction for young adults. Bonham also wrote science fiction for children, and novels that combined contemporary issues with fantasy, such as The Golden Bees of Tulami. Frank Bonham died on December 16, 1988.


13 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Frank Bonham Papers focus on his work as author of young adult fiction. The collection primarily contains production materials for his works, correspondence, as well as some other related items.


The collection is arranged into three series. Publications are arranged alphabetically by title.

  1. Publications
  2. Correspondence
  3. Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was originally placed on permanent loan at the Children's Literature Research Collections by Frank Bonham in 1969, with additional materials added during the 1970s and 1980s. The loan was changed to a gift by Gloria Bonham, Frank Bonham's widow, in 1992; additional materials added to the collection in the 1990s. One folder of correspondence was donated to the collection by Teresa Neaves in 2022.

Frank Bonham Papers, 1941-1982
Christina Cowan and Nancy Larsen
1996 and 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • April 2013: Collection reprocessed by Carly Lawrence; EAD updated by Karen Spilman
  • January 2023: Description updated and folder of Teresa Neaves correspondence added by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library