Skip to main content

8 Grant applications, guidelines and correspondence, 1974-1977, undated

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 8

Series Description

From the Series:

This series surveys Harrigan's creative works from his work as ad writer at the University Co-op to the publication of his book, Water and Light. It includes manuscript drafts, notes, notebooks, galley proofs, correspondence, magazines, clippings, financial and legal papers, screenplays, photographs and artifacts. In some cases Harrigan added notes and inscriptions describing the materials and providing background information. This series is further divided into six subseries: Early Works, Books, Screenplays, Songs, Contributions to Texas Monthly, and General Works.

The first subseries, Early Works, contains notes, clippings, manuscripts, correspondence, artwork, financial papers and forms documenting Harrigan's writing before the publication of his first book. It contains clippings of the ads Harrigan wrote for the University Co-op and materials from Lucille, the journal of poetry that he helped found and edit. Both are introduced by notes written by Harrigan in 1988 giving additional information and background about his job at the Co-op and his association with Lucille. The Co-op clippings are arranged chronologically, and the Lucille files have been grouped by type of material, having lost their original order. Of particular interest in the Lucille files are the three folders of submissions of aspiring poets, some of whom have gone on to literary success, such as Naomi Shihab (Nye), R. S. Gwynn and Vassar Miller.

The second subseries, entitled Books, contains research notes, background materials, legal papers, handwritten and typed manuscripts, galley proofs, correspondence, reviews and artwork for four of Harrigan's published books. There are multiple drafts of each book, and the handwritten notes and early drafts of Aransas, Jacob's Well, Water and Light and Gates of the Alamo provide an overview of Harrigan's writing process. His attention to detail and in-depth organization are demonstrated in his research for Water and Light, which includes two boxes of index cards with notes about the sea and the history of diving as well as his personal notes from his trip to Grand Turk Island. The materials are arranged alphabetically by book.

Screenplays, the third subseries, contains research notes and multiple drafts of Harrigan's screenplay ISHI, which was filmed for HBO in 1992 as The Last of His Tribe. Many of these drafts were maintained in notebooks and materials found in the pockets of these notebooks have been placed at the back of each folder. The drafts are arranged chronologically, from the earliest draft to the final production script and shooting notes. Also found in the subseries is the script “Moonwalker,” co-written by Harrigan and Lawrence Wright.

The fourth subseries, Songs, contains various typed and handwritten drafts of a song written by Harrigan entitled “The Old Three.”

The fifth subseries, Contributions to Texas Monthly, contains research materials and notes, manuscript drafts, galley proofs, correspondence, photographs, artwork, and published articles written by Harrigan for Texas Monthly magazine. Harrigan's talent as a journalist is well documented here, showing the broad range of his interests, from an interview with Governor Bill Clements to research on the sculptor Pompio Coppini to essays on the natural wonders of Texas. Some of these articles were later published in Harrigan's third book, A Natural State: Essays on Texas. Also included are a number of complete issues of Texas Monthly in which Harrigan's articles appeared.

Within the final subseries are general materials relating to Harrigan's writing career. It includes multiple handwritten and typed drafts on broadcasting, a typed essay on the exploration of Texas, an application for the NASA "Journalist in Space" program, a press release, and a clipping about the author. Also included are handwritten notebooks of Harrigan’s poetry and prose.


  • 1974-1977, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


From the Collection: 17.5 Linear Feet

From the Collection: 35 boxes (Plus oversize.)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English