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Manuscript Collection: William R. Leigh

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: William R. Leigh (1866-1955), traveler and artist, was a painter of wild animals, primitive people, and local color. His home was in New York City, but he traveled and studied in Europe when he was a young man, and later he traveled in Africa with the Carl Akely Expedition and with the Martin Johnsons (1926). The collection is the gift of his wife, Ethel Traphagen Leigh, presented by her brother, Edward Traphagen, after her death. It was received by the Gilcrease Institute in 1963. The manuscripts consist of many letters, some personal and some concerning his African safaris. In addition there are a number of letters written to his mother while he was studying in Germany and touring other countries of Europe. Also included are numerous manuscripts of poems and stories plus a lengthy typescript of his autobiography.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
1068 items
1883 - 1965
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use Restrictions

Please contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s.