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Special Collections: Guide to the Robert O. Elliot Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department

October 2004

Introduction and Summary Information

Collection Title: Robert O. Elliot Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1926-1975 (inclusive); 1960-1975 (bulk).
Provenance: Gift of Robert Elliot in November 1975.
Collection Number: MS 164.
Box Numbers: 1-5 (formerly Boxes 604-608).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of four archival record cartons and one document box of material (5.0 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.
Preferred Citation: Robert O. Elliot Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.


The collection contains the papers of Robert O.E. Elliot, an outsdoorsman, journalist, writer, and photographer who spent much of his life in Maine.

Bob Elliot was born in 1902 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and spent his youth in Woolwich, Maine, and Hampton, New Hampshire. A prolific writer, he started free-lance writing in high school and after graduating from Hampton Academy in 1920, studied journalism at Boston University. He married Annie Colwell in 1925, and they moved back to Hampton, where Elliot wrote for several newspapers, including the Hampton Union, the Boston Herald Traveler, and the Portsmouth Herald. He also wrote news releases for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

In 1946, he moved to Augusta, Maine, to work as Director of Recreational Promotion for the Maine Development Commission. He worked at several Maine state agencies during his career, retiring in 1971 as Director for Travel and Tourism for the Maine Department of Economic Development. He served for seven years as a director of Discover America Travel Organizations and as vice-chairman of a national committee on tourism to national parks. He also served on the New England Council Vacation Travel Committee and in many other travel and tourism related capacities.

During his working life he also wrote many articles for outdoor and sports publications, as well as taking photographs for his own articles and those of other writers. He had over 100 articles published in national publications such as Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield. He also published several books, including The Eastern Brook Trout, All About Trout, Bass Fishing in New England, and The Making of an Angler. He was a contributing editor to Field and Stream for several years and also contributed to various hunting and fishing encyclopedias.

After his retirement, Elliot continued to promote tourism for the New England Camping and Travel Association and as a public relations consultant for the New England Heritage Trail Foundation. He was a lifetime member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and received the “Silver Trout” award from Trout Unlimited.

Robert Elliot died on July 28, 2002 at his home in Kennebunk, Maine.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains correspondence, drafts of articles, and copies of published articles that document Robert Elliot’s long career as a writer and photographer.

The collection is divided into three series:

I. General administrative files;
II. Writing drafts; and
III. Published articles.

Series I contains primarily Elliot’s files of ideas for articles, copies of articles being submitted to various publications, and correspondence with editors at those publications. It also contains numerous letters to and from his literary agent, Lurton Blassingame, in New York. Also included are files of background research material gathered by Elliot for his articles and books. Several files contain information about his work with the New England Heritage Trail Foundation in the early 1970’s.

Series II contains drafts of Elliot’s writings, primarily for his books, Bass Fishing in New England and The Making of an Angler, as well as drafts of columns he wrote for the Boston Sunday Herald.

Series III contains copies of Elliot’s published articles, both those he wrote and those for which he took photographs. The articles document his long career from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. Written for national, regional and state publications, they are about hunting, fishing, boating, camping, snowmobiling, and travel in the New England region.

Box List

Series I: General administrative files

Box 1


1                      Acadia article: correspondence, drafts, 1971

2                      All About Brook Trout: brochures, etc.

3-4                   Articles, correspondence, etc., with comments by Elliot, 1940’s-1970’s

5                      Articles, correspondence, 1945

6                      Articles, correspondence, 1949, 1951

7                      Articles, correspondence, 1954, 1960

8                      Articles, correspondence, 1956

9                      Articles, correspondence, 1963-1964

10-11               Articles, correspondence, 1966-1967

12                    Articles, correspondence, 1967

13                    Articles, correspondence, 1967-1969

14                    Articles, correspondence: Sierra Club and others, 1970

15-16               Articles, correspondence, 1970-1972

17                    Articles, correspondence, 1970, 1973

18                    Articles (mostly hunting), correspondence, 1971

19                    Articles, correspondence, 1971-1973

20-21               Articles, correspondence, 1973-1974

22                    Bass

23                    Camping: brochures, articles, etc., 1960’s

24                    Flyfisher: article draft and correspondence, 1972

25                    Island camping in Maine: background research for article, 1970

26                    New England Heritage Trail: budget, promotional information, etc., 1972

27                    New England Heritage Trail Foundation: correspondence, 1971-1972

28-29               New England Heritage Trail Foundation: press releases, etc., 1970’s

30                    Outward Bound: brochures, drafts of articles, etc., 1967-1968

31                    Passionate Piscator: draft and correspondence, 1971

32                    Photographs

Box 2

1                      Point Sebago: article draft and correspondence, 1970

2                      Recreational maps

3                      Seven Islands Land Co.

4                      Snowmobiling: articles, etc., 1970-1971

5                      Speech at annual meeting, Natural Resources Council of Maine, 1965

Series II: Writing drafts

Box 2 cont.


6                      Away: drafts and correspondence, 1971

7                      Bass Fishing in New England: draft

8-14                 Boston Sunday Herald: drafts of articles, 1966-1972

15-16               Camping Journal: drafts of articles, 1965-1970

17-18               Eastern Brook Trout: drafts and correspondence, 1949

19                    Field and Stream: drafts of articles, correspondence, etc., 1970-1972

20-21               Making of an Angler: first edited Xerox copy + correspondence, etc.

22-23               Making of an Angler: Final draft?

24                    Making of an Angler

Box 3

1                      Making of an Angler: draft and reviews

2-3                   Out-of-Doors

4-5                   Outdoor Life regional: drafts of articles, 1970-1974

6                      Squaretails: drafts, correspondence, etc., 1963

7                      Worcester Telegram, 1971

Series III: Published articles

Box 4

1                      American Lumberman, 1930, 1937

2                      Argosy, 1951

3                      Armed Forces Digest, 1945?

4                      Aviation Yearbook

5                      Away, 1971

6                      Boating Journal, 1967

7-18                 Boston Sunday Herald and Herald Traveler, 1966-1972

19-20               Camping Journal, 1967-1971

21                    Cavalier, 1953

22                    Complete Book of Fishing

23                    Down East, 1971

24                    Field and Stream, 1931-1972

25                    Fish and Game, 1942

26                    Fishing and Hunting, 1970-1971

27                    Fishing Gazette, 1930

Series III: Published articles cont.

Box 4 cont.


28                    Fishing World, 1975

29                    Fishing Yearbook

30                    Fly Fisherman, 1971

31                    Flyfisher, 1970, 1973

32                    Flying, 1948

33                    Fur-Fish-Game, 1937-1962

Box 5

1                      Game Breeder, 1931

2                      Guns & Ammo, 1968

3                      Guns and Hunting, 1959-1960

4                      Hunting & Fishing, 1948, 1951

5                      Hunting Annual

6                      Hunting Guide, 1971

7                      Hunting Illustrated, 1971

8                      Impact, 1953

9                      In the Maine Woods

10                    Inside Northern Maine

11                    Maine Fish and Game, 1970

12-13               Maine Sportsman, 1970-1972

14                    Maine Trucking News, 1967

15                    Massachusetts Out-of-Doors, 1973-1974

16-17               Massachusetts Outdoorsman, 1972-1973

18-19               Mechanix Illustrated, 1952-1954

20                    Metropolitan Camper, 1970

21                    Miscellaneous articles, 1926-1970’s

22                    Mobile Life, 1969-1970

23                    National Police Gazette

24                    New England Sportsman, 1974

25-26               New Hampshire Sportsman, 1972-1974

27-28               Northeast Outdoors, 1968-1969

29                    Northeastern Snowmobiling, 1970-1971

30-31               Outdoor Life, 1938-1970

32                    Outdoors, 1939-1969

33                    Outdoorsman, 1948

34                    Saga, 1952-1953

35                    Salt Water Sportsman, 1966

36                    Skyways, 1947

37                    Sports Afield, 1952-1972

Series III: Published articles cont.

Box 5 cont.


38                    Sports Illustrated, 1956

39                    Sportsman’s Digest, 1930

40                    Temptation

41                    Travel, 1975

42                    United Fly Tyers Roundtable, 1970

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/17/2015
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