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Levering Cartwright Collection on "Death Valley Scotty"


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Cartwright, Levering, 1903-1981.

Walter E. Scott, or "Death Valley Scotty," was an eccentric prospector, Wild West show entertainer, and con man. Levering Cartwright was a journalist.

The collection consists of papers of Cartwright (Princeton University Class of 1926) relating to the association of "Death Valley Scotty" (Walter Scott, 1872-1954), an eccentric prospector, Wild West show entertainer, and hoaxer, with his friend and financier, Albert M. Johnson, an insurance company executive. Included are many newspaper clippings about Scott, copies of Best's Insurance News containing Cartwright's article "A Sacrifice to Death Valley," two tapes with transcripts of interviews with William F. Keys, a prospector and friend of Scott, approximately 75 photographs of Scott, Keys, and Scott's home, "Death Valley Castle," postcards from the Death Valley area, and correspondence concerning Cartwright's article.

This collection is arranged in 15 folders in the following order: correspondence, William Keys interviews, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, printed matter.

Finding aid updated by Valerie Addonizio in 2009.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Valerie Addonizio
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Physical access to audio media on magnetic formats is restricted. Special Collections does not have the equipment required for the playback of these materials, nor do policies on preservation allow for these original recordings to be used. Further, obsolete formats would need to be converted at the researcher's expense before any reproduction could be made. Researchers may select materials for conversion and reproduction, but should allow approximately four to six weeks for the process, especially if outdated formats are involved.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Miscellaneous, dates not examined. 1 box.
Scope and Contents

Contains 12 folders, of which 3 folders have correspondence (1939-1973, undated); 1 contains transcripts and reel-to-reel tapes of William F. Keys interviews; 2 contain approximately 75 color and black-and-white photographs of Scott, Keys, and Scott's home, "Death Valley Castle," primarily dating from the 1960s; 1 contains a photographic postcard (silver gelatin print) signed by Scotty and others, dated 1908; 1 contains postcards from the Death Valley area; and 4 contain newspaper clippings.

Physical Description

1 box

Miscellaneous, dates not examined. 1 box.
Scope and Contents

Contains 3 folders of printed matter, including tourist materials from the Death Valley area and issues of Frontier Times, True West, and Best's Insurance News. Additionally, there are copies of Cartwright's three-part article "A Sacrifice to Death Valley", which was published in Best's Insurance News.

Physical Description

1 box

Print, Suggest