Riley, James Whitcomb

James Whitcomb Riley
L135, OBC77, OBD38
1876 – 1940
1 mss box, 2 os folders

Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

         Processed by: Brent Abercrombie, July 2011      

                    Return to Alphabetical List of All Online Finding Aids          


Biographical Note:

Born in Greenfield, Indiana on October 7, 1849, James Whitcomb Riley was a famed American poet and writer, best known for his Hoosier dialect verse in noted works Raggedy Man (1907), The Little Orphan Annie (1908), and The Old Swimmin’ Hole and Other Poems (1912). Riley was also a prominent Indianapolis resident, whose house at 528 Lockerbie St. later became a historic building and museum of his work that was named a National Historic Landmark in 1962. James Whitcomb Riley died July 22, 1916 from complications resulting from a stroke. Riley is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery and his tomb sits on one of the highest points in Marion County.

Sources: June 24, 2011

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains Riley’s letters to Kentucky author Madison Cawein, general correspondence, and manuscript poems written by Riley. Also included are printed copies of Riley’s poems, essays, and newspaper stories about Riley.

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1






Letters to Madison Cawein, 1891 – 1901


Biographical Materials


Newspaper Clippings


Photostat of “Old Man and Jim”




Miscellaneous Articles, Scrapbook, and Poems




Broadsides (2 items)




Broadsides (2 items)

Collection Information

Size of Collection:

1 mss box, 7 folders, 2 os folders

Collection Dates:

1876 – 1940


H.J. Mahan, 1929; Mrs. AW.A. Lybrad, 1965; G. Michelmore & Co., 1931

Access :

The collection is open for research use


Subject to Copyright Restrictions

Reproduction Rights:

Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.


Materials are entirely in English

Alternate Formats:

Digital Collection, Indiana Memory

Related Holdings: