Bookmark this page or copy and paste URL to Email message

James J. Hanks Collection, 1916-1991


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hanks, James J.
Collection Name James J. Hanks Collection,
Inclusive Dates: 1916-1991.
Physical Description1 linear foot
Abstract The James J. Hanks Collection includes personal correspondence, newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, and a film pertaining to 1927 and 1928 expeditions in which James accompanied Clyde Kluckhohn and others across Navajo next hit Reservation Land bordering the Arizona, Utah border.
Collection NumberNAU.MS.67
Language English.
Repository Cline Library. Special Collections and Archives Department.
Northern Arizona University
Cline Library
P.O. Box 6022
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6022
Phone: 928 523 5551
Fax: 928 523 3770

Biographical Note

James Judge Hanks was born in Madison Wisconsin in 1907 to parents Ina Judge Hanks and Stanley Charles Hanks. He was one of three generations of Hanks associated with the University of Wisconsin, Madison. James grandfather, Lucien Stanley Hanks served on the University Board of Regents from 1889 to 1911, while his parents both graduating in the 1890s.

While still a young college student, James and several classmates (Bill Guernon, Nel Hagen, and Lauriston Sharp) accompanied Clyde Kluckhohn on two expeditions across previous hitNavajo next hit Indian Reservation land. James took more than 500 photographs documenting the adventures while Clydes documentation came in the form of a book titled, Beyond the Rainbow,which was published in 1933.

James graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1929 and earned a masters degree in business administration from Harvard University. He was married to Dorothy Teeple Hanks, a 1937 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and had three sons, James Jr., Thomas C., and John B. Hanks.

James died on March 11, 1987, of congestive heart failure.

Scope and Content Note

The James J. Hanks Collection has been arranged alphabetically by folder title. It contains maps showing the area of the expeditions, correspondence with Hanks' family and with expedition members, photocopied contemporary news articles, an account book from one of the expeditions, a trip diary, a film recording, and photographs, as well as other materials.

During 1927 and 1928, Clyde Kluckhohn led several of his young college friends on two expeditions to the American Southwest to explore the area around Wild Horse Mesa within the previous hitNavajo next hit Indian Reservation. He later wrote a book entitled, "Beyond the Rainbow," describing these expeditions and the adventures encountered by the groups members. James Judge Hanks, who acted as the primary photographer for the groups, was a member of both expeditions.

The collection provides a personal and local glimpse of contemporary reports of these expeditions, with such examples as a personal letter describing an incident to Hanks' mother contrasting with a newspaper article's descriptions of the same event. Other highlights of the collection include many of Hanks' expedition photographs, film taken during one expedition, maps of the area, one with the route traveled marked on it, and a series of letters from Hanks to his mother providing a uniquely personal description of the expedition and many of its most exciting moments.

Included in this collection is a series of images taken by James' son Tom. Tom took his very first trip to Rainbow Plateau in October 1991. There is one image taken from the top of Hell's Hole.


The James Hanks Collection is organized into four separate series.
Series I. Personal Papers, 1916-1933.
Series II. Maps, 1916-1928.
Series III. Photographs, 1927-1929, 1991.
Series IV. Moving Images, 1928.





It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for Northern Arizona University, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Related Material

A.F. Whiting Collection [manuscript], NAU.MS.25
Indigenous Voices of the Colorado Plateau (digital exhibit)

Access Points

Personal Name(s)
Kluckhohn, Clyde.
Sharp, Lauriston.

Corporate Name(s)
Garwood Foundation.

Geographic Name(s)
Kaiparowitz Plateau.
Navajo Indian Reservation (Ariz.)
Navajo Mountain Region (Utah)
Rainbow Bridge National Monument (Utah)--History.
West (U.S.)--Discovery and Exploration.
Wild Horse Mesa.

Administrative Information

Credit Line

James J. Hanks Collection [manuscript], NAU.MS.67, Northern Arizona University. Special Collections and Archives Dept.

James J. Hanks Collection [photograph], NAU.PH.2005.3, Northern Arizona University. Special Collections and Archives Dept.

James J. Hanks Collection [moving image], NAU.MI.2005.3, Northern Arizona University. Special Collections and Archives Dept.

Container List

Series I. Personal Papers, 1927-1932.
1.1 Accounts Book - Kaiparowitz Plateau Expedition, [1928].
1.2 Article: "Clyde Kluckhohn Tells Story of Adventures in previous hitNavajo next hit Indian Ground: 'To the Foot of the Rainbow' Travelogue of Southwest;" includes review by Lauriston Sharp, 1927.
1.3 Article: "Find Dwelling Ruins on Mesa: U of W Explorers Go Up Hazardous Trail to Cliff City," , 1928.
1.4 Article: "Hanks, Sharp and Kluckhohn Return After Long Trip: Not a White Man Seen During Stay in Southwest, Adventurer Says 'Good to Be Back,'" , 1928.
1.5 Article: "Madison Boys Plan Trek into Southwest: Kluckhohn, Rhodes Scholar, to Lead Party on Search for Archaeological Possibilities," , 1928.
1.6 Article: "Student Explorers Find Mormon Trail on Cliffs: U of W Group Forced to Unpack Mules in Precarious Climb up Base of Mesa," , 1928.
1.7 Article: "Students Explore Uncharted Regions," , 1928.
1.8 Book Review of Kluckhohn's Beyond the Rainbow: "Youths Penetrate Last Frontier in America," , 1933.
1.9 Clyde Kluckhohn: letters to James Hanks regarding financial issue; Herbert Gregory's USGS professional paper #164 ("The Kaiparowits region : a geographic and geologic reconnaissance of part of Utah and Arizona"), 1931, 1932.
1.10 James Hanks: letters to Mrs. Stanley Hanks (mother) discussing progress, photographs, and impending article; disgruntled members, hand-drawn route map, 1928.
1.11 James Hanks: letter to Mrs. Arthur Mailer (Sister) discussing previous hitNavajo next hit crafts, travels, safety, 1928.
1.12 James Hanks: letters to Mrs. Stanley Hanks (mother) regarding mail timetable, instructions; appreciation for Pepys' diary; safety, previous hitNavajo next hit crafts; photographs in mail, 1928.
1.13 Lauriston Sharp: letters to James Hanks discussing detail on postcard, 5 included photographs; note between cousins (Carroll and Sara), 1929.
1.14 Envelopes, [1928].
1.15 Incomplete descriptive daily expedition record containing progress, events, scenery, geology; includes hand-drawn map, list of photographs, short list of translated previous hitNavajo next hit words, 1928.
1.16 Garwood Foundation letterhead, [1928].
1.17 Key to Map of Wild Horse Mesa, [1928].
1.18 Map of the previous hitNavajo next hit Country, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, 1916.
1.19 Map of the previous hitNavajo next hit Country, Geologic, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah; includes hand-drawn route and notes, 1916,1928.
1.20 Unattributed photograph of James Hanks as a young man and envelop with personal budget, [1927 or 1928].
Series II. Maps, 1916-1928.
Series contains two maps of previous hitNavajo next hit Country and Four Corners Region: (NAU.MAP.1240.1) and (NAU.MAP.1240.2). See titles and links in series 1, folders 18 and 19 listing.
Series III. Photographs, 1927-1991.
The Photograph Collection is comprised of three parts. The Photo Album contains the Clyde Kluckhohn Pictures. These images document the 1927 Expedition from Red Lake to Rainbow Bridge.
The album contains 115 images all of which have been scanned and can be viewed via the Internet. The second part of the photograph collection contains 461 negatives shot during the 1927-1928 expedition to previous hitNavajo next hit Mountain and Rainbow Bridge.
The third part consists of images (one 35mm color slide) taken by James' son Tom from a trip to the top of Hell's Hole in 1991.
NAU.PH.2005.3.1.1-35 Photograph album of 1927 anthropological expedition on the previous hitNavajo next hit Indian Reservation, 1927.
NAU.PH.2005.3.2.1-461 Images from the anthropological expeditions to Kaiparowits Plateau, 1927-1928.
Includes images of previous hitNavajo Mountain and Rainbow Bridge. There is overlap between images in the photo album (NAU.PH.2005.3.1) and negatives in this box. Click on the links above to search through unique items in either the album or box of negatives. In total there are 461 unique images between the album and the box of negatives.
NAU.PH.2005.3.3.1- Tom Hanks: Hell's Hole, 1991.
This 35mm (slide) color image was taken by Tom Hanks on his first trip to Rainbow Plateau in October 1991.
Series IV. Moving Images, 1928.
Beyond the Rainbow and to Wild Horse Mesa documents the activities of the 1928 archaeological and ethnographic expedition, led by Clyde Kluckhohn, through the northeast corner of Arizona and southeast corner of Utah. The film is approximately forty-one minutes in length and contains over thirty brief segments that are titled. The titles give some indication of the activities and location of the expedition. Film format: 16mm reel; black and white; silent. VHS use copy.
NAU.MI.2005.3 "Beyond the Rainbow to White Horse Mesa," , 1928.