Jim Corbett Collection 1960-1995

Bookmark this page or copy and paste URL to Email message

Jim Corbett Collection 1960-1995

MS 502

Collection Summary

Creator: Corbett, Jim, 1933-
Collection Name: Jim Corbett Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1960-1995
Physical Description:6 Linear ft.
Abstract: The Jim Corbett Collection documents Corbett's work spanning the early sixties to the mid-nineties, with the bulk of the collection taking place in the 1980s. The content covers personal letters to his wife to research material for the Sanctuary Movement, but a majority of the content are his writings from his books to essays and thoughts. Unpublished essays and an El Salvador License plate are also contained in this collection.
Collection Number:MS 502
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733
URL: http://speccoll.library.arizona.edu/

Biographical Note

James A. Corbett (1933-2001) was a rancher, writer, philosopher, and humanitarian. Born in Wyoming, he was educated at Harvard in philosophy before settling in the Southwest where he was a rancher until arthritis made it impossible for him to do a majority of the work involved. In the early 60s he turned Quaker; at this time he was also involved in protesting the Vietnam War.

In the early 80s he learned of the treatment of Central American Refugees both in their home countries but also by federal officials in the United States and began to smuggle them across the U.S.-Mexico border. He considered this act one of civil duty, and shepherded hundreds of refugees to the United States and with the help of Reverend John Fife of the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ, he began the Sanctuary Movement, which established sanctuaries for these refugees in churches, beginning in Tucson but quickly growing larger across the country.

In 1985 Corbett was one of eleven defendants in the Arizona Sanctuary Trial, and one of the three acquitted. After this trial, Corbett continued his work smuggling refugees, claiming that they set the schedule and he would continue to bring them across the border as long as they continued coming. Corbett argued that what he was doing was not civil disobedience, but civil initiative to help uphold asylum laws.

As a writer and philosopher Corbett spoke about errantry, subsistence and covenanting. His first book, Goatwalking, was published in 1991. In the 90s he was primarily involved with the Quakers and remained so until his death in 2001 from a rare brain disease. He is survived by his wife, Pat Corbett.

Scope and Content Note

This collection is comprised of Jim Corbett’s writings, correspondence and research, primarily his book Goatwalking and his work with the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s. A bulk of the writing is preliminary drafts with editor’s notes, and the remainder is small print run pamphlets and unpublished essays, including his thoughts and reflections on the Sanctuary Movement. Most of the material dealing with the Sanctuary movement is research and background, with some correspondence and some trial outlines from his trial in 1986. The small remainder of the collection includes meeting notes, his private correspondence ranging from the early sixties to the mid-nineties, and details of the film rights for his story.

Included in Series VIII: Miscellaneous is a license plate from El Salvador, and a short typed story of unknown origin.


This collection is organized into eight series



There are no restrictions on this collection


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 the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Access Terms

Goats -- Sonoran Desert
Sanctuary movement -- Arizona -- Tucson
Simplicity -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
Spiritual life -- Quaker authors

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Jim Corbett Collection (MS 502). Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

Series I: Writings 1980-1992
Subseries 1: Goatwalking.
11 Introductory 1 Undated
12 Introductory 2 Unitdate
13 Draft 1 Undated
14 Draft 2 Undated
15 Draft 3 Undated
16 Dead Matter 1 Undated
17 Dead Matter 2 Undated
18 Dead Matter 3 Undated
19 Dead Matter 4 Undated
110 Chapter 5 Undated
111 Additional Manuscript Material Undated
112 Correspondence Undated
113 Financials Undated
114 Photos of Corbett Undated
115 Newsclippings 1992
116 Newsclippings 1992
Subseries 2: Essays and Speeches
117 Heifer Project, Project Bookburners 1981
118 Pamphlets 1980, 1986, 1996
119 Sanctuary 1981-1987
120 The Sanctuary Church 1986
121 Sanctuary on the Faultline 1986
21 The Burro Book 1992
22 The Diagnosis of Quixote Madness Undated
23 The View from the Border of Cochise Undated
24 Ahmisa and Social Conscience Undated
25 Poetry Undated
26 Notebook Undated
Series II: Sanctuary 1980-1990
This series is arranged by subseries by subject, then by rough chronology
Subseries 1: Correspondence
27 White House , 1983-1984 1989-1991
28 Letters of Support for the Defendents 1985
29 INS 1988
210 INS 1989
Subseries 2: Research
211 Borders and Crossings 1 1981
212 Borders and Crossings 2 , 1982
213 Miscellaneous 1981-2001
214 Statements and Remarks 1982, 1984
215 Research 1982
216 TEC 1983
217 TEC 1984
218 Geneva Convention Toward Salvadoran Refugees 1984
219 Chicago Religious Task Force on CA 1984
220 Butler, A Bates Speech 1985
221 Miscellaneous 1985
222 Arizona Sanctuary Fund 1985
223 Miscellaneous 1 of 2 1986
224 Miscellaneous 2 of 2 1986
225 Report: Mesa Grande Repatriation, 1987
226 Mexico (Spanish contents) 1987
227 Conference Alliance for the Sanctuary Movement 1988
228 Refugees at Risk 1988
229 Judith McBride 1989
230 National Sanctuary Defense Fund Undated
31 Archdiocese of Hermosillo Action Plan Undated
32 A Theological Analysis of the Sanctuary Movement Undated
33 International League for Human Rights Undated
34 The Politics of Sanctuary Undated
Subseries 3: Legal
35 Affadavits 1985
36 Convictions Outline 1985
37 Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986
38 INS 1987
39 Testimony of the Center for Constitutional Rights 1987
310 Volunteer Interpreter 1989
311 INS 1989
312 Training in Immigration Law 1989
313 Maps Undated
314 Writings Undated
Subseries 4: Newsclippings
315 Newsclippings 1982-1986
316 Newsclippings 1984-1985
317 Newsclippings 1985
318 Newsclippings 1986-1991
319 Newsclippings 1989
Subseries 5: Outreach
320 Speeches Undated
321 Event Flyers and Programs 1986
322 Border Network Undated
323 Political Cartoons Undated
Series III: John Longenecker Film 1984-1986
This series is arranged in rough chronological order
324 Film Outline 1984
325 Research Book 1 1984
326 Research Book 2 1984
327 Transcript 1984
328 1985
41 Film Rights 1986
Series IV: Animals and Ranging 1991-1994
This series is arranged in rough chronological order
42 Rangeland Resources 1991
43 animals Foundation 1992
44 Natural Resource Conservancy District 1992
45 The Nature Conservancy 1994
46 The Humane Society (1) 1994
47 The Humane Society (2) 1994
48 CRIA Undated
Series V: Friends 1984-1982
This series is arranged in rough chronological order
49 Quaker Publications 1984-1986
410 American Friends Service Committee 1987
411 Pima Friends 1987
412 Peace Pilgrim 1992
Series VI: Meetings and Minutes 1989-1992
This series is arranged in rough chronological order
413 8th Annual Human Rights Award Ceremony 1989
414 Intermountain Yearly Meetings 1989
415 Quick Response 1989
416 Goat and Garden Group 1991-1992
417 Goat and Garden Group Financials, Undated
Series VII: Correspondence 1960-1992
This series is arranged in rough chronological order
418 1960s 1960-1969
419 1980s (1 of 3) 1980-1989
420 1980s (2 of 3) 1980-1989
421 1980s (3 of 3) 1980-1989
422 Address and Letter to Senator Simpson 1988
423 1992 1992
424 To Pat Corbett Undated
Series VIII: Miscellaneous 1976-1989
This series is arranged in rough chronological order,except for the last folder which is a dated object
425 Tohono O'odam Report 1989
426 Jubilee Partners Undated
427 Unknown Writing Undated
428 Cochise College Censorship in Library Undated
429 Printed Excerpts from Carl Schmidtt Undated
430 El Salvador License 1976