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Claire Wilhelm collection of Zane Grey photographs, approximately 1900-1956

Identifier: MSS 8277 Series 1

Scope and Contents

This series contains 76 black and white photographs of Zane Grey and his family, Claire Wilhelm and various other women on expeditions with Zane Grey, and scenes from Zane Grey movies dating from approximately 1900 to 1956.


  • approximately 1900-1956


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Claire Wilhelm collection on Zane Grey must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Claire Wilhelm (1898-1984) was the sister of artist Lillian Wilhelm Smith and companion to Western author Zane Grey.

Claire Wilhelm was born on July 20, 1898 in New Jersey to Henry T. and Leonore Wilhelm. She was the youngest of seven children, the oldest of which was the artist Lillian Wilhelm Smith. She was the cousin of Lina Elise Grey, wife of Western novelist Zane Grey. She accompanied Zane Grey on various fishing and camping expeditions beginning in 1914. In 1918, Grey's attentions turned to other women and Wilhelm found herself estranged from him. She married Phillips Carlin in June 1921.

In 1924, Grey began inviting Wilhelm to accompany him once again after Wilhelm sustained serious injuries in a car accident. She entered into Grey's employ as a secretary when her marriage began to fail. After nine months with Grey, Wilhelm finally parted ways with him and returned to New York City where she resolved the strains in her marriage. She had two daughters, Virginia and Patricia, and gave up travelling to raise them, however, she continued to correspond with Zane and Lina Elise Grey for many years afterward.

Claire Wilhelm died on January 15, 1984, in Branford, Connecticut.


13 folders

Language of Materials



This series is arranged into five subseries: 1. Claire Wilhelm collection on Grey family, approximately 1900-1956. 2. Claire Wilhelm collection on Zane Grey property, approximately 1915-1921. 3. Claire Wilhelm photographs, approximately 1910-1950. 4. Claire Wilhelm photographs of Native Americans, approximately 1920. 5.Claire Wilhelm collection on Zane Grey films, 1919-1938.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States