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John Clifford papers

Call Number: RH MS 1094


This collection contains selected papers and documents of John Clifford, who wrote the screenplay for Herk Harvey's feature film, Carnival of Souls. This collection consists of documents and promotional materials related to the film, as well as some of Clifford's original book manuscripts and comic strip proposals.


  • Creation: 1960s-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of John Clifford

John Clifford was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1918 and grew up in Chicago with relatives after his parents died. He served during World War II overseas before moving to Lawrence, Kansas, where he worked at the industrial and educational film studio Centron Corporation. It was there he met director Harold "Herk" Harvey, for whom he wrote the screenplay of the horror movie Carnival of Souls, shot in Lawrence and released in 1962. The film was edited at Centron Studios, 1621 West 9th Street, what is now Oldfather Studios on the University of Kansas campus. Initially dismissed, the film was revived and became a cult favorite in the 1980s.

Clifford also wrote lyrics for songs composed by Angelo Badalamenti and sung by Nina Simone among others; taught journalism at Lawrence High School; and wrote novels. John Clifford died in 2010 at the age of 91.


2 Linear Feet (3 boxes + 1 oversize box, 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1094

Physical Location

RH MS 1209

Physical Location

RH MS Q326

Physical Location

RH MS R407

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, John Clifford, 2004

Related Materials

Herk Harvey collection, RH MS 1229, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Guide to the John Clifford Collection
John Clifford papers
Finding aid prepared by rh, 2007; revised by skt, 2010; revised by rmk, 2017.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
<p>John Clifford Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1094, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries</p>

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States