Skip to main content

Outlaws Research Materials

Identifier: MC 1625

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains copies of newspaper articles concerning major robberies and outlaw life during the early twentieth century. Notable items include several full-length texts written by and about outlaws including Roy Gardner’s account of life in Alcatraz, the death record of Roy Gardner, old magazines containing articles on Henry Starr, and several secondary source articles on specific outlaws and outlaw life in general. The collection contains over 100 photographs including newspaper headlines, portraits of outlaws, Al Spencer’s family, the gravesites of Henry Starr and Al Spencer, and weapons owned by outlaws. The collection also contains cassette interviews with Al Spencer's daughter and with a woman who owned the land on which Spencer hid out in the early 1920s. Two books, Pretty Boy: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd by Michael Wallis, and The Grey Fox: The True Story of Bill Miner, Last of the Old-Time Bandits by Mark Dugan and John Boessenecker, were placed in the Arkansas Collection. Pages noted by Arnol were copied and placed in corresponding folders in the collection.


  • 1896-1997


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

In December 1997, Philip Arnol completed his masters thesis entitled, “‘I Ain’t Gonna Follow No Mule’s Ass No More’: The Evolution of the Mid-Western Outlaw 1918-1924.” The materials in the collection constitute his thesis research on outlaws including Roy Gardner, Al Spencer, the Kimes-Terrill Gang, the Newton Boys, and Henry Starr. The majority of the materials concern Gardner and Spencer.

Roy Gardner was born January 5, 1884, in Trenton, Missouri. He moved to California in 1910 and spent the next twenty-eight years committing robberies on the West Coast. Gardner served time in such infamous prisons as San Quentin, Leavenworth, and Alcatraz. He committed suicide on January 11, 1940 in San Francisco. Al Spencer (December 26, 1887-September 15, 1923) was born in Lenapah, Indian Territory. During the 1920s, his gang robbed banks throughout the Oklahoma-Missouri-Arkansas-Kansas area. In June 1922, he escaped from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester only to be killed in a shootout following a bank robbery in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1923.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged by topic.

Acquisition Information

The Outlaw Research Materials were donated to Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, on February 6, 2006 by Philip Aelfwald (formerly Philip Arnol) of Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Lammers; completed September 2006.

Outlaws Research Materials
Matthew Lammers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444