Austin History Center

Claudia Nabors Notebooks and Diaries

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Nabors, Claudia
Title: Claudia Nabors Notebooks and Diaries
Inclusive Dates: 1948-1992
Bulk Dates: 1970-1979
Abstract: Notebooks and diaries document the life and activities of Claudia Smith Nabors, writer and long-time Austin resident.
Identification: AR.2006.014
Quantity: 2.75 linear feet (6 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library 810 Guadalupe PO BOX 2287 Austin, TX 78768

Creator Note

Claudia Nabors was born Claudia Maybell Smith on December 22, 1916 in Denton, Texas. The oldest daughter of Roy T. Smith and Mabel Lynn McKinney, she had three siblings, Angel, Jamie Lynn and Roy, Jr. Claudia spent her early childhood years living in Big Lake and San Angelo. At nine, her mother, along with all four children, moved back to Denton to live for a time with her parents, Olive ("Ollie") and Tom McKinney. In 1933, the entire Smith family settled in Austin in a house on Rio Grande Street. Claudia attended Austin High School. Following graduation, she married Thomas Wade Nabors, a post office clerk, in Austin on October 1, 1938. In 1943, Wade was drafted and served in an army postal unit. That same year, Claudia enlisted in the Women's Army Corp. and also served in a postal unit. In 1947, she enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated in 1953. Following graduation, Nabors worked for five years as an administrative secretary in the UT Physics Department. Nabors attended the University of Texas periodically during the 1960s and 70s and took classes in literature, psychology and eastern philosphy. Sometime during the late 1960s, she befriended Raja Rao (1908-2006), Indian novelist and professor of philosophy at UT Austin. Nabors assisted Rao in transcribing lectures and preparing manuscripts. Claudia Nabors died in Austin on September 24, 1993.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 51 bound and numbered notebooks and a master index covering volumes 1-46. The notebooks contain numerous reviews or "reports", as Nabors called them, and notes written about literally hundreds of books, articles and poems on a variety of subjects including literature, eastern and western philosophy, spirituality, metaphysics, the occult, parapsychology and psychology. Later volumes include fewer reviews and more poetry (mostly by other authors although there is some original poetry interspersed), humorous and, at times, "quirky" observations, jokes, remembrances, sketches and printed material. The notebooks are numbered by the creator and loosely chronological in that most of the entries are undated. However, Nabors did include publication dates for many of the works she reviewed so one can surmise from those dates in conjunction with an occasional newspaper clipping or other printed material within the volume what time period it represents. The final volume, 47, contains genealogical information related to the Smith family and personal commentary on the nature of life and death. Volume 29 is autobiographical and contains remembrances and musings from her early childhood years in west Texas through her adult life in Austin (1933-1978). For many years, the Nabors lived in south Austin off of Slaughter Lane and South Congress Ave. Her prose provide insight into what "rural" life was like in that part of the city during the 1950s-60s. In addition, there are five diaries in the collection covering the years 1948, 1960, 1968-69. Diaries are labeled chronologically by year.


The collection is arranged as one series by volume number.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Nabors, Claudia Smith
Nabors, Thomas Wade
Rao, Raja

Related Material

General Collection

A 811.54 Na AA Nabors, Claudia. Olio Poetry.

A 811.54 Na AA Olio Verse.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Claudia Nabors Notebooks and Diaries (AR.2006.014). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1980/008

Donation Date: 2006 May 8

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Susan Rittereiser/2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Notebooks and Diaries 1948-1992, undated

1 Notebooks 1-12, circa 1970-1979
2 Notebooks 13-21, circa 1970-1979
3 Notebooks 23-30, circa 1970-1979
4 Notebooks 34-38, circa 1980-1989
5 Notebooks 39-47, circa 1980-1992
6 Diaries, Index, 1948, 1960, 1968-1969, undated