of the 1997 Ezra Jack Keats/de Grummond Collection Research
followed a different pattern from the previous seven years.
In 1997 the fellowship was awarded to a Canadian couple who
share an interest in children's literature, as well as a last
and Donn Kushner are both emeritus faculty members of
the University of Toronto. Dr. Eva Kushner, former President
of Victoria College (which is federated with the University
of Toronto) and later the Director of the Centre for
Comparative Literature, still teaches courses in Renaissance
studies at the Centre. Her research project, "The Right
to be a Child in the XVIth and in the XXth Century,"
pulled together a lifetime of scholarly inquiry. Resources
of the de Grummond Collection enabled her to examine
prevailing theories about the didactic nature of literature
for the Renaissance child and to compare them to the
postmodern child's wide array of choices.
Donn Kushner holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and, although
retired, still teaches in the Departments of Microbiology
and Botany at the University of Toronto.
and Eva Kushner with Dee Jones
is not Dr. Kushner's scientific interests that brought him
to Hattiesburg. He is also an award-winning author of children's
literature. His The Violin Maker's Gift(Macmillan of Canada
1980) won the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year
for Children Award. Other children's titles include Uncle
Jacob's Ghost Story(1984), A Book Dragon (1987) winner of
the IODE Canada Chapter Award, The House of the Good Spirits
(1990), The Dinosaur Duster (1992), A Thief Among Statues
(1993), and The Night Voyagers (1995).
Kushner's research project, "Can Old Tales be Told Again?"
led him to survey stories in the books and magazines held
by the de Grummond Collection to assess which stories would
particularly appeal to contemporary young readers. He had
a particular interest in stories that were published in relatively
obscure forms that deserve to be better known.
spent a very enjoyable and profitable ten days browsing through
the 55,000 published volumes held by the de Grummond Collection.
Their search reaffirmed some old ideas, germinated some new
research interests, and provided a new perspective for their
teaching and writing.
research fellowship program is funded by the Ezra Jack Keats
Foundation and we thank them for their continued support of
our efforts to make the extensive holdings of the de Grummond
Collection accessible to a growing number of scholars throughout