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SCOTT CORBETT PAPERS

de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi


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Creator: Scott Corbett
Title: Scott Corbett Papers
Dates: 1959-1982
Dates: [bulk 1959-1977]
Quantity: 3.90 cubic feet (13 boxes)
Identification: DG0223

Abstract: The Scott Corbett Papers contain typescripts, galleys, manuscripts, illustrations, research notes, and correspondence created and accumulated by Scott Corbett from his composition of thirty-four children's books between 1959 and 1982. Corbett has published at least sixty-seven fiction and non-fiction books for children, but he is known best for two series of books. His twelve-volume "Trick" series employs a mixture of fantasy, realism, and humor to entice pre-adolescent boys previously reluctant to read. Corbett's "What Makes It Work" books describe complex mechanical processes for beginning readers. The Scott Corbett Papers contain material for most of the books in these series.

Biographical Note

Scott Corbett was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 27, 1913, to Edward Roy Corbett and his wife, Hazel Marie Emanuelson. The Corbetts provided Scott with a fun and happy childhood, despite periodically moving to other parts of the country for the sake of Edward Corbett's health. They encouraged their son's love of reading, although he early exhibited an aversion to composition. Scott Corbett attended Kansas City Junior College between 1930 and 1932 and received a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1934. After graduation, he moved to New York City to work as a free-lance writer. He married Elizabeth Grosvenor Pierce, a social worker, on May 11, 1940, with whom he had a daughter, Florence Lee. Between 1943 and 1946, Corbett served as an army newspaper correspondent with the Forty-Second Infantry Division. He also worked as the last editor of Yank, a U.S. army magazine based in Paris.

Corbett returned to New York where he sold pieces to magazines, radio, and television. He published his first novel, The Reluctant Landlord, in 1950, drawing on his own experience as the landlord of a New York City apartment building. Enriched by the sale of its movie rights to Twentieth Century-Fox—which adapted it as Love Nest featuring Marilyn Monroe—Corbett moved his family to Cape Cod in 1951. He published four other novels for adults before penning his first children's book, Suzie Sneakers, in 1956. Based on his niece's visit to Cape Cod, the book convinced Corbett that he wanted to write children's books. The family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1957, where Corbett taught English at the Moses Brown School in the morning and wrote children's books in the afternoon.

Scott Corbett published an average of two to three books a year between 1960 and 1985. He gave up teaching in 1965 to concentrate exclusively on writing. Corbett has published at least sixty-seven fiction and non-fiction books for children, but he is known best for two series of books. His twelve-volume "Trick" series employs a mixture of fantasy, realism, and humor to entice pre-adolescent boys previously reluctant to read. Its stories emphasize the need for people to get along with each other. Corbett's "What Makes It Work" books describe complex mechanical processes for beginning readers. He intentionally wrote on subjects he knew nothing about to avoid assuming too much prior knowledge on the part of the reader. Corbett also has written adventures, ghost stories, science fiction, and mysteries. Cutlass Island (1962) earned the Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America as the best mystery written for children. As of 1985, Scott Corbett lived in Providence, Rhode Island.

Sources:
Fourth Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators, ed. Doris de Montreville and Elizabeth D. Crawford (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1978), 99-100.
Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, ed. Laurie Collier and Joyce Nakamura (Detroit: Gale Research, 1993), 2:575-579.
Something About the Author, ed. Anne Commire (Detroit: Gale Research, 1986), 42:54-60.
Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, ed. Laura Standley Berger, 4th edition (Detroit: St. James Press, 1995), 240-242.


Scope and Content Note

The Scott Corbett Papers contain typescripts, galleys, manuscripts, illustrations, research notes, and correspondence created and accumulated by Scott Corbett between 1959 and 1982. Corbett's papers were created from his composition of thirty-four children's books. The material is organized into two series: books and correspondence.

The papers in the books series are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each book is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. The Scott Corbett Papers contain material for all twelve volumes of his "Trick" series, five of his "What Makes It Work" books, and seventeen other titles. Most of the items in the series are typescripts of early drafts of books with editorial remarks by Scott Corbett, typescripts edited and marked for publication by Corbett and his publishers, and both edited and unedited galleys. A few titles include research notes, character and plot sketches, or illustrations. Corbett usually composed a typescript of an entire work before revising the full text. The arrangement of the material for each book reflects this editorial sequence, but with two exceptions. Corbett apparently revised selected chapters of Run for the Money (1973) between thorough rewritings of the entire novel. Similarly, the early material for Take a Number (1974) has been arranged by chapter number because the early drafts of individual chapters were too disorganized to understand how they might have comprised distinct versions of the book.

The letters in the correspondence series were photocopied from the correspondence file of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection and are arranged chronologically. They comprise Scott Corbett's correspondence with Lena de Grummond and the de Grummond Collection between 1968 and 1982. In his letters, Corbett details donations of material to the collection and offers tidbits of information on the production of some of his books.


Series and Subseries

A. Books (1959-1977)

The Baseball Bargain (1970)

The Baseball Trick (1965)

The Big Joke Game (1972)

The Black Mask Trick (1976)

The Boy Who Walked on Air (1975)

The Cave Above Delphi (1965)

Cop's Kid (1968)

Cutlass Island (1962)

Danger Point: The Wreck of the Birkenhead (1962)

Dead Man's Light (1960)

The Disappearing Dog Trick (1963)

Dr. Merlin's Magic Shop (1973)

The Great Custard Pie Panic (1974)

The Hairy Horror Trick (1969)

The Hangman's Ghost Trick (1977)

The Hateful Plateful Trick (1971)

The Hockey Girls (1976)

The Hockey Trick (1974)

The Home Run Trick (1973)

The Lemonade Trick (1960)

The Limerick Trick (1964)

The Mailbox Trick (1961)

The Mystery Man (1970)

One by Sea (1965)

Pippa Passes (1966)

Run for the Money (1973)

Steady, Freddie! (1970)

Take a Number (1974)

The Turnabout Trick (1967)

What Makes a Boat Float? (1970)

What Makes a Car Go? (1963)

What Makes a Light Go On? (1966)

What Makes a Plane Fly? (1967)

What Makes T.V. Work? (1965)

B. Correspondence (1968-1982)


Restrictions

Restrictions on Use

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.


Related Material

For illustrations for The Big Joke Game, see Mircea Vasiliu Papers, DG1009


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Scott Corbett Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries.

Provenance

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Scott Corbett in 1968, 1972, 1979, and 1982.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, October 2001. Encoded into EAD Version 1.0 by Danielle L. Bishop. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Container Listing

Box/Folder

.

Books

The Baseball Bargain by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Wallace Tripp (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1970)
1/1Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-6
1/2Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 7-14
The Baseball Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1965)
1/3Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-5
1/4Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 6-11
1/5Galley
The Big Joke Game by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Mircea Vasiliu (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972)
1/6Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-6
1/7Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 7-11
1/8Galley, 1972
The Black Mask Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1976)
2/1First typescript, edited
2/2Second typescript, edited
2/3Galley, edited
The Boy Who Walked on Air by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Ed Parker (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1975)
2/4Typescript, edited and marked for publication
2/5Photocopy of galley
The Cave Above Delphi by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Gioia Fiammenghi (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1965)
2/6Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-7
2/7Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-14
2/8Galley, edited, February-August 1965
Cop's Kid by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Jo Polseno (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1968)
2/9First typescript, edited, chapter 1 (pp. 3-6), torn into pieces
2/10Second typescript, edited
3/1Third typescript, edited
3/2Fourth typescript, edited, chapter 3 (pp. 32, 37-38), chapter 8 (pp. 86-87), chapter 10 (pp. 114 ff.)
3/3Fifth typescript, edited, chapters 9-10 (pp. 106-120); maps and notes
3/4Sixth typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-4
3/5Sixth typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 5-10
3/6Galley
3/7Letter received from publisher concerning typescript, 1969
Cutlass Island by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Leonard Shortall (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1962)
3/8Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-6
3/9Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 7-12
3/10Galley, edited
Danger Point: The Wreck of the Birkenhead by Scott Corbett (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1962)
4/1Photocopy of court martial proceedings for the loss of the steam ship Birkenhead, 1852, 16 pp.; assorted research notes on shipwrecks, (29 pp.)
4/2Carbon copy of tentative outline for Breakers Ahead: The Story of Shipwrecks by Scott Corbett with cover letter sent to Emilie W. McLeod, editor of children's books at Atlantic Monthly Press, 1959, (9 pp.)
4/3Letter received from Emilie W. McLeod, editor of children's books at Atlantic Monthly Press, 18 January 1961
4/4Front matter, edited and marked for publication, 4 June 1961, (5 pp.)
4/5Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 1-5
4/6Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 6-10
4/7Pages evidently removed from chapters 2 & 4 during editing of typescript, (12 pp.)
4/8Galley, edited, 7 July 1961
Dead Man's Light by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Leonard Shortall (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1960)
4/9Carbon copy of final typescript, chapters 1-8
4/10Carbon copy of final typescript, chapters 9-16
4/11Galley, edited, 17 September 1959
The Disappearing Dog Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1963)
5/1Typescript, edited and marked for publication
5/2Galley, edited
Dr. Merlin's Magic Shop by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Joe Mathieu (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1973)
5/3Typescript, edited and marked for publication
5/4Photocopy of galley, 9 April 1973
The Great Custard Pie Panic by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Joe Mathieu (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1974)
5/5First typescript, edited
5/6Second typescript, edited and marked for publication
5/7Photocopy of galley, 15 November 1973
The Hairy Horror Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1969)
5/8First typescript, edited, chapters 1-4; manuscript, chapters 6, 8
5/9Second typescript, edited
5/10Third typescript, edited
5/11Fourth typescript, edited and marked for publication
5/12Galley, edited
The Hangman's Ghost Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1977)
6/1Typescript, edited and marked for publication
6/2Galley, edited, 3 May 1977
6/3Galley, edited and marked for publication, 2 July 1977
The Hateful Plateful Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1971)
6/4Typescript, edited and marked for publication
6/5Galley, edited
The Hockey Girls by Scott Corbett (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1976)
6/6Research notes on field hockey, 16 pp.; early synopsis of story, 2 pp.; diagrams of field positions of story characters, (3 pp.)
6/7First typescript, edited, chapters 1-3 (pp. 1-26) & chapter 4 (pp. 29-34)
6/8Second typescript, edited, chapters 1-6
6/9Second typescript, edited, chapters 7-12
7/1Third typescript, edited, chapters 1-6
7/2Third typescript, edited, chapters 7-12
The Hockey Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1974)
7/3First typescript, edited, chapters 3-7, 9, 11, 12
7/4Second typescript, edited, chapters 3-12
7/5Third typescript, edited and marked for publication
7/6Carbon copy of third typescript (ts. pp. 9, 16-79) (editing on page 9 of carbon copy was incorporated into third typescript in folder 7/5)
7/7Galley, edited
The Home Run Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1973)
7/8Lineups and box scores for story characters, (2 pp.)
7/9First typescript, edited
7/10Second typescript, edited and marked for publication
8/1Galley, edited
The Lemonade Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1960)
8/2Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 1-2 (pp. 3-21), 3 (pp. 29-34), 4 (pp. 38-41), 5 (pp. 48-49), 6-11 (pp. 50-103)
8/3Galley
The Limerick Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1964)
8/4Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-4
8/5Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 5-9
8/6Galley
The Mailbox Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1961)
8/7Typescript, edited and marked for publication
8/8Galley, edited
The Mystery Man by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Nathan Goldstein (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1970)
9/1Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-6
9/2Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 7-14
9/3Galley
One by Sea by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Victor Mays (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1965)
9/4Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-7
9/5Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-15
9/6Galley, edited
Pippa Passes by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Judith Gwyn Brown (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1966)
10/1Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-7
10/2Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-14
10/3Galley, edited, 24 January 1966
Run for the Money by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Bert Dodson (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1973)
10/4First typescript, edited, chapters 1, 3 (typescript chapters 1, 2)
10/5Assorted pages from first typescript, (27 pp.)
10/6Second typescript, edited, chapters 5-7 (typescript chapters 3-5, ts. pp. 24-55)
10/7Second typescript, edited, chapters 9-11 (typescript chapters 6-8, ts. pp. 56-80)
10/8Third typescript, edited, chapters 9-11 (typescript chapters 6-8, ts. pp. 56-81)
10/9Third typescript, edited, chapter 12 (typescript chapter 9, ts. pp. 82-84)
10/10Fourth typescript, edited, earlier version of chapter 12 (typescript chapter 10, ts. pp. 91-94)
10/11Fourth typescript, edited, chapters 1-12 (includes later version of chapter 12)
10/12Fifth typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 1-12
10/13Photocopy of fifth typescript
11/1Galley
Steady, Freddie! by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Lawrence Beall Smith (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1970)
11/2Typescript, edited and marked for publication, front matter and chapters 1-7
11/3Typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-13
11/4Photocopy of galley, edited
Take a Number by Scott Corbett (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1974)
11/5Genealogies, timelines, and outlines for story and characters, (3 pp.)
11/6Early typescripts of chapter 1 (2 pp., 6 pp., 9 pp., 3 pp.)
11/7Early typescripts of chapter 3 (10 pp., 11 pp.)
11/8Early typescripts of chapter 4 (2 pp., 6 pp., 3 pp., 2 pp.)
11/9Early typescript of chapter 5 ((7 pp.))
11/10Early typescripts of chapter 6 ((5 pp., 6 pp.))
11/11Early typescripts of chapter 7 ((2 pp., 5 pp., 11pp.))
11/12Early typescript of chapter 9 ((7 pp.))
11/13Early typescripts of unpublished and altered chapters and incunabula (7 chapters, 13 loose pp.)
11/14First typescript, edited, typescript chapters 1-14
12/1Second typescript, edited, typescript chapters 4-6, 8, 9-13
12/2Third typescript, edited, chapters 1-6
12/3Third typescript, edited, chapters 7-13
12/4Fourth typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 1-7
12/5Fourth typescript, edited and marked for publication, chapters 8-13
12/6Photocopy of galley, edited
12/7Letter received from editor, 4 November 1974
The Turnabout Trick by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1967)
12/8Typescript, edited and marked for publication
What Makes a Boat Float? by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Victor Mays (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1970)
12/9Typescript, edited and marked for publication
What Makes a Car Go? by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Len Darwin (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1963)
13/1Vocabulary list, diagram of automobile, 9 pp.
13/2Typescript, edited and marked for publication
13/3Galley, edited, 23 May 1962; letter received from editor, 31 May 1962
What Makes a Light Go On? by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Len Darwin (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1966)
13/4Typescript, edited and marked for publication (preservation photocopies of ts. pp. 16-18 are provided by the processor)
13/5Photocopies of preliminary illustrations by Len Darwin for (pp. 2-17)
13/6Galley, 23 July 1965
What Makes a Plane Fly? by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Len Darwin (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1967)
13/7Typescript, edited and marked for publication
13/8Galley, edited, 30 January 1967
13/9Index, glossary, and revisions to pp. 40-42, 6 June 1967, (5 pp.)
What Makes T.V. Work? by Scott Corbett, illustrated by Len Darwin (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.; Atlantic Monthly Press, 1965)
13/10Galley, edited



.

Correspondence

13/11Photocopies of correspondence with Lena de Grummond and the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, 1968-1982, (9 items)

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