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Manuscript Collection

Collection Title: Borghild Dahl Papers

Collection Number: DG0244

Inclusive Dates: 1967-1974

Volume: .30 cu. ft. (1 box)

Provenance : Materials received from Borghild Dahl between 1967 and 1974.

Copyright: 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.

Biographical Sketch:

Borghild Dahl was born on February 5, 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Norwegian immigrants Peder Mogens and Ingeborg Margarethe (Haugseth) Dahl. Suffering from impaired eyesight for most of her life, she did not allow her handicap to prevent her from accomplishing her goals.

Dahl received an A.B. from the University of Minnesota in 1912, an M.A. at Columbia University in 1923, and was also awarded a prestigious scholarship to the University of Oslo in Norway in 1924. As an educator, Dahl both taught and served as principal in several high schools around the Midwest.  Her career as an English professor at Augustana College in South Dakota ended in 1939 when her eyesight took a turn for the worse and she became completely blind.  Thankfully, Dahl was able to have a medical procedure in 1943 that restored some of her eyesight.  The operation enabled her to turn her attention to a full-time writing career.

Dahl’s first book, Glimpses of Norway, was privately printed in 1935.  After her blindness and subsequent operation, she published an autobiography detailing her struggles. I Wanted to See was published in 1944 to great acclaim. In all, Dahl wrote 16 books for young people during her career, most of which drew heavily on her experiences as the daughter of Norwegian parents living in the Midwest.

Dahl received the St. Olaf Medal from King Haakon VII of Norway in 1950 for her role in international relations, and her inspiring story has been recounted in numerous speeches and religious curricula.

Borghild Dahl passed away February 24, 1984 at the age of 94.


Something About the Author, ed. Anne Commire (Detroit: Gale Research, 1975), 7:56-58.

Obituary: Borghild M. Dahl. (1984, March 3). The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2015.

Scope and Content:

The Borghild Dahl Papers consist of three series. The first series contains six items of correspondence between Dahl and the de Grummond Collection between 1967 and 1974.  The second series consists of two items of biographical information. The third series contains a corrected galley from Dahl’s Good News (1966), and a corrected typescript from My Window on America (1970).

Series and Subseries:

A. Correspondence (1967-1974)

B. Biographical Materials

C. Books (1966-1970)

Box Inventory


A. Correspondence (1967-1974)


Correspondence between Borghild Dahl and the de Grummond Collection between 1967 and 1974. (6 items)         


B. Biographical Materials


Biographical materials. (2 items)


C. Books (1966-1970)

Good News by Borghild Dahl (New York: Dutton, 1966).

1/3 Galley with corrections, 1966.


My Window on America by Borghild Dahl (New York: Dutton, 1970).

1/4 Typescript with corrections, 1969.

Processed: October 11, 2000; Revised August 2015


Created by: Dee Jones and Danielle L. Bishop
Prepared and maintained by
University of Southern Mississippi Libraries de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

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Revised: June 28, 2017