The University of Southern Mississippi -- de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Contributor List & Finding Aid Index| Special Collections
Collection Title: Maude Hart Lovelace Papers
Collection Number: DG0629
Inclusive Dates: 1942-1971
Volume: .30 cu. ft. (1 box)
Provenance : Materials received by the de Grummond Collection in 1971 by Maude Hart Lovelace
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.
Maud Hart Lovelace was born April 25, 1892 in Mankato, Minnesota. Her father, Thomas, owned a shoe store and her mother, Stella (nee Palmer), raised the family--which included Maud's older sister Kathleen and younger sister Helen. Maud began writing from a very young age, and modeled most of her stories on actual events and people in her life. Her best-known stories are the ones that make up the Betsy-Tacy series, which are set in fictional Deep Valley (based on the town of Mankato). Her Betsy stories were based on memories of her own childhood, and her two friends Tacy and Tib were based on childhood friends Frances ("Bick") and Marjorie ("Midge"). As the series progressed, the characters grew up just like real people. Later stories of Betsy, and then Carney, in high school were based on daily diary entries that Maud maintained throughout her youth.
Maud attended the University of Minnesota after high school, but she never graduated. While convalescing at her grandmother's home in California after an appendectomy, she sold her first story to the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She began working at The Minnesota Daily after returning to Minneapolis. She met and married writer Delos Lovelace in 1917, and they had one daughter, Merian. The Lovelaces relocated to New York in 1928.
Maud's first book, The Black Angels, was published in 1926. She wrote three more novels and collaborated with husband Delos on several stories and books before the first Betsy-Tacy book was published in 1940. Although the series ended with Betsy's Wedding in 1955, there are three other books that were written in the early 1950s that feature Betsy and Tacy as marginal figures. The local fame of Mankato and Deep Valley was a welcomed tribute to the city. In 1961, the American Association of University Women sponsored "Betsy-Tacy Day" and brought Maud and her two childhood friends back to Mankato for a week of activities--including a guided walking tour, a book signing, and readings. The series has remained wildly popular, and Maud's childhood home is now a museum dedicated to her life and the characters that she created. The Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award was established in 1980, and is an award chosen by young readers.
Maud Hart and Delos Lovelace retired to Claremont, California where they both resided until the death of Delos in 1967. Maud continued to live in Claremont until her death in 1980. She was buried in her beloved Mankato.
Something About the Author vol. 2, p.181
The collection contains newspaper clippings and illustrations related to two books by Lovelace. The newspaper clippings are from 1951 through 1961. One article announces a special appearance of Maude Hart Lovelace in St. Paul, MN., from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. It is a two page special feature spread with 12 photos of family, friends homes and personal activities, and an illustration by Lois Lenski from Tacy and Tib The Betsy-Tacy Days in 1961 were announced in August of 1961, and a special feature section from the Mankato Free Press the following October contains several photos of the then matronly Betsy, Tacy and Tib, posed as they might have some 60 years previous. There is also a guided map of the town's buildings and landmarks from the stories. All of the newspaper articles have been photocopied on to acid free paper.
Originally included in the collection were two drawings by Vera Neville from Carney's Houseparty and Betsy in Spite of Herself (1949). In addition, three illustrations by Charlotte Anna Chase from The Golden Wedge (1942) by Maud Hart Lovelace and her husband Delos Lovelace. These drawings have since been relocated to separate Collections by the processor (see below).
The Vera Neville Papers (DG1179) contain illustrations from Carney's Houseparty (1949) and Betsy In Spite of Herself (1946), both written by Maude Hart Lovelace.
The Charlotte Anna Chase Papers (DG1180) contain illustrations from Golden Wedge (1942) by Maude and Delos Lovelace.
A. Newspaper Articles (1951-1961)
A. Newspaper Articles (1951-1961)
Illustrations for Carney's Houseparty and Betsy In Spite of Herself have been removed and placed in the Vera Neville Papers (DG1179).
Illustrations for Golden Wedge have been removed and placed in the Charlotte Anna Chase Papers (DG1180).
Processed: April 1998
This finding aid is a product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.