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ARMSTRONG SPERRY PAPERS

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


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Creator: Armstrong Sperry
Title: Armstrong Sperry Papers
Dates: ca. 1955
Quantity: 0.25 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: DG0923

Abstract: The Armstrong Sperry Papers contain a carbon copy of a typescript of Captain Cook Explores the South Seas (1955). Sperry commonly wrote exciting books featuring heroic characters overcoming formidable obstacles in an effort to inspire fortitude in children.

Biographical Note

Armstrong W. Sperry was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 7, 1897, to Sereno Sperry, a business executive, and his wife, Nettie (Alling) Sperry. As a child he acquired an interest in sea stories from reading Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London, but also from listening to the recollections of his great-grandfather, who had been a mariner in the South Seas. Sperry served in the navy during World War I and studied art at the Yale School of Fine Arts, the Art Students League in New York City, and the Academie Colarossis in Paris. He worked as an advertising illustrator in the early 1920s.

Sperry traveled to Bora Bora, northwest of Tahiti, in 1925 and spent two years learning and admiring the language, culture, and resilient character of the islanders. On his return to New York, Sperry expressed his observations of Bora Bora by writing and illustrating One Day with Manu (1933), one of the first books to portray a foreign culture for American children. He followed the work with similar books describing other indigenous peoples.

Sperry published Call It Courage, a novel about a Polynesian boy facing his fear of the sea, in 1940. He received the Newbery Medal for the book and achieved recognition as a notable children's author and illustrator. Sperry commonly wrote exciting books featuring heroic characters overcoming formidable obstacles in an effort to inspire fortitude in children. In his later work, Sperry produced historical fiction and non-fiction featuring courageous adventurers, explorers, and mariners. He died on April 28, 1976.

Sources:
Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, ed. Laurie Collier and Joyce Nakamura (Detroit: Gale Research, 1993), 5:2185-2188.


Scope and Content Note

The Armstrong Sperry Papers contain a carbon copy of a typescript of Captain Cook Explores the South Seas (1955). The papers are organized into a single series for this book.


Series and Subseries

A. Book (1955)

Captain Cook Explores the South Seas (1955)


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.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Armstrong Sperry 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 Armstrong Sperry on June 25, 1969.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, November 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

.

Book

Captain Cook Explores the South Seas, written and illustrated by Armstrong Sperry (New York: Random House, 1955)
1/1Carbon copy of typescript, chapters 1-5
1/2Carbon copy of typescript, chapters 6-9

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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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