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ISABEL WILNER PAPERS

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


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Creator: Alfaretta Isabel Wilner
Title: Isabel Wilner Papers
Dates: 1958-1993
Quantity: 2.05 cubic feet (6 boxes)
Identification: DG1124

Abstract: The Isabel Wilner Papers contain manuscripts, typescripts, dummies, correspondence, printed material, and photographs created and accumulated between 1958 and 1993. Wilner's papers were created from her composition of three published books and two articles, as well as from public poetry readings performed in schools. A former laboratory school librarian, Isabel Wilner has published three books: a children's poetry anthology and two alphabet picture books.

Biographical Note

Isabel Wilner was born in Shanghai, China, on February 17, 1920, the daughter of Episcopal missionaries. She lived in China and the Philippines until she left to attend college in the United States at age eighteen. Wilner earned a B.A. degree in English from William Smith College in 1942 and a B.S. degree in library service from the Carnegie Library School in 1945. For the next four years, she worked as a children's librarian in Pittsburgh and New York City and as an army librarian in the Philippines and Okinawa. She became the librarian at the Lida Lee Tall Laboratory School of Towson State College in Towson, Maryland, in 1949 and remained there until her retirement in 1988.

Wilner published several poems in Horn Book magazine between 1946 and 1984. Her first children's book, The Poetry Troupe, a children's poetry anthology, appeared in 1977. She published two alphabet picture books in the early 1990s: B Is for Bethlehem (1990) and A Garden Alphabet (1991). Isabel Wilner passed away on March 16, 2011 in her home in Tunkhannock, PA.

Sources:
Who's Who in Library and Information Services, ed. Joel M. Lee (Chicago: American Library Association, 1982), 541.
"Children's alphabet book is a hit 33 years after it was written," The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Md.), 28 November 1990, E1.
Reminiscence of The Horn Book by Isabel Wilner in The Horn Book Virtual History Exhibit, http://www.hbook.com/exhibit/remin_wilner.html, accessed 13 March 2003.


Scope and Content Note

The Isabel Wilner Papers contain manuscripts, typescripts, dummies, correspondence, printed material, and photographs created and accumulated by Isabel Wilner between 1958 and 1993. Wilner's papers were created from her composition of three published books and two articles, as well as from public poetry readings performed in schools. The material is organized into three series: books, public readings, and articles.

The Books Series contains manuscripts, typescripts, dummies, correspondence, and printed material for all three of Wilner's children's books. The material spans the years 1958 to 1992. The papers in the series are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each book is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. The container listing offers detailed descriptions of the holdings for each title and information on the material's process of creation may be gleaned easily from the container listing for each book. Following departmental custom, the processor has numbered each manuscript and typescript by order of creation (first, second, third, etc.).

Isabel Wilner maintained correspondence files for her three books that she kept in 3-ring binders. She punctuated the chronologically-arranged letters with notes to provide commentary on the process of each book's creation. Consequently, her edited correspondence provides a seamless account of the production of each book.

The Public Readings Series consists of correspondence, photographs, and newspaper clippings concerning public readings of poetry from The Poetry Troupe. The material dates from 1974 to 1993 and is arranged chronologically. It documents both performances by "poetry troupes" composed of children from the Lida Lee Tall School, as well as poetry readings that Isabel Wilner conducted with grammar school classes in several cities. The bulk of the material is letters from adults and schoolchildren thanking Wilner for her appearances.

The Articles Series contains a typescript, correspondence, photographs, and issues of academic journals that include two articles by Isabel Wilner. Both articles describe the development of the poetry troupes at the Lida Lee Tall School. The material dates from 1978 to 1983 and is arranged alphabetically by the title of the article.


Series and Subseries

A. Books (1958-1992)

B Is for Bethlehem: A Christmas Alphabet (1990)

A Garden Alphabet (1991)

The Poetry Troupe: An Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud (1977)

B. Public Readings (1974-1993)
C. Articles (1978-1983)

"Making poetry happen: birth of a poetry troupe" in Children's Literature in Education (1979)

"Poetry Troupe: Answers to Questions" in School Media Quarterly (1979)


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.


Separated Material

Oversize material is kept in boxes 5 & 6.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Isabel Wilner Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, (Cite the item's box/folder numbers).

Provenance

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Isabel Wilner in May 1994 and July 1998.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, March 2003. 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

.

A. Books

B Is for Bethlehem: A Christmas Alphabet by Isabel Wilner, illustrated by Elisa Kleven (New York: Dutton, 1990)
1/1 Dummy featuring ink and color pencil illustrations, with additional illustrations and notes, 1958, (6 items)
1/2Correspondence and publication with notes, February 1958-December 1966, (24 items)
1/3Correspondence with notes, April 1967-December 1988, (52 items )
1/4Correspondence with notes, January 1989-November 1991, (43 items )
1/5First typescript for pp. 7-32, edited, July 1978, (3 pp. )
1/6Second typescript for pp. 7-32, lightly edited, September 1978, (3 pp.)
1/7Photocopy of third typescript for pp. 15-32, with letter sent, December 1978, (2 pp.)
1/8Photocopy of fourth typescript for pp. 7-32, lightly edited, January 1979, (3 pp.)
1/9Photocopy of edited fifth typescript for pp. 7-32, with notes, September 1979, (5 pp. )
1/10Photocopy of sixth typescript for pp. 7-32, November 1980, (3 pp. )
1/11Photocopy of seventh typescript for pp. 7-32, March 1981, (4 pp. )
1/12Eighth typescript for pp. 7-32, with 2 copies, August 1987, (each 4 pp. )
1/13Photocopy of edited ninth typescript for pp. 7-32, January 1989, (4 pp.)
1/14First manuscript for pp. 7-32, June 1989, (4 pp. )
1/15Tenth typescript for pp. 7-32, edited, with letter received, September 1989, (5 pp.)
1/16Photocopy of second manuscript for pp. 7-32, 10 October 1989, (3 pp. )
1/17Eleventh typescript for pp. 2-32, edited and marked for publication, 30 October 1989, (9 pp.)
1/18Photocopy of galley for pp. 2-4 & 7-32, edited, with 2 letters received, October-November 1989, (3 sheets)
1/19Reviews and advertisement, July 1990-September 1991, (10 items)
1/20Newspaper clipping, November 1990, (1 item )
1/21Pamphlet for classroom filmstrip, 1992, (1 item)
A Garden Alphabet by Isabel Wilner, pictures by Ashley Wolff (New York: Dutton, 1991)
2/1Photocopy of dummy featuring line drawings, 1970, (1 item)
2/2Correspondence with notes, February 1989-April 1991, (52 items)
2/3First typescript for pp. 5-32, January 1989, (3 pp. )
2/4First manuscript for pp. 5-32, edited, June 1989, (4 pp.)
2/5Photocopy of second manuscript for pp. 5-32, August 1989, (6 pp.)
2/6Photocopies of illustration sketches for pp. 5-7, 10-16, 20-21, 24-25 & 28-29, with 2 letters received, May 1990, (11 items)
2/7Photocopy of second typescript for pp. 5-32, edited, 13 June 1990, (5 pp.)
2/8Third typescript for pp. 5-32, 13 June 1990, (5 pp. )
2/9Third manuscript for pp. 5-32, with 2 copies, each edited differently, 17 June 1990, (each 4 pp.)
2/10Fourth manuscript for pp. 5-32, 2 August 1990, (5 pp. )
2/11Photocopy of fifth manuscript for pp. 5-32, 4 August 1990, (5 pp.)
2/12Photocopy of fourth typescript for pp. 5-32, edited, 9 August 1990, (4 pp.)
2/13Fifth typescript for pp. 1-32, edited and marked for publication, 10 September 1990, (8 pp.)
2/14Galley for pp. 1-32, 12 September 1990, (4 sheets)
The Poetry Troupe: An Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud compiled and decorated by Isabel Wilner (New York: Scribner, 1977)
2/15Correspondence with notes, January 1975-May 1977, (40 items)
2/16Correspondence with notes, June-November 1977, (66 items )
2/17Correspondence with notes, January 1978-December 1982, (43 items)
3/1Correspondence with notes, March 1983-May 1989, (36 items )
3/2-5Typescript for front matter, explanation, and parts 1-10, edited, (270 pp.)
3/6First galley for explanation and parts 1-10, edited, (66 sheets)
3/7First galley for explanation and parts 1-10, edited and marked for publication, (66 sheets)
4/1Second galley for explanation and parts 1-10, edited and marked for publication, (66 sheets )
4/2Typescript pages for front matter, explanation, acknowledgements, and index, with galley for revised explanation, edited and marked for publication, (43 pp.)
5/1-2First layout sheets featuring finished illustrations for front matter, explanation, parts 1-10, and index, (113 sheets)
4/3-4Photocopy of first layout sheets featuring illustration sketches for front matter, explanation, and parts 1-10, made prior to addition of finished illustrations, edited, (105 sheets)
5/3Page proofs for front matter, explanation, parts 1-10, and index, (143 sheets )
6/1Second layout sheets featuring finished illustrations for front matter, explanation, parts 1-10, index, and back matter, (114 sheets)
4/5Reviews, January 1978-April 1985, (28 items)
4/6Newspaper clippings, February-July 1978, (3 items )
4/7Tear sheets from catalogs and photocopies of advertisements, 1979-1989, (14 items)



.

B. Public Readings

4/8Letters received from teachers and college students re poetry troupe readings, April 1974-July 1981, (11 items)
4/9Letters received from unidentified schoolchildren, November 1977-May 1993, (37 items)
6/2Correspondence, photographs, and notes re a poetry troupe reading at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., May 1978, (10 items)
6/3Letters received from schoolchildren in Glen Burnie, Md., January-February 1979, (4 items)
6/4Newspaper clippings, February 1979-November 1988, (8 items )
6/5Letters received from schoolchildren at Clarksville Elementary School in Clarkesville, Md., June 1979, (6 items)
6/6Letters received from schoolchildren from a single unidentified grammar school, December 1979, (9 items)
6/7Letters received from schoolchildren at the Beijing International School in Beijing, China, 1985, (21 items)



.

C. Articles

"Making poetry happen: birth of a poetry troupe" by Isabel Wilner, in Children's Literature in Education 10 (Summer 1979): 86-91.
6/8Correspondence and issue of journal, October 1978-May 1979, (13 items)
"Poetry Troupe: Answers to Questions" by Isabel Wilner, in School Media Quarterly 7 (Winter 1979): 148-150.
6/9Typescript, correspondence, photographs, and issue of journal, [ca. 1978]-1983, (12 items)

Accession Number: 2003-073

Inclusive Dates: 1997-2000

Volume: .33 cubic ft.

Given By : Isabel Wilner

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

The Baby's Game Book selected by Isabel Wilner, pictures by Sam Williams; Greenwillow, 2000.

Photocopies of Parts I and II of the manuscript
Photocopy of typescript dated 3-2-98
Photocopy of Galleys–title page, and pages 2-10, dated 5-4-98
Photocopy of Galleys–pages 11-23, dated 5-4-98
Photocopies pf reviews
Greenwillow Spring/Summer 2000 catalog
Photocopies of editorial correspondence, 1997-2000



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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
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Hattiesburg, MS 39406
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