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JUSTIN FRANCIS DENZEL PAPERS

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


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Creator: Justin Francis Denzel
Title: Justin Francis Denzel Papers
Dates: 1955-1994
Dates: [bulk 1955-1962; 1986-1994]
Quantity: 0.25 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: DG1128

Abstract: The Justin Francis Denzel Papers contain a typescript, letters received, and publications created and accumulated by Justin Francis Denzel between 1955 and 1994. Denzel's papers were created from his composition of one book and eighteen short stories. Over his career, Denzel published more than one hundred short stories and fourteen fiction and non-fiction books for eight- to twelve-year old readers.

Biographical Note

Justin Francis Denzel was born January 15, 1917, in Clifton, New Jersey, to George and Alvina (Munzell) Denzel. He displayed an interest in natural history from an early age, collecting "little things" in the fields around his hometown. As a young man, he worked on Civilian Conservation Corps projects in Alaska and spent two years as an outdoor writer for The Alaskan, a small newspaper sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service. He served in World War II as a tank gunner, receiving the Purple Heart for wounds suffered at the Battle of the Bulge. He tried unsuccessfully to write an adult novel after the war.

Denzel gave up writing for a few years until the late 1950s when he began selling short stories to various young adult magazines. Numerous secular and religious groups published dozens of weekly youth magazines of short stories, articles, and poems that became very popular during the 1950s and 1960s. Denzel credited their demands for tight, concise writing and fast, realistic plots for providing his early training as a children's author. Although he wrote for both children and adults, Denzel found his niche in the eight- to twelve-year old age group. He published more than one hundred short stories and fourteen fiction and non-fiction books over his writing career. Boy of the Painted Cave (1988), his most successful book, was translated into seven languages and nominated for the William Allen White Children's Book Award in 1991.

Denzel married Josephine Ogazaly in 1947 and had one son. He was a lifelong resident of Clifton, New Jersey, and worked as a research librarian for Hoffmann-La Roche Pharmaceutical Company in Nutley, New Jersey, for thirty years before his retirement in 1982. Justin Denzel died on January 17, 1999.

Sources:
Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series, ed. Susan M. Trosky (Detroit: Gale Research, 1994), 42:119-120.
Something About the Author, ed. Anne Commire (Detroit: Gale Research, 1987), 46:69-71.
Obituary in The Record (Clifton, New Jersey), 19 January 1999.


Scope and Content Note

The Justin Francis Denzel Papers contain a typescript, letters received, and publications created and accumulated by Justin Francis Denzel between 1955 and 1994. Denzel's papers were created from his composition of one book and eighteen short stories. The material is organized into two series: a book and short stories.

The book series contains material for Boy of the Painted Cave (1988). It includes a photocopy of the first typescript of the novel and considerable editorial commentary by the noted children's book editor and author, Patricia Lee Gauch of Philomel Books. The series also contains material generated after the book's publication. The items in the book series are arranged chronologically in order of creation when known.

The short stories series consists of eighteen young adult magazines containing stories written by Justin Denzel between 1956 and 1962. Denzel sold stories to papers published by bodies of the Baptist ( Upward and Young People), Methodist ( Twelve/ Fifteen ), Presbyterian ( Forward), and Roman Catholic ( The Catholic Boy and Treasure Chest) Churches. Acceptance letters accompany some periodicals. The items in the short stories series are arranged alphabetically by story title.


Series and Subseries

A. Book (1986-1994)

Boy of the Painted Cave (1988)

B. Short Stories (1955-1962)


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), Justin Francis Denzel 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 Justin Francis Denzel in 1994 and 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, December 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

Boy of the Painted Cave by Justin Denzel (New York: Philomel Books, 1988)
1/1Photocopy of first typescript, edited by Patricia Lee Gauch: chapters 1-18, 1986
1/2Typescripts of editorial comments by Patricia Lee Gauch of Philomel Books, 1986-1987, (4 items)
1/3Photocopy of advertisement, 1988, (1 item)
1/4Photocopy of review, 26 August 1988, (1 item)
1/5Letters received from Manchester G.A.T.E. School in Fresno, California, 1990-1991, (2 items)
1/6Ballot for the William Allen White Children's Book Award, 1991, (1 item)
1/7Issue of "Profile: Patricia Lee Gauch," The Institute Newsline 4 (November 1994): 9, 12.



.

Short Stories

1/8Letter received, 23 September 1955; issue of "African Hunt" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Kreigh Collins, Upward (24 June 1956): 1, 12-15.
1/9Letter received, 29 September 1958; issue of "The Big Cat" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by W. H. Wickham, Twelve / Fifteen Vol. 8, No. 10, Pt. 1 (4 October 1959): 2-3, 11.
1/10Letter received, 25 February 1960; issue of "Bobsled Run" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Kreigh Collins, Upward (15 January 1961): 2-5, 18-19.
1/11Letter received, 25 November 1958; issue of "Danger Down Under" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by William Moyers, Twelve / Fifteen Vol. 8, No. 11, Pt. 4 (22 November 1959): 2-3, 12.
1/12Issue of "High Tension" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Sam Dion, Young People Vol. 80, No. 1, Pt. 3 (17 January 1960): 2-4, 13-14.
1/13Letter received, 24 July 1956; issue of "Hunter's Choice" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Ed Smith, Upward (17 February 1957): 1, 12-15.
1/14Letter received, 23 January 1959; issue of "Ice Bound" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Norman Rudolph, Twelve / Fifteen Vol. 8, No. 12, Pt. 4 (27 December 1959): 7, 10.
1/15Issue of "Log Jam" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Henry Luhrs, Twelve / Fifteen Vol. 6, No. 3, Pt. 5 (31 March 1957): 2-3, 12.
1/16Letters received, April-May 1957, 2 items; issue of "River of Darkness" by J. F. Denzel, illustrated by Paul Grout , The Catholic Boy Vol. 26, No. 1 (September 1957): 4-8, 26.
1/17Letter received, 19 March 1956; issue of "Salmon Derby" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by William Moyers, Upward (18 August 1957): 1, 13-15.
1/18Issue of "Salmon Derby" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by William Moyers, Upward (8 July 1962): 12-18.
1/19Letter received, 20 October 1958; issue of "Siwash Boy" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Sidney Quinn, The Catholic Boy Vol. 27, No. 4 (December 1958): 18-22.
1/20Issue of "Street Angel" by Justin F. Denzel, Young People Vol. 77, No. 6, Pt. 2 (9 June 1957): 2-7.
1/21Issue of "Street Angel" by Justin F. Denzel, Standard Vol. 23, No. 33 (17 August 1958): 5-8.
1/22Letter received, 7 August 1958; issue of "Swamp Buggy" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by Paul M. Swisher, Twelve / Fifteen Vol. 8, No. 5, Pt. 4 (24 May 1959): 2-3, 11.
1/23Issue of "Ten Fathoms Deep" by Justin F. Denzel, illustrated by William Hamilton, Forward Vol. 76, No. 23 (9 June 1957): 2-4, 13, 15.
1/24Issue of "Too Big!" by Justin F. Denzel, Young People Vol. 77, No. 11, Pt. 3 (17 November 1957): 2-6.
1/25Issue of "Turtle Bay" by Justin Denzel, illustrated by Bill Martin, Treasure Chest Vol. 12, No. 10 (17 January 1957): 26-28.

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