de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi



MILLICENT ELLIS SELSAM PAPERS

Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
DG0877
1952-1979
1.50 cu.ft. (5 boxes)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory

Provenance

Material was donated by Millicent Ellis Selsam from 1976 to 1981.

Restrictions

Noncirculating; available for research.

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

Millicent Ellis Selsam was born May 30, 1912, in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Brooklyn College in 1932, and a master's degree in botany from Columbia University in 1934. She taught high school science in New York Public Schools from 1935-1945, until she decided to write "science discovery" books for children and young adults in 1946. Her first book, From Egg to Chick (1946, 1970), became part of the Harper & Row "I Can Read Science" series in 1970. She was the juvenile science editor for Walker & Company Publishers in 1972 and worked with Joyce Hunt on the "First Look" series. That same year she was also the editor for Isaac Asimov's twenty book series "How Did We Find Out."

During her career, Ms. Selsam wrote over 100 children's science trade books, and collaborated on a dozen others. She received numerous awards for her "total body of work," including the Eva L. Gordon Award in 1964, the Lucky Book Club Four-Leaf Clover Award in 1973, and Washington Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award in 1977. She was also a nominee for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in 1980. She died on October 12, 1996 in Manhattan, New York.

Sources:


Scope and Content

The collection contains typescripts, mechanicals, galleys, proofs, dummies, promotional material, and correspondence for 29 titles. The titles are arranged alphabetically and within each title according to the probable order in which they were created. The correspondence was arranged by title with the exception of fan mail and correspondence with the de Grummond Collection.

Ms. Selsam wrote many non-fiction books about plants, flowers, and trees. There is a typescript, a mechanical layout, and a proof for The Amazing Dandelion (1977). There are also typescripts for The Doubleday First Guide to Wildflowers (1964) and How to Grow House Plants (1960). Also included are the dummies for Play With Leaves and Flowers (1952) and dust jackets for See Through the Forest (1956) and Plants That Move (1962). Three of her "A First Look" books, which she co-wrote with Joyce Hunt are included in the collection. There are dummies, typescripts, proofs, and reviews for A First Look at Flowers (1976). There are dummies and manuscript notes for A First Look at Leaves (1972) and A First Look at the World of Plants (1978).

Ms. Selsam also wrote books about fruits, vegetables, and other unusual plants. These books were all published with photographs taken by Jerome Wexler. There are galleys and a dummy for The Apple and Other Fruits (1973). Also included are typescripts, a dummy, mechanicals, and correspondence for Popcorn (1976), as well as two typescripts and a galley for Bulbs, Corms, and Such (1974). The Carrot and Other Root Vegetables (1971), Peanut (1969), and The Tomato and Other Fruit Vegetables (1970) have dummies, typescripts, galleys and correspondence. There are also proofs for The Tomato and Other Fruit Vegetables.

Other topics Ms. Selsam frequently used in her books were animals, birds, and insects. There are typescripts, galleys, proofs, and a dust jacket for How Animals Tell Time (1967). Also included are the press sheets for Tony's Birds (1961) and A Time for Sleep; How the Animals Rest (1953). There are research notes, layouts, a typescript, dummy and galley for Ants, Questions and Answers (1967). The Bug That Laid the Golden Eggs (1967) also has a dummy and galley.

There are typescripts for Benny's Animals and How He Put Them in Order (1966), Let's Get Turtles (1965), and A Time for Sleep; How the Animals Rest. There are galleys for Terry and the Caterpillars (1962) and How Animals Sleep, A Time for Sleep (1953).There are also dust jackets for How Animals Live Together (1979), The Language of Animals (1962), and Stars, Mosquitoes, and Crocodiles (1962).

Ms. Selsam also wrote articles for a periodical called the "Book of Knowledge" series. Each year a list of proposed topics was presented to authors for consideration. The list sent to Ms. Selsam, her correspondence with the editors at Grolier and the typescripts for four articles are included in the collection.


Related Collection

The Jerome Wexler Papers (DG1041) have related correspondence, photographs and proofs.




Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence

B. Books


Box Inventory


Box/Folder 

A. Correspondence

1/1 Correspondence with the de Grummond Collection, 1967-1976, n.d., 6 items. 1/2 Fan mail, 1969, 5 items.

B. Books

The Amazing Dandelion by Millicent Ellis Selsam and Jerome Wexler, photographs by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1977). 1/3 Typescript, photocopied with notes on page numbering and color slide numbers, 11 items. 1/4 Mechanical, photocopied with text layout, pp. 1-48. 1/5 Proof for dust jacket, 1 item. Ants, Questions and Answers by Millicent Ellis Selsam (New York: Scholastic, 1967). 1/6 Research notes, 20 pp. 1/7 Layout with text paste-up, "first draft," edited, 16 pp. 1/8 Typescript, "second draft," minor corrections, 18 pp. 1/9 Dummy, 63 pp. 1/10 Galley, "first proof," edited, 15 November 1966; pp. 1-10. The Apple and Other Fruits by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photos by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1973). 1/11 Dummy, 1 item. 1/12-1/13 Galleys, 1/12 "Corrected duplicate," edited with typesetter's marks and page numbering, 6 April 1973; 6 pp. 1/13 24 May 1973; 6 pp. Benny's Animals and How He Put Them in Order by Millicent Ellis Selsam, pictures by Arnold Lobel (New York: Harper & Row, 1966). 1/14 Typescript, minor corrections, pp 1-16. Birth of a Forest by Millicent Selsam, pictures by Barbara Wolff (New York: Harper & Row, 1964). 1/15 Folded and gathered sheets, stapled, 1 item. The Bug That Laid the Golden Eggs by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photos by Harold Krieger, drawings by John Kaufmann (New York: Harper & Row, 1967). 1/16 Dummy, (photocopied for preservation), 1 item. 1/17 Galley, pp. 1-63. Bulbs, Corms, and Such by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photographs by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1974). 1/18 List of items donated from title, 1 item. Typescript, edited, pp. 1-13. 1/19 Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks, pp. 1-18. 1/20 Galley, 26 April 1974, pp. 1-17. The Carrot and Other Root Vegetables by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photographs by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1971). 2/1 Correspondence, includes letters used in research and letters from Jerome Wexler, 28 items. 2/2 Typescript, edited, pp. 1-8. Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks; front matter, 6 pp., pp. 1-8. Typescript, marked for galley, pp. 1-8. 2/3 Dummy, pasted with text, 1 item. 2/4 Galley, 17 May 1971, pp. 1-2A. 2/5 Proof for dust jacket, 1 item. The Doubleday First Guide to Wildflowers by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Barbara Wolff (Garden City: Doubleday, 1964). 2/6 Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks, 24 pp. A First Look at Flowers by Millicent Ellis Selsam and Joyce Hunt, illustrated by Harriett Springer (New York: Walker, 1976). 2/7 Dummy, "xerox dummy - second draft," 15 pp. 2/8 Dummy, "fourth draft of dummy," pp. 1-32. 2/9 Typescript, "final copy," edited with typesetter's marks, pp. 1-5 Typescript, photocopy, pp. 1-5. 2/10 Proofs, "first proofs," pp. 1-9. 2/11 Dust jacket, 1 item. 2/12 Reviews, 4 items. A First Look at Leaves by Millicent Ellis Selsam and Joyce Hunt, illustrated by Harriett Springer (New York: Walker, 1972). 2/13 List of items donated from title, 1 item. Correspondence from New York Botanical Gardens, 1 item. 2/14 Manuscript outline, 1 pp. Dummy, "first dummy," 18 pp. 2/15 Dummy, "second dummy," 33 pp. A First Look at the World of Plants by Millicent Ellis Selsam and Joyce Hunt, Illustrated by Harriett Springer (New York: Walker, 1978). 2/16 Manuscript notes, "many attempts at writing difficult parts of this difficult book," 61 pp. 2/17 Dummy, pp. 1-31. How Animals Live Together by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Kathleen Elgin (New York: Morrow, 1979). 2/18 Dust jacket, 1 item. How Animals Sleep, A Time for Sleep by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats (Scholastic Books, 1953). [First edition published as A Time for Sleep, How the Animals Rest by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Helen Ludwig (New York: W. R. Scott, 1953).] 2/19 Galley, pp. 1-8. How Animals Tell Time by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by John Kaufman (New York: W. Morrow, 1967). 3/1 Typescript, edited, 43 pp. 3/2 Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks, pp. 1-48. 3/3 Typescript, list of captions, 4 pp. 3/4-3/6 Galleys, 3/4 17 August 1966, pp. 1-16. 3/5 26 September 1966, list of captions, 3 pp. 3/6 27 September 1966, pp. 1-89. 3/7 Proofs for front matter, 6 pp. 3/8 Dust jacket, 1 item. How to Grow House Plants by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Kathleen Elgin (New York: Morrow, 1960). 3/9 Correspondence with attached outline, 4 pp. 3/10 Partial typescript, (missing chapter 5), 44 pp. The Language of Animals by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Kathleen Elgin (New York: Morrow, 1962). 3/11 Dust jacket, 1 item. Let's Get Turtles by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (New York: Harper & Row, 1965). 3/12 Typescript, edited, pp. 1-21. Peanut by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photographs by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1969). 3/13 Correspondence, 1969, 34 items. 3/14 Manuscript notes, 64 items. 3/15 Typescript, "submitted to editor," pp. 1-8. 3/16 Typescript, "copy-edited for printer," edited, pp. 1-7. 3/17 Typescript, photocopied, edited, pp. 1-7. 3/18 Dummy, photocopied, pp. 1-43. 3/19 Slide proofs from dummy, 14 items. 3/20 Color illustrations, photocopied, 3 pp. 3/21 Galley, pp. 1-8. Plants That Move by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Fred F. Scherer (New York: Morrow, 1962). 4/1 Dust jacket, 1 item. Play With Leaves and Flowers by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Fred F. Scherer (New York: Morrow, 1952). 4/2 Dummy, pasted text and illustrations, pp. 1-65. Popcorn by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photographs by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1976). 4/3 Correspondence, 1969-1976, n.d., 48 items. 4/4 Dummy, "first," edited, pp. 1-49. 4/5 Typescript, edited, pp. 1-14. 4/6 Typescript, photocopied, edited, pp. 1-14. 4/7 Mechanicals, photocopied, pp. 1-48. See Through the Forest by Millicent Ellis Selsam, pictures by Winifred Lubell (New York: Harper, 1956). 4/8 Dust jacket, 1 item. 4/9 Folded and gathered sheets, 54 pp. See Through the Sea by Millicent Ellis Selsam and Betty Morrow, pictures by Winifred Lubell (New York: Harper, 1955). 4/10 Dummy, pp. 1-47. Stars, Mosquitoes, and Crocodiles: the American Travels of Alexander von Humboldt selected and edited by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Russell Francis Peterson (New York: Harper & Row, 1962). 4/11 Dust jackets, 3 items. A Time for Sleep; How the Animals Rest by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Helen Ludwig (New York: W. R. Scott, 1953). 4/12 Press sheets (oversized materials, housed in map case 2H/2). Terry and the Caterpillars by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (New York: Harper & Row, 1962). 4/13 Galley, minor corrections, pp. 1-11A. The Tomato and Other Fruit Vegetables by Millicent Ellis Selsam, photographs by Jerome Wexler (New York: Morrow, 1970). 4/14 Correspondence, 1969-1970, 23 items. 4/15 Dummy, pp. 3-48. 5/1 Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks and photograph placement; front matter 6 pp., pp. 1-7. 5/2 Typescript, marked with page numbering, pp. 1-7. 5/3 Galleys, "Master galley," pp. 1-3. Copy, 10 May 1970, pp. 1-3. 5/4 Proofs, "printer's proofs," front matter, pp. 1-4. Tony's Birds by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Kurt Werth (New York: Harper, 1961). 5/5 Typescript, edited, pp. 1-20. 5/6 Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks, pp. 1-14. 5/7 Press sheets for dust jacket, 1 item. You and the World Around You by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Greta Elgaard (Garden City: Doubleday, 1963). 5/8 Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks, front matter, 4 pp., pp. 1-9. 5/9 Galley, edited, 7 December 1962; pp. 1-8. 5/10 Proofs, front matter, 6 pp., pp. 1-64. The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin, abridged and edited by Millicent Ellis Selsam, illustrated by Anthony Ravielli (New York: Harper, 1959). 5/11 Dust jacket, 1 item.

C. Book of Knowledge Serials

5/12 Correspondence with Grolier's editor, 1962-1967, 19 items. 5/13 List of proposed science articles and biographies to be published by Grolier in the Book of Knowledge serials. 5/14-5/15 Typescripts for articles published in the Book of Knowledge serials, (written and published ca. 1962-1965). 5/14 "Animal Communication and Social Organization," edited, pp. 1- 10. "Bees," edited, 16 pp. 5/15 "Flowers and Seeds," edited, 16 pp. "Plants, Food," edited, pp. 1-14.

D. Publisher's Promotional Materials

5/16 Publisher's Promotional Materials, 3 items.


Separation List

The following items were removed from the Millicent Ellis Selsam Papers and added to the Jerome Wexler Papers (DG1041).

Four pieces of correspondence with Millicent Selsam.

Six color proofs for Peanut (1969).

One oversized color press proof for The Tomato and Other Fruit Vegetables (1970).

Thirty-eight black and white photographs and seven black and white page proofs for The Amazing Dandelion (1977).

One black and white photograph for The Bug That Laid the Golden Eggs (1967).

Thirty-five black and white photographs for Popcorn (1976).


Processed: January 5, 1998
Revised: July 2001


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