Noncirculating; available for research.
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.
Mary Eileen Chalmers was born on March 16, 1927 in Camden, New Jersey. When her sister decided to be an artist, she decided she would also. For six years she studied art at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and the Barnes Foundation. After graduating from art school, she worked primarily as a commercial artist. However, it was her love of children's books that led her to write and illustrate her first book, Come for a Walk With Me in 1955. Her second book, Here Comes the Trolley Car, also published in 1955, was inspired by the trolleys that rolled by her home in Philadelphia. A Christmas Story (1956) started as a Christmas card to Ursula Nordstrom, an editor at Harper & Row. Her most notable character, Harry the cat, was inspired by a drawing she sent to Ursula on a thank-you note.
Three of the books in the collection are about cats. The Cat Who Liked to Pretend (1959) is about a cat named Sam. While trying to locate Mrs. Cat's lost kerchief, he finds that the woods makes a wonderful stage for his pretending. There is a typescript, two dummies, preliminary illustrations, and layouts for this title. The other two cat books are about her most notable character, Harry. In Merry Christmas, Harry the little cat visits with Santa Claus, who grants him a wish. There are two dummies and 13 pencil sketches for this title. There are also 24 pencil illustrations for Take A Nap, Harry.
The other three books involve winter and Christmas time. Mule in the Mail is the story of a toy mule who is picked as a Christmas present to be sent in the mail, only to be auctioned off after his shipping box pops open on the conveyer belt. There is a dummy for this title. A Christmas Story is about a little girl named Elizabeth who is searching for a star for her Christmas tree. This tiny book started out as a Christmas card to an editor at Harper & Row. There are 5 watercolor illustrations for this title. Billy wants to know when the snow will arrive in When Will It Snow? There are two dummies, sketches, and illustrations for this title.
Series and Subseries
Box/Folder A. Books THE CAT WHO LIKES TO PRETEND written and illustrated by Mary Chalmers (New York: Harper & Row, 1959). 1/1 Typescript, 2 pp. 1/2 Dummy with pencil sketches and text, 1 item. 1/3 Sketches, pencil, 7 items. 1/4 Preliminary illustrations, pencil and watercolor, 10 items. 1/5 Dummy with text and watercolor illustrations, 1 item. 1/6 Layouts, pencil, 4 pp. A CHRISTMAS STORY written and illustrated by Mary Chalmers (New York: Harper & Row, 1956). 1/7 Illustrations, watercolor, pp. 4-6, and 19-20, 5 items. MERRY CHRISTMAS, HARRY written and illustrated by Mary Chalmers (New York: Harper & Row, 1977). 1/8 Dummy with pencil sketches and text, 20 August 1970, 1 item. 1/9 Dummy with colored pencil and text, 1 item. 1/10 Illustrations, pencil, pp. 6-16, 24, and 26, 13 items. MULE IN THE MAIL by Stephen Manes, illustrated by Mary Chalmers (New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1978). 1/11 Dummy with pasted text and pencil sketches, 1 item. TAKE A NAP, HARRY written and illustrated by Mary Chalmers (New York: Harper & Row, 1964). 1/12 Illustrations, pencil, pp. 2-12, 14, 18-19, and 22-32, 24 items. WHEN WILL IT SNOW? by Syd Hoff, illustrated Mary Chalmers (New York: Harper & Row, 1971). 1/13 Dummy with pencil and watercolor illustrations and text, March 1970, 1 item. 2/1 Sketches, pencil and watercolor, 16 items. 2/2 Dummy with pencil and watercolor and text, 7 July 1970, 1 item. 2/3 Illustrations for text pages, ink, pp. 3-4, 6, 8, 12, 20, and 24, 3 items. 2/4 Illustrations, watercolor, pp. 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 21, 23, 27 and 29, 11 items. 2/5 Illustrations, watercolor, for dust jacket, front endpages, and back endpages, 3 items.
Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content
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Subseries | Box Inventory
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
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The University of Southern Mississippi