de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
1936-1973 [1936-1964]
.40 cu.ft. (1 box)

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


Materials received from Marguerite de Angeli between 1966 and 1973.


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.

Biographical Sketch

Marguerite Lofft de Angeli was born March 14, 1889 in Lapeer, Michigan. Her grandfather had been the town blacksmith, her father the town photographer. When she was thirteen her family moved to Philadelphia where her artistic inclinations grew and she tried to choose between writing, drawing, and singing. Throughout high school she concentrated on singing and soon was in demand as a soloist and choir member in the Philadelphia area.

She married John Daily de Angeli in 1910, and while raising their children near Collingwood, New Jersey, her desire to draw re-emerged. Her neighbor, a successful illustrator, helped her polish her untrained talent and gain commissions as a book and magazine illustrator. She illustrated articles for Country Gentleman and for many years illustrated books of other writers before starting her own career as an author-artist.

De Angeli's first books, Ted and Nina Go to the Grocery Store (1935) and Ted and Nina Have a Happy Rainy Day (1936), which were about two of her children, resulted from the urging of a children's editor to write and illustrate a book for first graders. Turning next to the Pennsylvania Dutch country for writing ideas, she soon became associated with the Amish through her books Henner's Lydia and Yonie Wondernose.

She has written extensively about ethnic groups and the foreign-born in America, including the Poles, Swedes, French-Canadians, and Mennonites as well as the Amish. Believing that all children are basically the same, no matter what their national origin, de Angeli broke literary ground by writing of a black family and racial prejudice in her book Bright April (1946). In 1950 the award-winning book, The Door in the Wall, was published. Detailing the story of a crippled boy who saved a besieged castle in thirteenth-century England, it was the first book to take her abroad for research. She later highlighted dramatic themes such as war and revenge, writing about England, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. The typical de Angeli children's story, however, is known for its treatment of ordinary day- to-day concerns of all children. She makes the exotic and particular seem universal to the child.

De Angeli continued writing until her death in 1987. Among the honors she received were the Newbery Medal in 1950 and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1961 both for Door in the Wall, and the Newbery (honor) Award for The Black Fox of Lorne in 1956. Yonie Wondenose won the Caldecott (honor) Medal in 1945 and Marguerite de Angeli's Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes received the medal in 1955. De Angeli won the Spring Book Festival (middle honor) for Bright April in 1946 and (older honor) for They Loved to Laugh in 1942. She was named Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 1958 and received the Regina Medal in 1968.


Scope and Content

The collection contains one letter from de Angeli to the de Grummond Collection concerning drawings from Henner's Lydia, material on six titles, and some unidentified art. The correspondence is first, followed by the titles arranged in alphabetical order, and finally the unidentified art.

For Black Fox of Lorne (1956), a tale set in the 10th century about twin Viking lads who avenge their father's death, there is a book jacket. The collection contains a pencil drawing for both Bright April (1947), de Angeli's ground-breaking book about a black family, and The Goose Girl (1964), her version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Henner's Lydia (1936) is about children in Pennsylvania-Dutch country. Included for this title is a colored sketch and a key drawing, in reverse, for separation. For Skippack School (1939), the story of Eli Shrawder and Christopher Dock, schoolmaster, around the year 1750, there is a watercolor original. For Turkey For Christmas (1944), another book for small children, there is a print of the watercolor painting from which the cover was taken. Also included in the collection are three unidentified charcoal drawings and an unidentified watercolor painting.

Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence (1973)

B. Books (1936-1964)

C. Unidentified Art

Box Inventory


A. Correspondence

1/1 To the de Grummond Collection, 25 October 1973, 1 item.

B. Books

BLACK FOX OF LORNE written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1956). 1/2 Dust jacket. BRIGHT APRIL by Marguerite de Angeli (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1946). 1/3 Illustration, graphite, p. 81. THE GOOSE GIRL by Jacob Grimm, a new translation illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964). 1/4 Sketch, pencil, p. 8. HENNER'S LYDIA written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1936). 1/5 Sketch, colored pencil, p. 26. Key illustration, reversed, p. 26. SKIPPACK SCHOOL written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli (New York: Doubleday, 1939). 1/6 Illustration, transparent watercolor. [framed, stored separately] TURKEY FOR CHRISTMAS written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1944). 1/7 Print, watercolor, cover.

C. Unidentified Art

1/8 Sketches, graphite, of farm scene, 2 items. Sketch, graphite, of young girl. Illustration, watercolor, of farm scene.

Processed: March 1991
Revised: May 31, 2001

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory
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The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection

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