de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
1.20 cu.ft. (2 boxes)

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


Materials received from Tibor Gergely between 1971 and 1976.


Non-circulating; available for research.


This 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

Tibor Gergely (pronounced gare-GAY) was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 3, 1900, where he spent his childhood. It was only at the age of twenty, when he went to Vienna for the only art training he ever received, that Gergely seriously considered becoming a professional artist. Other than the six months spent studying in that city, he was an entirely self-taught painter and illustrator.

Following his art training, Gergely worked for two years in a Vienna marionette theater as a puppet designer and stage decorator. While living in Europe he supported himself by doing illustrations and cartoons for Hungarian, Austrian, and German periodicals. An accomplished painter, he had exhibitions of his artwork in both European and American galleries. In 1939 Gergely emigrated to the United States, where he worked in commercial art and children's book illustration. From 1942 until his death in 1978 he illustrated many of the famous Little Golden Books, such as Tootle (1945), The Taxi That Hurried (1946), Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River (1946), The Little Red Caboose (1953), and Mister Puffer-Bill: Train Engineer (1965). He also illustrated Margaret Wise Brown's Wheel on the Chimney (1954), which was a Caldecott Honor Book for 1955. Mr. Gergely died in New York City on January 13, 1978, where he had made his home for many years.


Scope and Content

The collection is made up of three series: the first contains materials related to eight books illustrated by Gergely; the second contains materials related to two of his personal Christmas card designs; and the third series contains one unidentified sketch of boats in a harbor. Book-related materials have been arranged alphabetically by book title, and within each title according to the probable order in which they were created.

Dog in the Sky (1952) is a children's science fiction adventure for which the collection holds numerous annotated sketches, fourteen original illustrations, and a full color sketch of the dust jacket. The Golden Story Book of River Bend (1969) is a collection of stories for small children about the animals that live and play in the small village of River Bend. This title, for which there is an unpublished illustration of the dust jacket, is the only Golden Press book represented in the collection. This illustration is an early version of the jacket design and bears a different title than the published book. A Hundred Tuftys (1940) is a picture book for which there are 15 original double-page spread illustrations, many color separations, and several hand-colored blueprints. For The Storks Fly Home (1943), the collection holds an illustration for the dust jacket cover. Dorothy Canfield's Tell Me a Story (1940) is represented by one unidentified color illustration, possibly for the dust jacket. Two Logs Crossing (1943) is a novel about John Haskell, a young man who learns the meaning of independence and responsibility when he is forced to support his family by becoming a fur trapper in the wilderness of early nineteenth century New York State. The Very Stupid Folk (1938) is a collection of humorous Finnish folk tales concerning the adventures of some very hare-brained villagers. For this title there are twenty-one original illustrations. The collection's largest holdings are for When It Rained Cats and Dogs (1946), a rhyme-story about animals raining from the sky and the children who claim them as pets. This title is represented by dummy pages with galley text paste-ups and detailed original illustrations; a dummy with typescript text paste-ups; filmed color separations; and what appear to be pre-press four-color page proofs (the published book was printed in only two colors). It should be noted that the artwork for the dummies and pre-press proofs is considerably different from that of the published product.

Related Collection


Series and Subseries

A. Books (1938-1969)

B. Christmas Cards ([1975?], undated)

C. Unidentified Sketch (undated)

Box Inventory


A. Books

DOG IN THE SKY by Norman Corwin, illustrated by Tibor Gergely (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1952). 1/1 Sketches, graphite, page numbers unidentified, 20 items. Illustrations, graphite, page numbers unidentified, 14 items. Sketch, tempera, dust jacket. THE GOLDEN STORY BOOK OF RIVER BEND by Patricia M. Scarry, pictures by Tibor Gergely (New York: Golden Press, 1969). 1/2 Illustration, watercolor, dust jacket, The Lazy Day Story Book (unpublished). A HUNDRED TUFTYS by Jean Lilly, pictures by Tibor Gergely (New York: Dutton, 1940). 1/3-1/5 Illustrations, ink, tempera and charcoal, 1/3 pages numbers unidentified, 5 items; 1/4 pages numbers unidentified, 5 items; 1/5 page numbers unidentified, 5 items. 1/6 Color separations, page numbers unidentified, 16 items. 1/7 Blueprints, hand-colored, 4 items. TELL ME A STORY by Dorothy Canfield, illustrations by Tibor Gergely (Lincoln: University Publishing, 1940). 1/8 Illustration, tempera, [dust jacket?]. THE STORKS FLY HOME by Jane Tompkins, drawings by Tibor Gergely (New York: Stokes, 1943). 2/1 Illustration, tempera, dust jacket. TWO LOGS CROSSING by Walter D. Edmonds, illustrated by Tibor Gergely (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1943). 2/2-2/3 Illustrations, graphite, 2/2 pp. 1-39, 20 items; 2/3 pp. 40-83, 21 items. THE VERY STUPID FOLK by Toivo David Rosvall, illustrated by Tibor Gergely (New York: Dutton, 1938). 2/4 Illustrations, ink, pp. 13-50, 21 items. WHEN IT RAINED CATS AND DOGS by Nancy Byrd Turner, pictures by Tibor Gergely (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1946). 2/5 Dummy pages with galley text paste-ups, pp. [18/19, 24/25, 26/27, 28/29], 4 items. 2/6 Dummy with typescript text paste-ups. 2/7 Filmed color separation, pp. [14/15], 1 item. 2/8 Pre-press four-color proofs, pp. [28/29, 30/31], 2 items.

B. Christmas Cards

2/9 Color separation, annotated, [1975?]. Printed cards, autographed, [1975?], undated, 5 items.

C. Unidentified Sketch

2/10 Sketch of boats in harbor, wash, undated.

Processed: April 1992
Revised: June 2001

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & 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
(601) 266-4349
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