de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
2.70 cu.ft. (5 boxes)

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


Materials were donated by Hardie Gramatky and Mr. and Mrs. Kendall B. Smith from 1966 to 1985.


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

Hardie Gramatky was born April 12, 1907 in Dallas, Texas. He lost his father at an early age, and his mother had to struggle to make a living. This struggle brought the family to California where Gramatky spent most of his childhood in Los Angeles. It was here that a teacher suggested he show his art work to the Los Angeles Times, where he was promptly hired to do his Captain Kidd Jr. comic strip, giving him the necessary money to finish high school and college. He attended Stanford University from 1926 to 1928 and Chouinard Art School from 1928 to 1930.

From 1930 until 1936 Gramatky became head animator for the Walt Disney studio. In 1937 he and his wife, Dorothea Cooke (whom he married in 1932), moved to New York City where he set up his own studio. He served a three-year stint as a pictorial reporter for Fortune magazine from 1937 to 1939. He also illustrated for several other national magazines and advertising agencies with travel assignments to Europe and South America. He also served as training film supervisor in the United States Air Force from 1942 to 1945 and was later commissioned as the Air Force war artist in Vietnam in 1966.

Gramatky's studio overlooked the East River, and he would spend many hours watching the boats until each one began to take on a definitive personality. One day a tugboat caught his eye, which became the inspiration for his first book, Little Toot (1939). This book become a children's classic with four sequels. Gramatky went on to write and illustrate a total of thirteen books for children including the Little Toot series, Sparky, Hercules, and Loopy. Over two million copies of his books have been sold. He was working on a book about Loch Ness at the time of his death in 1979.

Gramatky was a member of the National Academy, the American Watercolor Society (secretary from 1946 to 1948), the Society of Illustrators, and the Authors Guild. At the time of his death Gramatky had been listed in "Who's Who" since 1948. He won more than fifty top awards for his watercolors, including the Chicago International Award in 1942 and the High Winds Medal from the American Watercolor Society in 1979. Gramatky won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1969 for Little Toot. The book was also named a classic in children's literature by the Library of Congress and was made into a movie by Walt Disney. Gramatky also had paintings in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Chicago Art Institute, the Toledo Museum of Art and the Frye Museum in Seattle.


Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence, professional material, original materials for eight book titles, and unidentified illustrations. The correspondence, arranged in chronological order, is addressed to the de Grummond Collection and includes printed Christmas cards with illustrations by Gramatky. Professional papers include two articles about Gramatky and an advertisement for a cruise on which Gramatky was to hold children's hours.

Book titles are arranged alphabetically, with the material for each placed in the probable order in which it was created. Bolivar (1961) is the story of a playful donkey who saves the town from a fierce raging bull. For this title the collection includes a press sheet of the complete book. For Creeper's Jeep (1948), the story of a boy, his new jeep and the mischief they get into trying to be helpful around the farm, the collection includes an illustration. Homer and the Circus Train (1957) is the story of a little caboose who saves the circus animals when their train speeds out of control. For this title the collection also holds an illustration.

For the children's classic, Little Toot (1939) and the three sequels represented in the collection, there is a three-dimensional model of Little Toot made by Gramatky, and three watercolor illustrations. Little Toot is the first in a series of six books about the adventures of a mischievous but well-meaning little tugboat. Also included in the collection are printed pages, a dust jacket, and a promotional bookmark for Little Toot on the Mississippi (1973), which is the story of how Little Toot discovers the old steamboats of the Mississippi River and how they rescue the swamp animals from a flood. For Little Toot on the Thames (1964), the story of Little Toot's adventures in London, the collection holds color separations on blue bristols. Also included is a promotional item for Little Toot through the Golden Gate (1975).

Sparky, the Story of a Little Trolley Car (1952) is the story of Sparky's heroic adventures and his efforts to avoid being converted into a diner by the mayor. For this title the collection contains a typescript, manuscript notes and sketches, three dummies, illustrations, and multiple color separations. Finally, the collection includes five unidentified charcoal illustrations.

Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence (1966-1978 and undated)

B. Professional Papers (1969-1973 and undated)

C. Books (1939-1975)

D. Unidentified Illustrations (undated)

E. Reader's Digest Cover Illustrations

Box Inventory


A. Correspondence

1/1 To the de Grummond Collection, including printed cards illustrated by Hardie Gramatky, 1966-1978 and undated, 49 items.

B. Professional Papers

1/2 Article, "Gramatky Paintings Donated to USM," The Westport News, 9 January 1969. Article, "Tots Inspire Little Toot's Adventure," by Edith Lynn Hornik for The Hartford Courant, 9 December 1973. Advertisement for a flagship cruise on the M. S. Kungsholm with Hardie Gramatky holding children's hours, undated.

C. Books

BOLIVAR by Hardie Gramatky (New York: Putnam, 1961). 1/3 Press sheet for complete book. [Oversize item, stored separately] CREEPER'S JEEP by Hardie Gramatky (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1948). 1/4 Illustration, watercolor, p. [33]. HOMER AND THE CIRCUS TRAIN by Hardie Gramatky (New York: Putnam, 1957). 1/5 Illustration, watercolor, pp. [16-17]. LITTLE TOOT pictures and story by Hardie Gramatky (New York: Putnam, 1939). 1/6 Model for Little Toot made by Gramatky, three-dimensional, mixed media. [Stored separately] Illustrations for "Little Toot" series, not published, watercolor, 3 items. [1 oversize item, stored separately] LITTLE TOOT ON THE MISSISSIPPI by Hardie Gramatky (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1973). 1/7 Proofs, pp. [57-58, 62, and 74]. Proof, dust jacket. Proof, bookmark, G. P. Putnam's Sons. LITTLE TOOT ON THE THAMES by Hardie Gramatky (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1964). 1/8 Color separations on blue bristols, pp. 9, 11, 17, and 57, 1 item. [Oversize item, stored separately] LITTLE TOOT THROUGH THE GOLDEN GATE by Hardie Gramatky (New York: Putnam, 1975). 1/9 Promotional item, G. P. Putnam's Sons. SPARKY, THE STORY OF A LITTLE TROLLEY CAR story and pictures by Hardie Gramatky (New York: Putnam, 1952). 1/10 Typescript, "first draft," with envelope marked, "Original `Thoughts and Ideas' on Sparky - Synopsis used in selling idea for book to the publisher," 3 pp. Photocopies of annotated typescript, "Notes on `Sparky'." 1/11 Manuscript notes and sketches, with envelope marked, "35 drawings and ideas used in creation of Sparky," graphite and charcoal, 22 items. 1/12 Dummy in red hardcover, with holograph text and photomechanical reproduction of illustrations, 68 pp. Dummy in green hardcover, with typeset text and proofs of illustrations, 72 pp. 2/1-2/3 Dummy, removed from notebook, "original manuscript," with typescript text and watercolor, graphite, and charcoal illustrations, 68 pp. 2/1 title page and pp. 5-24; 2/2 pp. 25-46; 2/3 pp. 47-66 and 2 unpaginated. 2/4 Illustrations, preliminary, watercolor, frontispiece, 7 items. Photomechanical reproductions, 3 copies. 3/1-3/2 Illustrations, watercolor, 3/1 frontispiece; pp. 14-15 [Framed item, stored separately]; 55, 59, 62-63; 3/2 67 and cover. 3/3-4/8 Color separations, some on blue bristols, 3/3 frontispiece, pp. 7, 7 items; 3/4 9, 11, 13, 17, 7 items; 3/5 14-15, 19, 21, 23, 11 items; 4/1 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 10 items; 4/2 32, 33, 34-35, 6 items; 4/3 36, 37, 39, 6 items; 4/4 41, 43, 44, 45, 7 items; 4/5 47, 49, 51, 9 items; 4/6 53, 54, 55, 57, 59, 7 items; 4/7 61, 62-63, 65, 67, 8 items; 4/8 68, endpapers, and cover/jacket, 7 items.

D. Unidentified Illustrations

4/9 Sketch, "House of the Painted Eagle," charcoal, 5 items. Sketches, charcoal, 4 items.

E. Reader's Digest Cover Illustrations

Gramatky created the illustrations used for the covers of the following issues of Reader's Digest. Included are copies of the published magazine only. 5/1 October 1952; February 1953; 5/2 April 1953; March 1954; 5/3 June 1954; July 1956; 5/4 June 1957.

Processed: July 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

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