de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


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

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


Materials received from Scott O'Dell between 1974 and 1979.


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

Scott O'Dell, born May 23, 1898 in Los Angeles, grew up in southern California when it was still a frontier. San Pedro and Rattlesnake Island, near Los Angeles, were two places where the feel of the frontier and the sea influenced the young O'Dell. He attended Occidental College in 1919, University of Wisconsin in 1920, Stanford University from 1920 to 1921, and the University of Rome in 1925. Deciding to forget graduation, he took only classes that interested him and would help in a writing career.

As a cameraman for the original motion picture, "Ben Hur," O'Dell used the first technicolor camera. While working as book editor for the Los Angeles Times, he began writing books. His first work, Representative Photoplays Analyzed: Modern Authorship, was published in 1924; and his first novel, Woman of Spain: A Story of Old California, was published in 1934. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, O'Dell continued writing, producing six adult books and novels.

Twenty-six years after his first novel for adults, O'Dell wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), his first juvenile book. Based on a true story about an Indian girl who spent eighteen years alone on an island off the coast of California, O'Dell drew upon his childhood memories of playing and exploring on Dead Man's Island near Los Angeles. The story was made into a motion picture in 1963; another O'Dell novel, The Black Pearl, also was made into a movie in 1976. He wrote twenty-six children's books before his death in 1989. Island of the Blue Dolphins was highly acclaimed, receiving the Newbery Medal in 1961, the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award im 1961, Zur Errinnerung an die 2000-Jahrfeier der Stadt Mainz in 1962, and the William Allen White Children's Book Award in 1963. O'Dell received three Newbery (honor) awards: in 1967 for The King's Fifth, in 1968 for The Black Pearl, and in 1971 for Sing Down the Moon. He also was the recipient of the New York Times Outstanding Books for Child of Fire in 1974 and the Parents' Choice Award for Alexandra in 1984 and for Streams to the River, River to the Sea: A Novel of Sacagewea in 1986. O'Dell received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1972, the University of Southern Mississippi Silver Medallion in 1976, and the Regina Medal in 1978.


Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, biographical information, material on two books, and a display of six medals won by O'Dell. The titles are arranged alphabetically with the materials for each title organized in the probable order in which they were created. The correspondence consists of a letter (1974) to the de Grummond Collection; the biographical material includes two photographs, a publisher's pamphlet, and a pamphlet and program from USM's Ninth Annual Children's Book Festival in 1976.

Journey To Jericho (1969) is the story of a boy's journey from the coal mines of West Virginia to his new home in California and the jar of Grandma's pickles that he took with him. For this title there are four typescripts with the early working titles "Grandmother's Pickles" and "Journey of the Jar," galleys, and a bound proof. The Treasure of Topo-El-Bampo (1972) is the story of two small burros, a silver mine, and a poor village in Mexico. The collection contains an edited typescript and galleys that are edited and marked for the typesetter for this book.

The six awards, framed in a shadow box display, are the Hans Christian Andersen Medaille (1972), The University of Southern Mississippi Medallion (1976), Zur Erinnerung an die 2000-Jahrfeier der Stadt Mainz (1962), William Allen White Children's Book Award (1963), the John Newbery Medal (1961), and the Regina Medal (1978).

Related Collection

The Lynd Ward Papers (DG1023) contain color separations and a dummy for Topo-El-Bampo.

Series and Subseries

A. Correspondence and Biographical Material (1974, 1976 and undated)

B. Books

C. Awards

Box Inventory


A. Correspondence and Biographical Material

1/1 Letter to de Grummond Collection, 1974. Photographs, undated, 2 items. Publisher's pamphlet, undated. Pamphlet and program for the Children's Book Festival, 1976.

B. Books

JOURNEY TO JERICHO by Scott O'Dell, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969). 1/2 Typescript, "Grandmother's Pickles," edited, pp. 1-19 (pp. 11 and 12 missing). Typescript, edited, pp. 1-25. 1/3 Typescript, "Journey of the Jar," title page and pp. 1-24. Typescript, "Journey of the Jar," edited, incomplete, 13 pages. 1/4 Galleys, pp. 1-9. Proofs, bound. THE TREASURE OF TOPO-EL-BAMPO by Scott O'Dell, illustrated by Lynd Ward (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972). 1/5 Typescript, edited, title page and pp. 1-26A. Galleys, edited and marked for typesetter, pp. 1-7.

C. Awards

2/1 Framed Medallions Hans Christian Andersen Medaille (1972) University of Southern Mississippi Medallion (1976) Zur Erinnerung an die 2000-Jahrfeier der Stadt Mainz (1962) William Allen White Children's Book Award (1963) John Newbery Medal (1961) Regina Medal (1978)

Processed: July 1991
Revised: June 2001





The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection

The University of Southern Mississippi
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Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
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