de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi



RICHARD PECK PAPERS

Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
DG0769
1972-1991
4.25 cu.ft. (17 boxes)

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

Provenance

Materials donated by Richard Peck between 1985 and 1992.

Restrictions

Non-circulating; available for research.

Copyright

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

Richard Wayne Peck was born April 5, 1934 in Decatur, Illinois. His childhood was a happy one, and good grades in high school won him a scholarship to DePauw University, where he majored in English. After a year spent studying abroad at the University of Exeter in Devon, England, he returned to DePauw and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956. Following two years' service in the army, Peck returned to college and received his Master of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University in 1959, where he spent two years as an English instructor.

Peck taught English in a suburban Chicago high school from 1961 to 1963, and it was here that he first became aware of the special problems of adolescents and identified his potential readers: the quiet, independent-minded students who could be won over to reading. This experience with teenagers growing up in rootless suburbia was to profoundly affect Peck's later young adult novels.

Following a brief period as a textbook editor in Chicago, Peck fulfilled one of his childhood dreams by moving to New York City. Here he taught junior high school, where he further observed the attitudes and reading preferences of young people. Though he enjoyed teaching, Peck resigned from his tenured post in 1971 due to an increasing disillusionment with what he perceived as the permissive and academically unfocused atmosphere at the school in which he taught.

Immediately after leaving his teaching position in New York City, Peck began fulfilling another childhood dream: that of being a writer. In 1972 his first young adult novel, Don't Look and It Won't Hurt, was published and met with generally positive reviews. Peck's first award for his fiction came from the Friends of American Writers for The Ghost Belonged to Me (1975). Another honor followed for Are You in the House Alone? (1976), which gained Peck the Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Since 1971, Peck has written more than fifteen novels for young adults, as well as three adult novels. He has also edited several collections of poetry for young adults, in addition to writing and editing articles, short stories, essay collections, and children's books. His novels for adolescents all have one overriding message for readers: "you will never grow up until you learn to think and act independently of your peers." Peck stresses that he writes for his readers instead of to them, and often his stories are told from the viewpoint of an adolescent narrator. Though the medium may be comedy, mystery or the realistic "problem" novel, Peck's thesis that maturity is the result of responsibility for one's own actions is common throughout his young adult fiction. In his own words, "A young adult novel is the chronicle of one step in a young character's climb to maturity. It can be comic, tragic, and often faltering, but it is always a step up."

As of 1991, Peck lived in New York City. He travels approximately 70,000 miles a year on visits to schools, libraries, and conferences in order to meet those most closely associated with his work -- teachers, librarians, and young readers.

Sources:


Scope and Content

The collection contains eight series arranged in the following order: promotional material, correspondence, awards, speeches and interviews, books, short stories, articles, and unidentified works. The promotional material, consisting of a publicity packet from Dell books, provides a good overview of Peck's career as a novelist. The correspondence consists of four letters to the de Grummond Collection. Representing Peck's awards, the collection holds his Illinois Author of the Year Award, presented to him in 1977. Peck's speeches, interviews, and public appearances are represented by fifteen typescripts and six cassette recordings of speeches and interviews, indicative of his active role as a public speaker across the United States and Canada.

Correspondence and speeches have been arranged chronologically wherever possible. Books have been arranged alphabetically by title, and within each title according to the probable order in which the materials were generated in the production of the book.

Seventeen of Peck's published books are represented in the collection, all but one by original materials. The largest holdings are for Peck's first adult novel, Amanda/Miranda (1980). This lavish historical novel, set in the Edwardian period and centered on the sinking of the Titanic, required a great deal of research on the author's part. Included among the research materials for this title are a photocopied letter from Walter Lord (author of A Night to Remember) and a photocopied list of first-class passengers aboard the Titanic. Other materials held for this title are an incomplete typescript, dated 1975, a complete typescript from 1979, and the author's galleys. Peck's third adult novel, This Family of Women (1983), is represented by a complete typescript and a cover for the paperback edition. Included with the typescript is a (possibly) unpublished introduction in which Peck explains how he came to write the novel.

Peck is best known for his young adult fiction. For the award-winning Are You in the House Alone?, which deals with the rape of a teenaged girl and its aftermath, the collection holds notes, an outline, two incomplete typescripts and one finished typescript, galleys, a speech written by Peck concerning the book, and a letter from his publishers. Close Enough to Touch (1981), an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, concerns the overwhelming grief faced by a teen-ager when his girlfriend dies unexpectedly. For this title there is a magazine article used for research, a typescript, galleys, and an uncorrected proof copy of the book. For Don't Look and It Won't Hurt (1972), Peck's first novel, there are no original materials. This title is represented by a filmstrip based on the book.

Father Figure (1981), considered by Peck to be one of his best novels, is the story of a seventeen-year-old boy who must become a surrogate father to his eight-year-old brother. This book was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and was included in the ALA's Young Adult Services Division's list of Best of the Best Books 1970-82. There are two complete, different versions of typescripts for this title. For Princess Ashley (1987), about a girl who wastes her high school years conforming rather than discovering her own personality, the collection holds a typescript, style sheets, and paste-ups. This title was also an ALA Notable and made the ALA's Best Books for Young Adults list, in addition to winning other honors. Remembering the Good Times (1985), also highly lauded by critics, is the story of three high school friends, one of whom commits suicide. For this title the collection holds the author's notes, outline, an early draft of chapter 1, and three versions of typescripts. Also included is a book review clipped from the Los Angeles Times.

Secrets of the Shopping Mall (1979), Peck's foray into satire concerning two outcast eighth-graders who take up permanent residence in a department store, proved to be his most popular book with younger teenagers. For this title there are two incomplete typescripts, two complete typescripts, and a script for the teleplay "Paradise Mall," along with Peck's consultation notes for the scriptwriter. For Those Summer Girls I Never Met (1988), about two teenagers who accompany their grandmother on a Baltic cruise, there is a copy-edited typescript. For Voices After Midnight (1989), a comedy/mystery concerning three contemporary children who travel back in time to 1888, the collection holds a typescript, three sets of page proofs, and a letter from Peck's publishers.

Peck's only series to date revolves around the adventures of Blossom Culp, a psychically-sensitive girl whose special powers allow her to communicate with spirits. Set in the 1910's in the small Illinois town of Bluff City (a fictionalized version of Peck's own Decatur), these supernatural comedies were written in response to readers who repeatedly asked the author to write ghost stories. All four of the Blossom Culp novels are represented in the collec-tion. For ALA Notable Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death (1986), in which Blossom aids the restless spirit of a long-dead Egyptian princess, there are notes, a typescript, page proofs, and the copy-editor's style sheets. The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp (1983), in which Blossom travels through time to 1984, is represented by research materials, a typescript, and an uncorrected proof. The Ghost Belonged to Me (1975), the first Blossom Culp novel and an ALA Notable Book, is represented by a typescript, two sets of galleys, and a script for the teleplay "The Ghost Belonged to Me," which was eventually televised with the title "Child of Glass" on The Wonderful World of Disney in 1977. Ghosts I Have Been (1977) remains the most critically acclaimed Blossom Culp novel: it made the ALA Best Books for Young Adults list, was selected as one of the Best of the Best Books 1970-82 by the ALA's Young Adult Services Division, and was named one of the Outstanding Books of the Year by the New York Times, in addition to other honors. For this title there are research notes, two typescripts, two sets of corrected galleys, and a letter to Peck from his publishers.

For Monster Night at Grandma's House (1977), Peck's only book for young children to date, the collection includes four different typescripts, edited galleys, and a press sheet. Pictures That Storm Inside My Head (1976), a poetry anthology edited by Peck, is represented by a typescript, a typesetting composition order, and a letter to Peck from his publisher.

Representing Peck's contribution to the short story genre is a photocopied typescript of "Serpent in the Kobra's Eden," first published in the now-defunct Pizzazz magazine in 1978. A printed copy of Peck's 1973 article "In the Country of Teenage Fiction" is also included in the collection.

Unidentified at this time is a typescript for an article or speech entitled "O Brave Old World: London's Barbican at Midpoint," which concerns the building of a residential neighborhood in the City of London. The final item in the collection is a personal Christmas card to Peck from one of his friends, sent in 1989.



Related Collection

The Don Freeman Papers (DG0346) hold materials related to the illustrator of Monster Night at Grandma's House. However, no original art from that particular book is contained in his collection.




Series and Subseries


A. Promotional Material (1978-1982, undated)

B. Correspondence (1985-1990)

C. Awards (1977)

D. Speeches, Interviews and Public Appearances (1974-1978, undated)

E. Books (1972-1989)

F. Short Stories (1978)

G. Articles (1973)

H. Unidentified Works (undated)

I. Miscellaneous (1989)


Box Inventory


    Box/Folder

A. Promotional Material

1/1 Publicity packet from Dell Books, 1978, 1982, undated, 12 items.

B. Correspondence

1/2 To the de Grummond Collection, 1985, 1988-1990, 4 items.

C. Awards

1/3 Illinois Author of the Year Award, presented 28 October 1977 by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English.

D. Speeches, Interviews and Public Appearances

1/4 Typescript of speech "Reaching for Realities in the Ruins," delivered in Cedar Falls, Iowa, 5 April 1974, 15 pp. Typescripts of two speeches delivered at The Lindenwood Colleges Media/Literature Conferences: "Reaching Through the Ruins to the Reader," 16 June 1975, 12 pp. "Readers and Viewers: Books in the Television Age," 17 June 1975, 13 pp. Typescript, corrected, of untitled speech delivered in Dallas, Texas, 4 April 1975, 13 pp. Typescript of untitled speech delivered on 29 June 1977, 12 pp. Typescript, photocopy, of speech delivered at the 96th Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Detroit, Michigan, [June] 1977, 5 pp. Cassette recording of speech delivered at 96th Annual ALA Conference, "Paperback Power: How to Get It," Detroit, Michigan, June 1977. (Stored separately). Typescript, predominately photocopied, of speech "Books for Adolescents: Writing for 1984," September 1977, 17 pp. Typescript of address delivered to creative writing students, 1977, 11 pp. Cassette recording of half-hour televised interview with Richard Peck, "Sunrise Semester," produced by New York University, 1 February 1978, first ten minutes missing. (Stored separately). Typescript, corrected, of speech "The Paperback Age," delivered in Fort Worth, Texas, 8 April 1978, 11 pp. 1/5 Cassette recording of panel discussion at ACL Institute, 13 April 1978. Speakers are Richard Peck, Judy Blume and Blossom Elfman. (Stored separately). Typescript, corrected, of speech "S-X," [April?] 1978, 12 pp. Cassette recording of speech delivered in Toronto, Ontario, titled "Keynote Speaker: Richard Peck," [April?] 1978. (Stored separately). Typescript of address, "Bibliotherapy," made to members of the International Reading Association in Houston, Texas, 5 May 1978, 8pp. Typescript, photocopy, of untitled speech delivered in 1978, 19 pp. Typescript, photocopy, of untitled speech delivered in 1978, 15 pp. Cassette recording of address "Writing for the Young at the End of an Anxious Decade," made to members of the Manitoba School Library Audio-Visual Association (MSLAVA) SAG, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1979. (Stored separately). Cassette recording of interview with Richard Peck, "Author Interviews," conducted in Manitoba, Canada, ca. 1979. (Stored separately). Typescript, photocopy, of speech "Poetry and Fiction for the Adolescent Reader," undated, 13 pp. Typescript, photocopy, of speech "Prose, Poetry and Puberty," undated, 17 pp.

E. Books

AMANDA/MIRANDA by Richard Peck (New York: Viking, 1980). 1/6 Letter from Walter Lord, photocopied, 12 June 1979, 1 p. Flyer, photocopied, announcing maiden voyage of the Titanic, [1912], 1 p. List, photocopy, of first-class passengers aboard the Titanic, 10 April 1912, 2 pp. Newspaper article concerning Titanic survivor, undated. Newspaper article by Richard Peck concerning historic area of Brooklyn, New York, 10 March 1974, 2 pp. Research notes, character sketches and miscellaneous, 13 items. 1/7-2/1 Typescript, incomplete, partially photocopied, partially revised and corrected, 1975, 1/7 prologue, synopsis, chapters 1-7, 157 pp.; 2/1 chapters 7-16, 160 pp.; 2/2-3/2 Typescript, annotated with minor corrections, 1979, 2/2 prologue-chapter 6, 131 pp.; 2/3 chapters 7-12, 143 pp.; 2/4 chapters 13-16, 125 pp.; 3/1 chapters 17-24, 143 pp.; 3/2 chapters 25-33, 170 pp. 3/3-4 Author's galleys, 3/3 chapters 1-13, 101 pp.; 3/4 chapters 14-33, 130 pp. ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? by Richard Peck (New York: Viking, 1976). 4/1 Holographic notes, 2 pp. Typescript of outline, 7 pp. 4/2 Typescript, photocopied, corrected, incomplete, prologue-chapter 9 and part of chapter 10, 21 February 1975, 92 pp. 4/3 Typescript, corrected, chapters 1-13, incomplete, undated, 145 pp. 4/4-5 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 1976, 4/4 dust jacket copy, front matter, prologue-chapter 7, 91 pp.; 4/5 chapters 8-14, 88 pp. 4/6 Author's galleys, corrected. 4/7 Typescript of speech delivered at the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) Preconvention, 24 November 1976, 5 pp. Letter to Richard Peck from Karen Shaw Widman at Viking Press, 16 February 1977, 1 p. BLOSSOM CULP AND THE SLEEP OF DEATH by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1986). 5/1 Style sheets, 9 pp. Holographic notes, 1 p. Photocopy of punctuation and usage rules, 1 p. 5/2 Typescript, early draft, 179 pp. 5/3-4 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 5/3 title page, half-title, front matter, chapters 1-7, 110 pp.; 5/4 chapters 8-14, 117 pp. 5/5 Page proofs, edited, 97 items. CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1981). 5/6 Magazine article used for research, 6 pp. 5/7-8 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 5/7 list of characters, front matter, chapters 1-6, 74 pp.; 5/8 chapters 7-13, 100 pp. 6/1 Author's galleys, corrected. 6/2 Uncorrected proof, 124 pp. DON'T LOOK AND IT WON'T HURT by Richard Peck (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972). 6/3 Filmstrip, Don't Look and It Won't Hurt, part 1. Young Adult Filmstrip Library (Narpro, Inc.: n.d.). (Stored separately). THE DREADFUL FUTURE OF BLOSSOM CULP by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1983). 6/4 Research materials, 1982, undated, 14 items. 6/5-6 Typescript, corrected, 30 December 1982, 6/5 title page, chapters 1-8, 94 pp. 6/6 chapters 9-18, 110 pp. 6/7 Uncorrected proof, annotated, 123 pp. FATHER FIGURE by Richard Peck (New York: Viking, 1978). 6/8 Typescript, corrected, 29 June - 30 August, 1977, 167 pp. 7/1 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, undated, 188 pp. THE GHOST BELONGED TO ME by Richard Peck (New York: Viking, 1975). 7/2-7/3 Typescript, edited, annotated and marked for typesetter, 7/2 dust jacket copy, front matter, chapters 1-11, 85 pp.; 7/3 chapters 12-22, 88 pp. 7/4 Galleys, edited. 7/5 Galleys, author's copy, corrected. 8/1 Revised final teleplay script "The Ghost Belonged to Me" by Jim Lawrence, 8 August 1977, 108 pp. Aired 1977 by Walt Disney Productions. GHOSTS I HAVE BEEN by Richard Peck (New York: Viking, 1977). 8/2 - 3 Typescript, corrected, 8/2 folder, annotated by Peck; list of characters, 1 p.; research notes, 1 p.; prologue-chapter 9, 110 pp.; 8/3 chapters 10-18, 102 pp. 8/4 - 5 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 8/4 front matter, prologue-chapter 9, 112 pp.; 8/5 chapters 10-18, 105 pp.. Letter to Richard Peck from Karen Shaw Widman at Viking Press, 28 February 1978. 9/1 - 2 Galleys, corrected, 2 versions. MONSTER NIGHT AT GRANDMA'S HOUSE by Richard Peck, illustrated by Don Freeman (New York: Viking, 1977). 9/3 Typescript, The Only Trouble With Grandmother's House, corrected, 12 pp. 9/4 Typescript, The Only Trouble With Grandmother's House, edited, 23 May 1975, 11 pp. 9/5 Typescript, corrected, 17 July 1975, 8 pp. 9/6 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 5 pp. 9/7 Galleys, edited and marked for typesetter, 5 pp. Press sheet. [stored separately] PICTURES THAT STORM INSIDE MY HEAD: POEMS FOR THE INNER YOU edited by Richard Peck (New York: Avon, 1976). 9/8 Typescript, partially photocopied, edited and marked for typesetter, 132 pp. Typesetting composition order, 6 pp. Letter to Richard Peck from Colette B. Ammerman at Avon Books, 17 November 1977, 1 p. PRINCESS ASHLEY by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1987). 10/1 - 2 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 10/1 front matter, chapters 1-11, 124 pp.; 10/2 chapters 12-20, 126 pp. 10/3 Style sheets, 9 items. Paste-ups, title page, pp. [1], 3, 3 items. Photocopies of paste-ups, title page, pp. [1], 3, 4 items. REMEMBERING THE GOOD TIMES by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1985). 10/4 Notes, 7 pp. Outline, 4 pp. Typescript draft of chapter 1, incomplete, 24 March 1984, 3 pp. 10/5 - 6 Typescript, corrected, 24 March - 19 June, 1984, 10/5 chapters 1-8, 111 pp.; 10/6 chapter 9-epilogue, 107 pp. 11/1 - 2 Typescript photocopy, 14 June 1984, 11/1 chapters 1-8, 122 pp.; 11/2 chapter 9-epilogue, 108 pp. 11/3 - 4 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter; 11/3 front matter, chapters 1-8, 129 pp.; 11/4 chapter 9-epilogue, 108 pp. Review from Los Angeles Times, 10 August 1986, 1 item. 11/5 Dummy, demonstrating typeface and page design, 3 pp. Page proofs, annotated, 50 items. Page proofs, annotated, 49 items. SECRETS OF THE SHOPPING MALL by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1979). 12/1 List of characters, 1 item. Typescript, corrected, 21 August 1978, 160 pp. 12/2 Typescript, incomplete, edited, chapters 1-6, 53 pp. 12/3 Typescript, photocopy, incomplete, chapters 1-6, 6 February 1979, 51 pp. 12/4 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 192 pp. 12/5 Teleplay script, photocopy, "Paradise Mall" by Steven Alix, preliminary version, 10 November 1983, 129 pp. Peck's consultation notes on teleplay "Paradise Mall," February 1984, 4 pp. THIS FAMILY OF WOMEN by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1983). 13/1 Typescript of (unpublished?) introduction, corrected, 11 pp. 13/2-14/1 Typescript, photocopy, annotated with minor corrections, 9 June 1982, 13/2 prologue-book I, 165 pp.; 13/3 book II-book III, 245 pp.; 13/4 book IV-book V, 210 pp.; 14/1 book VI, 53 pp. Paperback cover, 1 item. THOSE SUMMER GIRLS I NEVER MET by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte, 1988). 14/2 - 3 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 8 December 1987, 14/2 front matter, chapters 1-6, 107 pp.; 14/3 chapters 7-12, 105 pp. UNFINISHED PORTRAIT OF JESSICA by Richard Peck; Delacorte, 1991. 14/4 Typescript, early draft, corrected, 130 pp.; 14/5 Typescript, fragment, chapter 2, pp. 21-33; 14/6-7 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, November 1991; 14/6 front matter, pp. 1-106; 14/7 pp. 107-178. 15/1-2 Page proofs, 1st pass author, corrected; 15/1 pp. 1-96; 15/2 pp. 97-176. VOICES AFTER MIDNIGHT by Richard Peck (New York: Delacorte Press, 1989). 15/3 - 4 Typescript, corrected, early draft; 15/3 pp. 1-111; 15/4 pp. 112-209. 15/5 - 6 Typescript, corrected, early draft; 15/5 pp. 1-109; 15/6 pp. 123-204 (lacking pp. 110-122). 16/1 Typescript, edited and marked for typesetter, 17 August 1989, 134 pp. 16/2 Page proofs, minor corrections, 9 March 1989, 191 items. 16/3 Page proofs, corrected, 11 April, 13 April 1989, 192 items. 16/4 Page proofs, 11 April, 13 April 1989, 96 items. Letter to Richard Peck from Karen Harper at Dell Publishing, 29 December 1989.

F. Short Stories

17/1 Typescript, photocopy, "Serpent in the Kobra's Eden," published in April 1978 issue of Pizzazz magazine, 14 pp. Also published as "Priscilla and the Wimps" in Sixteen: Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults, ed. Donald R. Gallo (New York: Delacorte Press, 1984).

G. Articles

17/2 Printed copy of "In the Country of Teenage Fiction," published in April 1973 issue of American Libraries, 4 pp.

H. Unidentified Material

17/3 Typescript, "O Brave Old World: London's Barbican at Midpoint," undated, 14 pp.

I. Miscellaneous

17/4 Personal Christmas card to Richard Peck from Estelle, 30 December 1989.


Processed: December 1991
Revised: July 2001

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