de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
1.80 cu.ft. (6 boxes)

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

Material was donated by Ester Wier from 1969 to 1976.

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
Ester Wier was born on October 17, 1910 in Seattle, Washington. She attended Southeastern Teacher's College 1929-1930 and the University of Los Angeles from 1931-1932. In 1934 she married Henry Robert Wier, a naval officer, in Hankow, China and traveled all over the world with him. Her first book, The Answer Book on Naval Social Customs, co-authored by Dorothy Hickey, was published in 1956. For the next two years, she wrote three other books dealing with Navy, Army, and Air Force social customs. It was not until she enrolled in a workshop at George Washington University that she became interested in juvenile literature.

At first, Wier published short stories and poems in children's magazines. In 1963, Wier wrote The Loner, her first young adult fiction book which was chosen as a Newbery Honor Book in 1964. The book was also made into a two-part television movie by Walt Disney Productions. With the exception of three nature books, the stories usually focus an a young main character who has been abandoned and left in a strange setting, forced to change his behavior in order to survive. When she retired in 1975, she had written 15 young adult stories.


Related Collection
There are illustrations for The Hunting Trail in the Richard Cuffari Papers (DG 0421).

Scope and Content
The collection contains typescripts, research notes, correspondence, galleys and reviews for six titles. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title. Within each title the materials are arranged in the probable order in which they were created. The correspondence and fan mail is separated by title.

Three of the books in the collection are nature stories based on facts that Wier collected in notebooks. There are large photocopied research notebooks, typescripts, galleys, and reviews for all these titles. The Hunting Trail (1974) details the life of a coyote in Arizona and is considered her best nature book. There are also proofs, correspondence, and a book contract for this title. The Straggler: Adventures of a Sea Bird (1970) describes a year in the life of a gannet (sea goose) as it migrates from the North Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. There is also correspondence and fan mail for this title. The last nature book, The White Oak (1971), spans the 400 year life of a tree, in particular the animals and birds that live in and around the tree during the last few years of its life.

The second group of books involve an abandoned main character who must survive in an unfamiliar setting. In The Long Year (1969), a thirteen year old boy retreats to the mountains with a young wolf he saved after his father refuses to let him keep the wild animal. He learns that he has to make changes within himself in order to survive. There is a typescript, a galley and reviews for this title. A rich boy named Whit who has never faced any hardship spends a summer herding sheep on a 200 mile trek to his uncle's ranch in The Rumptydoolers (1964). There are galleys, proofs, and an illustration for this title. In The Partners (1972), a girl named Willy and a boy nicknamed "Fearless" befriend each other and become partners raising worms as fishing bait. After a tornado, "Fearless" gets trapped in a cave with a broken ankle for three days and must wait for his partner to rescue him. There is a research notebook, typescripts, a galley, photocopied illustrations, and two dust jackets for this title.

Series and Subseries

A. Books

B. Journal Interview

Box Inventory


A. Books

     The Hunting Trail by Ester Wier, illustrated by Richard Cuffari (New York: 
     H. Z. Walck, 1974).

     1/1       Correspondence, 1973, 2 items.     

     1/2       Book contract, 1 item.

     1/3       Research notebook, photocopied, 94 pp.

     1/4       Research pamphlets, removed from notebook, 4 items.

     1/5       Story map, sketched, 1 item.

     1/6-1/10  Typescripts, 

     1/6            "Original version," 18 pp.

     1/7            "Corrected and retyped first version," 69 pp.

     1/8            "Second version," carbon copy, 85 pp.

     1/9            "Third version," carbon copy, 85 pp.

     1/10           Edited with typesetter's marks, pp. 1-85.

     2/1-2/2   Galleys, 

     2/1            "First galleys," 35 pp.

     2/2            19 March 1974, 35 pp.

     2/3       Proofs, 23 May 1974, front matter and pp. 1-104.

     2/4       Blues, 1 item.

     2/5       Reviews, photocopied, 9 items.
     2/6       Fan mail, 31 items.

     2/7       Fan drawing, 1 item.

     The Long Year by Ester Wier, illustrated by Ursula Koering (New York:
     McKay, 1969).

     3/1-3/2   Typescript, edited with typesetter's marks,

     3/1            Chapters 1-7, pp. 1-57.

     3/2            Chapters 8-15, pp. 58-126.

     3/3       Galley, 7 October 1968, 44 pp.

     3/4       Review, 1 item.

     The Partners by Ester Wier, illustrated by Anna Maria Ahl (New York:
     McKay, 1972).

     3/5       Research notebook, 27 pp.

     3/6       Research materials, removed from notebook, 4 items.

     3/7-4/2   Typescripts, 

     3/7            "Original draft," pp. 1-43.

     3/8-3/9        "Revised copy,"

     3/8                 Chapters 1-9, pp. 1-48.

     3/9                 Chapters 10-17, pp. 49-101.

     4/1-4/2        Edited with typesetter's marks,

     4/1                 Chapters 1-9, pp. 1-52.

     4/2                 Chapters 10-17, pp. 53-108.

     4/3       Galley, "master set," includes photocopied illustrations, 47 pp.

     4/4       Photocopied illustrations, 8 pp.

     4/5       Dust jackets, 2 copies.

     4/6       Publisher's promotional materials, 1 item.

     The Rumptydoolers by Ester Wier, illustrated by W. T. Mars (New
     York: Vanguard Press, 1964).

     4/7       Illustration, pen and ink, 1 item.

     4/8-4/10  Galleys,

     4/8            "Author's set," 10 January 1964, pp. 1-52.

     4/9            "Author's set," 4 March 1964, pp. 1-52.

     4/10           "Author's corrections," pp. 1-52.

     4/11      Partial proofs, front matter and pp. 102-104.

     5/1       Proofs of illustrations, 12 items.

     The Straggler: Adventures of a Sea Bird by Ester Wier, illustrated by
     Leonard Vosburgh (New York: McKay, 1972).

     5/2       Correspondence, 1969, 6 items.

     5/3       Research notebook, photocopied, 42 pp.

     5/4       Research materials, removed from notebook, 10 items.

     5/5-5/7   Typescripts,

     5/5            "Original typescripts," 15 pp.

     5/6            "Submitted typescript," 61 pp.

     5/7            Edited with typesetter's marks, pp. 1-62.

     5/8       Galley, includes illustrations, pp. 1-25.

     5/9       Layout for text on dust jacket, 1 item.

     5/10      Dust jacket, 1 item.

     5/11      Reviews, 3 items.

     5/12      Fan mail, 14 items. 

     The White Oak by Ester Wier, illustrated by Anne Marie Jauss (New
     York: McKay, 1972).

     6/1-6/2   Research notebook, photocopied, 

     6/1            77 pp.

     6/2            80 pp.

     6/3       Research materials, removed from notebook, 11 items.

     6/4-6/6   Typescripts,

     6/4            "First draft," 58 pp. Includes book synopsis, 1 p.

     6/5            "Corrected," pp. 1-68. Includes a list of corrections, 5 pp.

     6/6            "Final typescript," carbon copy, pp. 1-68.

     6/7-6/8   Galleys, "master set," pp. 1-27, 2 copies.

     6/9       Reviews, 6 items.             

B. Journal Interview

     6/10      "Ester Wier: To Children With Love" by Karen Price, New Look
               Entertainment - Arts, vol. 3, no. 10, 1 May 1976, pp. 16-19.

Processed: June 19, 1998Revised: July 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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