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Newsletter Archive

Spring 2002


2002 Kerlan Award

Joan Lowery Nixon.
Photo by Gittings.
On Saturday, April 6th, author Joan Lowery Nixon, and author Barbara Esbensen (deceased), will be honored as the recipients of the 2002 Kerlan Award. The award is presented annually "in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children's literature and in appreciation for generous donation of unique resources to the Kerlan Collection for the study of children's literature." Joan Lowery Nixon will be the keynote speaker and Barbara Esbensen will be honored, posthumously. 

The Kerlan Collection holds original manuscripts for more than eighty of Joan Lowery Nixon’s titles including  The ghosts of now (Delacorte Press, 1993), The other side of the dark (Delacorte, 1986), Shadowmaker (Delacorte Press, 1994), Spirit seeker (Delacorte Press, 1995), and The weekend was murder! (Delacorte Press, 1992), along with correspondence, notes, research material, and clippings.

Barbara Esbensen
The Kerlan Collection has original manuscript material for more than thirty of Barbara Esbensen’s titles including A celebration of bees: helping children to write poetry (Winston Press, 1975), Cold stars and fireflies: poems of the four seasons (HarperCollins, 1984), The star maiden: an Ojibway tale (Little Brown, 1988), and Words with wrinkled knees: animal poems (HarperCollins, 1986).

The Kerlan Award event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Elmer L. Andersen Library, 222 21st Avenue South. Minneapolis, MN on the University of Minnesota's West Bank campus. The Red Balloon Bookshop will sell books before and after the breakfast buffet and award ceremony.

This event is co-sponsored by the Kerlan Friends, the Minnesota Humanities Commission, and others.  For further information, please call (612) 624-4576.

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From The Curator

Balance of Continuity and Change

Both continuity and change are appropriate characteristics of special collections in libraries, including the Children's Literature Research Collections. Much remains relatively the same. The collections of books, manuscripts and art remains in tact, enhanced by additional selective works on annual basis.  For more than a quarter century, Kerlan Awards recognize individuals for their importance in the field and their generosity, given annually from its inception in the mid 70s to the present.  The quarterly newsletter, too, has been printed and distributed since then. However, there is potential to affect both of these.

Fewer people recall meeting the founder Irvin Kerlan, M.D. Some individuals--Jean Craighead George and Robert Kraus--knew Dr. Kerlan personally, while others--Paula Danziger, Ted and Gloria Rand--know his collection but not the man. Neither of the 2002 recipients Joan Lowery Nixon and Barbara Esbensen met Dr. Kerlan, but participated in his dream of a collection where there would be original stages in the creation of a book. Both of these women have been unusually generous in their placing work for others to view.  Nixon gave work for more than eighty titles, including most of her eleven series and individual titles including non-fiction. There are "casebusters mysteries," "orphan train," and "young Americans series" manuscripts that will be on display in April. Esbensen's work was published when she was a grandmother, and includes poetry, Latvian and American Indian folktales and non-fiction.

While continuity is a precious commodity in the 2lst century, changes hover on the horizon. Authors and artists increasingly work on computers with less visible evidence on paper describing the preparatory stages. The newsletters beginning with Spring 1998 are available as a link on the CLRC web site.

One challenge with change arrived when the card catalog was replaced, and some people say threatened, by electronic data bases. Computers replaced handwriting. While Irvin Kerlan, M.D. wrote to his friends by hand and insisted that they answer him in their own handwriting, today some correspondents respond by e-mail.  The resulting documents are far less attractive and lack the enhancements of an occasional drawing.  There are changes in publishing, too. GIRLS SERIES BOOKS; A CHECKLIST OF TITLES PUBLISHED 1840-1991, envisioned by Hess Collection volunteer Kirker Bixby and enlarged by staff Deidre Johnson sold out. Soon it will be on the CLRC web site.

Change in the law about donating one's own material occurred in 1969. Prior to that year, artists and authors could arrange for a third-party appraisal and receive a tax deduction for the fair market value for their donations of original material. Despite efforts by some in Congress who realize that libraries and museums continue to suffer, the tax code remains in effect.

Yet with both continuity and change, the commitment to the collections remain.The result is a remarkable children's book collection for adult study.

--Karen Nelson Hoyle, Curator

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Irvin Kerlan, M.D.
Personal Inscriptions to Irvin Kerlan, M.D. (1912-1963)
CLRC Windows. Elmer L. Andersen Library Hallway through March, 2002.

Authors and illustrators frequently wrote personal inscriptions to Dr. Kerlan. Many continue this practice by inscribing books for the Kerlan Collection. In this exhibit are books inscribed by Margaret Graham, Maurice Sendak,  Charlotte Zolotow and others. The timing of this exhibit coincides with the 90th year of Dr. Kerlan’s birth.

Loft/Kerlan Exhibit March 15- April 14, 2002.
This exhibit will feature original manuscripts and illustrations by  Emilie Buchwald, Kate DiCamillo and Michelle Edwards

Kerlan Award Recipients Exhibit, April 1 - May 24, 2002.
Original manuscripts from the 2002 Kerlan Award recipients, Joan Lowery Nixon and Barbara Esbensen, will be on display at the Elmer L. Andersen Library First Floor.

NCTE Poetry Award Exhibit, June 1 - June 28, 2002
Books from the NCTE Poetry Award recipients will be on display at the Elmer L. Andersen Library First Floor.

For further information, please contact CLRC at 612-624-4576.

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Coming Events

Festival of Nations, April 25-28.
Theme: A Global Gathering
Minnesota’s largest Multi-ethnic celebration.

General Public Hours:
Friday, April 26, 4-11 pm.
Saturday, April 27, 10 am - 10 pm.
Sunday, April 28, 11 am - 7 pm.
100 ethnic groups in costume, authenic foods at 45 ethnic cafes. 60 cultural exhibits, including children’s books, ethnic dance groups, 30 creative folk art demonstrations, and international bazaar booths.

For more information, contact the International Institute of Minnesota at 651-647-0191, or visit their web page at:

Compleat Scholar Class. June 3 to July 1, 2002
CSch 0485. Spec Term, Sec. 50, Mondays, 6 - 8 p.m., June 3 to July 1 (except June 17) 4 meetings, West Bank campus. Limited to 20. No late fee through May 24. From the Brothers Grimm to Harry Potter: Children’s Fantasy and Adventure To register for this class or for more information, contact the College of Continuing Education, Compleat Scholar Program at 612-624-5332.

A Children’s Literature Tour of Scandinavia, June 18 - July 1.
Continuing Education, University of Minnesota Duluth.
Registration deadline is March 1, 2002. For information, contact Pauline Nuhring at 218-726-6361 or e-mail at

Chase Lecture, June 25 2:30 pm
The Twenty Third Annual Naomi Chase Lecture, will be given by Karla Kuskin, on Tuesday, June 25 at 2:30 p.m. in 120 Andersen Library. The event is free and open to the public.

2002 Summer Forums
The 25th annual series of Children’s Literature Summer Forums will continue this summer. All forums will be held in the Elmer L. Andersen Library, room 120.  See our summer newsletter for more information and list of speakers

College of Education Book Week Banquet Wednesday, October 16, 2002.
Speaker: Debra Frasier, Minneapolis author-illustrator.

Compleat Scholar Classes in the Fall 2002.
Scandinavian and Scandinavian-American Children's Books Wanda Gág. For more information, contact the College of Continuing Education, Compleat Scholar Program at 612-624-5332.

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The Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Memorial Fellowship
The Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Memorial Fellowship from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation will provide $1500 to a "talented writer and/or illustrator of children's books who wishes to use the Kerlan Collection for the furtherance of his or her artistic development."  Special consideration will be given to someone who would find it difficult to finance a visit to the Kerlan Collection.

The Ezra Jack Keats Fellowship recipient will receive transportation cost and a per diem allotment.  Applications for 2001 must be received by Friday, May 1, 2002.  For application materials, please send a self- addressed, $0.55 stamped envelope to:

Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Collection
Memorial Fellowship
113 Andersen Library
222 21st Avenue South
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The Kerlan Essay Award
The Friends of the Kerlan Collection are pleased to invite submissions for an award to be presented for an outstanding published or unpublished essay completed during the past year which references the University of Minnesota Children's Literature Research Collections as its primary data source.  The award consists of a citation and a $300 honorarium.

In evaluation of the papers, judges will emphasize the formulation of a research topic that provides a contribution to knowledge and utilizes original resources, especially manuscripts and illustrations in the CLRC. The writing style and organization of the paper are also important. Call 612-624-4576 to request specific instructions on submissions.

The deadline for entries is June 3, 2001.

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Recent Visitors

Brett Anderson visited the Collection in February and investigated Lewis Hine on child labor for History Day.

Research on child authorship and 19th century juvenile periodicals brought Carol Bock of the University of Minnesota-Duluth to the Collection in February.

Mary Calvo of the College of St. Catherine visited the Collection to view reference sources in the Humanities.

Adrien Doux of the Normandale French Immersion School came to the Collection to research material for a paper on comic books.

Becky French, a student in the English Literature department at the University of Minnesota, read dime novels.

Akiko Hosotani of the University of Minnesota researched the Collection to prepare for an exhibition.

Liz Hutter, research assistant for Professor Patricia Crain of the University of Minnesota, came to the Collection to inquire about literacy in America during the 19th century.

Karen Olsen of the University of Maryland visited the Collection in January to do research for a book aviation poetry anthology.

Robert Quast came to the Collection in January and researched for a future publication.

Frances Trice, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, came to the Collection to explore the design process in children’s literature for her doctoral dissertation.

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In Memoriam


Helen E. Buckley

Author Helen E. Buckley died on July 27, 2001. The Kerlan Collection has manuscripts for 15 of her books, including Michael is brave, Grandmother and I and Grandfather and I, along with correspondence with children.

Mirra Ginsburg, author died on December 26, 2001 at ninety-one years. She was known for her Russian and Eastern European folktale retellings, such as The two greedy bears, Good morning, chick, and Clay boy. The Kerlan Collection holds manuscripts for 31 of her books.

Astrid Lindgren, most famous for her Pippi Longstocking stories, died on January 28, 2001. She was 94 years old. The Kerlan Collection has a handwritten manuscript in Swedish shorthand for Ronja, the robber’s daughter.

Elizabeth Yates, Newbery Award author, died in July, 2001 at age of 95. The Kerlan Collection holds the manuscripts for An Easter story.

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Memorial Gifts

CLRC would like to thank the following people, who donated funds to the Kerlan Collection in memory of Judy Delton:

H. Gordon & Audrey Baird, Paul & June Beck, Shirley Bunde, Lorraine Cazin, Joan Curtiss, Janet Lunder Hanafin, Dorothy Hanson, Joseph & Loris Hassler, Margaret Hillert, Brett & Frances Holzschuh, Karen & Robert Hoyle, Jane Louise Jenni, Kathleen Kane, Patricia Kane, Nancy Kleeman, Carl, Patricia & Roxanne Lien, Rita & Robert Lundberg, Merle & Mary Ellen McGrath, Dianne Monson, Gene & Betty Ofstead, Georgie Peterson, Randy & Denise Plachecki, Barbara Richardson, Jennifer & Mark Schmaedeke, Skidmore College, Maryann Weidt, Anne Ylvisaker and Joanna Schneider Zangrando

Memorial Gifts to Helen Verbrugge, a St. Paul resident who died in New Jersey,  were designated by her family for the Kerlan Collection. Her son Robert Verbrugge, Far Halls, New Jersey, won the University of Minnesota student prize for his own book collection.

CLRC would like to thank the following people, who donated funds to the Kerlan Collection in memory of Helen Verbrugge:

Ethicon, Inc., Richard & Marianne Feifer, Richard & Rosemary McHugh, Elvira Schmidt, Edward B. Stanford and Jeanne & P.T. Watson

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An Author's Invitation

Ann Cameron, author and donor of manuscripts to the Kerlan Collection founded a library in Guatamala that unfortunately burned. She asks people to donate excellent children’s books and finances to help rebuild the library. If you can help, please contact her liaison, Susan E. Noffke. Department of Curriuculum and Instruction. College of Education. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 321 Education Building, 1310 South 6th Street. Champaign, IL 61820. Phone: (217) 333-1670. E-Mail address:

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Recent Acquisitions

MS-manuscripts, IL-illustrations; Published titles are indicated by italics.  These materials have been donated by the authors and/or illustrators, or their families.  Titles for which additional materials have arrived are not listed if already reported in The Kerlan Collection: Manuscripts and Illustrations (1985) or in previous newsletters.
Barron, T.A.: MS The ancient one; The 8-sided square; The fires of Merlin; Heartlight; The hero's trail: a hiking guide for a heroic life; The lost years of Merlin; The Merlin effect; The mirrors of Merlin; The seven songs of Merlin; Tree girl; Where is Grandpa? The wings of Merlin

Danziger, Paula: MS Get ready for second grade, Amber Brown; It’s a fair day, Amber Brown; It’s Justin time, Amber Brown; What a trip, Amber Brown

Hahn, Mary Downing: MS The wind blows backward

Harshman, Marc: MS All the way to morning; Red are the apples; Snow company; The storm

Mary Downing Hahn
McClung, Robert: MS Bufo, the story of a toad; Major: the story of a black bear; IL Little Burma; Whooping crane

Monk, Isabell: MS Family; Hope

Nixon, Joan Lowery: MS Ann’s story: 1747; Caesar’s story: 1759; Ghost town: seven ghostly stories; Gus and Gertie and the lucky charms; Gus and Gertie and the missing pearl; The haunting; John’s story: 1775; Maria’s story: 1773; Nancy’s story: 1765; Nobody’s there; Playing for keeps; Who are you? Will’s story: 1771

Porter, Anthony P.: MS Greg LeMond: premier cyclist; Jump at de sun: the story of Zora Neale Hurston; Kwanzaa; Nebraska; Zina Garrison: ace

Isabell Monk
Porter, Janice Lee: IL Aunt Clara Brown: official pioneer; M is for Minnesota; Pablo Picasso; Wilma Mankiller

Sommerdorf, Norma: MS An elm tree and three sisters

Winthrop, Elizabeth: MS Dumpy La Rue; Franklin D. Roosevelt: letters from a mill town girl
Norma Sommerdorf reading to a group
at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul.

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2002 Naomi C. Chase Lecture

Karla Kuskin, the 1979 NCTE Poetry Award recipient, will give the College of Education Chase Lecture on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 at 2:30 p.m. in Andersen Library Room 120, followed by an autograph party.  2002 marks the 25th anniversary of the award and the NCTE Poetry Award Committee is pleased that this anniversary coincides with the establishment of the collection at the CLRC.

This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is necessary.

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The CLRC Kerlan Collection is an internationally recognized center of research in the field of children's literature. The Collection contains original materials, including manuscripts, artwork, galleys, and color proofs for more than 10,000 children's books. These materials represent eight decades of American children's books and selected books published in other countries. The Collection also includes more than 100,000 children's books.

This Spring Newsletter is co-sponsored by Kerlan Friends, CLRC, and a Minnesota Humanities Commission grant for networking

Editor: Karen Nelson Hoyle
Production Editor: Jennifer Hanson
Proof-reader: Dr. Edward B. Stanford

Children's Literature Research Collections University of Minnesota 113 Andersen Library 222 - 21st Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55455 Telephone: 612-624-4576 FAX: 612-626-0377 E-mail:
Please make an appointment during Spring semester

Copyright 2002 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota, University Libraries
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Last revision:4/15/02
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