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William Howard Armstrong Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1156

Scope and Contents

The collection contains materials related to books published between the 1950s and 1970s. It includes manuscripts, research material (including photographs), proofs, correspondence, speeches, royalty statements, and personal material such as photographs of Armstrong. The bulk of the correspondence is from school children and adult readers, mostly concerning Sounder. The collection also contains publisher's correspondence.


  • 1955 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). 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. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

William Howard Armstrong was born in 1911 in Virginia. He attended Augusta Military Academy and graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1936. He married Martha Stonestreet Williams and had three children. Armstrong taught history at the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut beginning in 1945.

Armstrong published his first book, Study is Hard Workin 1956. He is best known for his work of juvenile fiction book Sounder, published in 1969, which won the John Newbery Medal and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award (1970). He continued to publish adult and juvenile fiction and non-fiction throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including Sour Land, The MacLeod Place, and The Mills of God.

William Armstrong died on April 11, 1999.


5 Cubic Feet (4 record cartons)

Language of Materials



William Howard Armstrong's papers include manuscripts, galleys, and proofs for a number of books published in the 1950s through the 1970s, as well as correspondence, speeches, royalty statements, and personal material.


The collection is arranged into four series.

Within publications, books are arranged alphabetically by title.

  1. Publications
  2. Correspondence
  3. Personal
  4. Speeches

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William H. Armstrong, with additional material donated by heir Mary Armstong.

William Howard Armstrong Papers, 1955-1996
Christina Cowan and Sharlene Murphy
October 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • March 2013: Collection reprocessed by Carly Lawrence; EAD updated by Karen Spilman
  • March 2018: Added new material to collection by Carter Lynn Thurmond.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library