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Lorenz B. Graham Papers

Identifier: CLRC-135

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for several of this children's books, including the Town series. The collection also contains a large amount of correspondence, both related to his books as well as personal and other professional correspondence, and material related to his travels, and notes related to presentation and lectures he delivered to schools and organizations.


  • 1945 - 2000


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 Sketch

Lorenz B. Graham was born January 27, 1902, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Virginia Union University in 1936 and later received an M.S.W. from Columbia University in 1954. He worked as a missionary teacher in Liberia in the 1920s and drew upon this experience for several of his books. His first book, How God Fix Jonah, a collection of biblical tales told in the Liberian dialect, was published in 1946. He also used Liberia as the backdrop in I. Momolu(1966), a story told from the perspective of a young boy, that focused on the growing conflict between rural and urban Africa. The book was praised by critics for showing Africans in a realistic and positive light. He also focused on the African-American experience in the United States. He had experienced first hand the devastating effects of segregation and racism in America, and in his 'Town' series sought to protray these effects on one family. The central character of this series, David Williams, a young African-American who longs to be a doctor and finally achieves this goal, experiences racism and the changes beginning to be brought about by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Graham died in 1989.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vols. 2, 63, 74 Something About the Author Autobiography Series, vol. 5 Children's Literature Review, vol. 10 Twentieth Century Children's Writers, 3rd edition, pp.394-395


6.25 Cubic Feet (5 record cartons and 1 flat portfolio)

Language of Materials



Lorenz Graham's collection contains papers related to his publications for children, as well as correspondence and other materials.

Accession Information:

Gift of Lorenz Graham.

Lorenz B. Graham Papers
Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • August 2019: Collection reprocessed and finding aid updated by Caitlin Marineau

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library