Scott O'Dell Papers
Scope and Contents
The bulk of the collection contains production materials related to children's books written by Scott O'Dell, and includes typescripts, manuscripts, proofs, clippings, reviews, and notes. Additionally, the collection holds fan mail from children and material related to class visits. Personal material includes family and personal photographs, correspondence with his first wife, Dorsa O'Dell, some from after their separation in the 1960s, Dorsa O'Dell's reminisces and anecdotes about Scott, obituaries and biographical material, award speeches, and other personal and professional items.
- Creation: 1900-2008, undated
- O'Dell, Scott, 1898-1989 (Person)
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
Scott O'Dell was born May 23, 1898 in Los Angeles, California as O'Dell Gabriel Scott. Best known as a children's historical fiction writer, O'Dell had a varied career. He was a technical director for Paramount Studios, a cameraman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a book columnist for the Los Angeles Mirror, a book editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, and later a full time author. During World War II he served in the United States Air Force. Among other awards, his books have earned several Newbery Honor Awards and the Newbery Medal in 1961 for Island of the Blue Dolphins. In 1972 O'Dell became the second American to receive the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. He created the annual Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction award in 1981 to encourage the production of historical fiction. He was married twice, first to Jane Dorsa O'Dell who he married in 1948 and separated from in the 1960s (though they did not divorce until the late 1980s), and Elizabeth Hall. Scott O'Dell died in 1989 at the age of 91.
20 Cubic Feet (18 boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection consists of manuscript materials related to works by children's book author Scott O'Dell, as well as personal papers, photographs, and fan mail from children.
Collection is arranged into two series:
Series 1: Publications - arranged alphabetically by title
Series 2: Personal and Miscellaneous
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Some material donated to the collection by Scott O'Dell, with the majority donated by his wife, Elizabeth Hall, after his death. Boxes 14-18, containing material from Stoneapple Farm, where O'Dell lived with his first wife, Jane Dorsa O'Dell, until their separation in the 1960s, was donated by Gillian Russell Gilhool, on behalf of the Stoneapple Farm Trust.
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Genre / Form
- Baja California (Mexico: Peninsula) -- Juvenile fiction
- California -- Juvenile fiction
- California, Southern -- Description and travel
- Florida -- Juvenile fiction
- Jamestown (Va.) -- History -- Juvenile fiction
- Mexico -- History -- Conquest, 1519-1540 -- Juvenile fiction
- Mexico -- Juvenile fiction
- Southwest, New -- Discovery and exploration -- Juvenile fiction
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Juvenile fiction
- Slave insurrections -- United States Virgin Islands -- Saint John -- Juvenile fiction
- Authors, American -- 20th century
- Children's stories, American
- Detective and mystery stories
- Gangs -- Juvenile fiction
- Greek Americans -- Juvenile fiction
- Iditarod (Race) -- Juvenile fiction
- Incas -- Juvenile fiction
- Indians of Mexico -- Juvenile fiction
- Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction
- Latin America -- History -- To 1600 -- Juvenile fiction
- Mayas -- Juvenile fiction
- Mexican Americans -- Juvenile fiction
- Nez Percé Indians -- Juvenile fiction
- Pearl divers -- Juvenile fiction
- Runaways -- Juvenile fiction
- Sled dog racing -- Juvenile fiction
- Survival -- Juvenile fiction
- Scott O'Dell papers, 1900-2008, undated
- Finding aid created by CLRC staff
- 2009, 2014
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- August 2014: Collection reprocessed by Laura Howard; EAD updated by Kate Dietrick
- March 2022: Material from Stoneapple Farm added to collection and collection guide updated by Caitlin Marineau.
- October 2022: Material added to Box 17 by Carter Thurmond.
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area
Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library