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John Donovan Papers

Identifier: CLRC-21

Scope and Contents

The John Donovan papers contain typescript, publisher's marketing catalogs, and additional material related to six young adult novels written by Donovan.


  • 1959 - 1976


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

John Donovan was born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1928. He was educated at William and Mary College, and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. He began writing children's books in the 1960s, publishing his first book, The Little Orange Bookin 1961. He then began writing for young adults, and became known for dealing with subjects that were considered controversial, including homosexuality, alcoholism, death, and others. From 1967-1992 Donovan served as President of the Children's Book Council in New York. He died in New York on April 29, 1992.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vol. 29, 72; Children's Literature Reviewvol. 3; Contemporary Literary Criticismvol. 35


.4 Cubic Feet (1 hollinger box)

Language of Materials



The collection contains drafts and related material for six novels for young people written by John Donovan.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection is a gift from John Donovan and his estate, received in 1992.

John Donovan Papers, 1959-1976
Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • August 2018: 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