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Herbert Spencer Zim Papers

Identifier: CLRC-200

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material, including some for titles written with joint authors, for seventeen titles published between 1950 and 1975 with some material and correspondence ranging in date from 1948-1976. Production materials include corrected typescripts, page proofs, notes, research material, layouts including some with pencil studies, dummies, photographs, and sample covers. The collection also contains some production material for an unidentified title Heart[?] not verified as published. The collection also contains correspondence to and from Herbert Spencer Zim, mostly with editors and publishers.


  • Creation: 1948 - 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

Herbert Spencer Zim was born July 12, 1909 in New York City. He attended Columbia University and received a BA in 1933, his MA in 1934, and a Ph.D. in 1940. He taught science for many years in New York and later was a professor of education (science) at the University of Illinois at Urbana. Zim also developed science labs for elementary school students. In 1942 he published his first book for young readers, Mice, Men and Elephants. Herbert Spencer Zim became well known for his non-fiction and science books for children. Herbert Spencer died on December 5, 1994.

Biographical Sources: "Herbert S(pencer) Zim (1909-1994)." Something About the Author. Vol. 30 and 85. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1983 and 1996.


2.5 Cubic Feet (2 record cartons)

Language of Materials



The collection contains production material related to children's books written by Herber Spencer Zim.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by title, with correspondence at the end.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Herbert Spencer Zim gave part of this collection to Dr. Irvin Kerlan who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota. Herbert Spencer Zim, Sonia (Bleeker) Zim, his wife, and Roger Zim, his son, added additional materials to the collection from 1968-1981.


Herbert Spencer Zim Papers, 1948-1976
Christina Cowan; updated by Leslie Czechowski and Jim Eyer
June 1999; updated 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • December 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