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Myra Cohn Livingston Papers

Identifier: CLRC-52

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the personal and professional papers of Myra Cohn Livingston. There is production material for over seventy titles published between 1959 and 1996. Materials include typescripts, corrected typescripts, holographs, galley and page proofs, front matter, notes, research material, dummies and layout notes, scrapbooks, awards, and bookmarks.

Also contained in the collection is a substantial amount of correspondence between Livingston and her editors and publishers, particularly Margaret McElderry, beginning in 1946. Correspondence regarding a particular title is filed with the materials for that title, while the large body of general correspondence is separate. There are also speeches, teaching materials and miscellaneous subject files in the collection.


  • Creation: 1936 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

Boxes 77-79, containing Myra Cohn Livingston's journals, may not be accessed without permission from the donor (Joshua Livingston) or his designees until 2050.

Remaining material 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

Myra Cohn Livingston was born August 17, 1926 in Omaha, Nebraska. She attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York, receiving her B.A. in 1948. Livingston first began writing poetry at college, and her work "Whispers" was published in Story Parademagazine in 1946. She published her first book of poetry for children Whispers and Other Poemsin 1959. She continued to publish her own poetry and also became well-known as an anthologist and critic of children's poetry.

In 1961 Livingston helped found the Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People, now known as the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California. In her honor, the council gives the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry. She was the poet-in-residence at Beverly Hills Unified School District from 1966-1984 and taught in the Writers Extension Program at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She also served as a poetry consultant to various publishers and taught classes in writing poetry for the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English and other organizations.

Her focus was on introducing children to different types of verse such as limericks and haiku, and poetry from all eras and countries. Livingston was awarded the Kerlan Award by the University of Minnesota in 1994. Myra Cohn Livingston died August 23, 1996, in Los Angeles, California.


"Myra Cohn Livingston." The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women.


86.3 Cubic Feet (95 Boxes (77 record cartons, 10 flat boxes, 7 Index Card Boxes, 1 hollinger box))

Language of Materials



This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Myra Cohn Livingston, author of poetry for children.


Collection guide is arranged alphabetically by material type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Myra Cohn Livingston, with additional material donated by her heirs.


Myra Cohn Livingston Papers, 1936-1997
Mary Blissenbach
June 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • March 2017: Carter Lynn Thurmond processed and added scrapbook material, awards, and some paper documents to the collection.
  • April 2018: Carter Lynn Thurmond added new material to the collection.
  • December 2019: Sara Williams added new material to the collection
  • February 2023: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library