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Jean Lee Latham Papers

Identifier: CLRC-45

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material for nineteen titles as well as typescripts for several radio plays and articles. It also includes the author’s Newbery Award acceptance speech and medal. The materials included are typescripts, notes, research material, proofs, display and presentation material, correspondence, layouts, and awards. There is a substantial body of correspondence between the author and Dr. Irvin Kerlan, with her addressing some of the proofs and typescripts to him.


  • 1948 - 1965

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

Jean Lee Latham was born in 1902 in the town of Buckhannon, West Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1925, her Bachelor of Oral English (B.O.E.) from Ithaca Conservatory (now Ithaca College) in 1928, and her master’s degree from Cornell University. Besides her writing career, Latham worked as a teacher, an editor, a professional speaker and also worked for the US War Department in the Signal Corps Inspection Agency during World War II.

Latham’s book, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, was a children’s biography that won her the Newbery Award in 1956. Though Latham is known for her biographies for children and young adults, she also wrote novels, plays, poetry and essays as well as her work in radio and TV. Latham died in 1995.

Biographical Source:

"Jean Lee Latham (1902-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 68. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1992.


1.44 Cubic Feet (1 Record Carton and 1 Flat Box)

Language of Materials



Jean Lee Latham’s papers focus on her work as an author of children’s and young adult books. The collection contains production materials for 22 titles published between 1948 and 1965 as well as correspondence and awards.


The collection guide is arranged into five series:

1: Articles 2: Awards 3: Correspondence 4: Publications (Books) 5: Radio Scripts Within the Publication series, books are arranged alphabetically by title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the author Jean Lee Latham and Irvin Kerlan

Jean Lee Latham Papers, 1948-1965
Kristell Benson
March 1, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 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