Jean Lee Latham Papers
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. Her mother, Winifred, was a teacher and her father, George, was a cabinet maker. She began writing at an early age and was encouraged by her parents to do so. She received 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 WWII.
Latham’s book, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, is 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 has also written novels, plays, poetry and essays as well as her work in radio and TV. Latham’s work is especially appreciated for its dialogue and relatability to kids.
Biographical Source: Something About the Author, vol. 68, p. 123-126
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
- Authors, American -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Biographies -- Juvenile literature Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Bowditch, Nathaniel, 1773-1838 (Depicted) -- Juvenile literature
- Children's literature, American Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Fairy tales Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Radio plays Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Radio scripts Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Jean Lee Latham Papers, 1948-1965
- Kristell Benson
- March 1, 2018
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature Collecting Area
Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library