Guide to the Gladys Lucy Adshead Papers
1937-1965

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Adshead, Gladys L.
Title: Gladys Lucy Adshead papers
Dates: 1937-1965 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.0 linear feet (2 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 446
Summary: Gladys Lucy Adshead (1896-1985) was a noted educator, school administrator, and the author of many children's books. The collection consists of correspondence related to production and publishing of her books, and manuscripts.
Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon, 97403-1299
(541) 346-3068
spcarref@uoregon.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Gladys Lucy Adshead, author of numerous twentieth-century children's books as well as a successful teacher and school administrator, seemed destined for a literary vocation from an early age. The eldest child of four, Adshead was born to James Frederick and Bertha Wilson Groome Adshead in West Didsbury, Manchester, England in the rural county of Cheshire, on April 25th, 1896. Her English father proved to be a tremendous influence on her future career path. James inculcated in her a love of reading, exemplified by Adshead's adult recollections of the enjoyment her family gained from Beatrix Potter's stories, as well as her personal appreciation in being of the first generation to experience these works. His parenting brought her to an appreciation of the outdoors in nature walks, as his literary introductions to his favorite verse and authors such as Dickens instilled an esteem in her for books. James's influence proved prophetic in his openly avowed desire that Adshead would herself write children's books one day. Adshead began her authorial career in childhood writing in old exercise books she was later "glad to see disappear."

The second crucial element of Adshead's adult life also appeared early in her development; in 1906 with the birth of her second brother, she concluded at age ten that she wanted to be a teacher for small children. After receiving her degree in England at the Froebel Educational Institute, Roehampton, London in 1916, Adshead taught in British private schools before emigrating to the United States in 1921, receiving her naturalization in 1939. Her teaching career in North America proved eclectic. First settling in Baltimore, Maryland, she organized the first open-air free nursery school, supplementing her contact with children outside of the classroom by reading stories aloud to children in Baltimore public libraries and for the Children's Bookshop, other libraries, and independent organizations from 1921 to 1927. Adshead changed teaching positions in this period, moving to the progressive Park School of Baltimore where she taught first and second grade from 1922 to 1926. In 1927 she further expanded her credentials in teaching an experimental group of five-year-olds at the Beaver school of Boston. This position lasted until 1934, and was concurrent with Adshead's training of apprentice teachers that lasted until 1959. In her later years Adshead took an increasingly administrative role in education, such as her position as head of the lower school at the Buckingham School of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1943 she was appointed Head of the Lower School of the North Shore Country Day School of Winnetka, Illinois. This position lasted until 1949, when she became Headmistress of the Charles River School of Dover, Massachusetts. The range of Adshead's professional affiliations over her career included charter membership in the Royal Society of Teachers, as well as membership in the Historical Society of Hancock, New Hampshire, the Michaelis Guild, and the position of the Independent School Association of Massachusetts Chairman of Advisory Board Finance for Mason New Hampshire for five years.

During the time of her later career Adshead bought a home in 1943, a 150-year old house on 15 acres of land with extensive wildlife; her friend and collaborator in children's literary publishing, the illustrator Elizabeth Orton Jones, was moved to purchase the twenty-acre farm next door after visiting Adshead's in 1944. Adshead listed her interests in an autobiographical publishing sketch as natural science, photography, travel, classical music, theater, symphonic concerts, walking, snowshoeing, and gardening. She traveled in Great Britain, France, and Switzerland.

Adshead identified her writing as getting "inside a child's skin," writing characters identified with the children in her own life and engaging with an ongoing theme of the importance of taking care of other people. Her retirement citations for work in the fields of children's literature and education proved her favorite traditional honoraria, to which Adshead appended "a poem to me written by three nine-year-olds, which is the nicest tribute of all." She passed away June 22, 1985 in Alameda County, California. Her published works include:

Brownies--Hush! 1938

Something Surprising 1939

Casco, the Little Seal 1943

What Miranda Knew 1944

Seventeen to Sing (with composer George H. Shapiro) 1946

An Inheritance of Poetry (collected and arranged with Annis Duff) 1948

Brownies, It's Christmas 1955

Brownies--Hurry! 1959

Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure 1961

Brownies, They're Moving 1971

Where Is Smallest Brownie 1971

Smallest Brownie and the Flying Squirrel 1972

Content Description

The Gladys Lucy Adshead Papers consist of a collection of her correspondence together with materials related to the publication of her numerous children's books. There are manuscript copies of Bells Beyond the Sand: An Inheritance of Poetry, Brownies, Hurry!, Brownies, It's Christmas (3), Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure (3), Seventeen to Sing, and What Miranda Knew. In addition, there is a sheet of the final dummy for Casco, the Little Seal as well as several page proofs for Something Surprising. There is also a copy of the 1951 Chicago Schools Journal: Supplement on Authors and Illustrators of Children's Literature.

Adshead's collected correspondence relates to the history of publication for her children's books, including rejection letters for manuscripts and editorial suggestions. The letters also document the development of her publishing relationship with editor Patricia Cummings of the Oxford University Press who was to later draw Adshead to the newly formed publishing house Henry Z. Walck, Inc.

The four hundred forty-two manuscript pages for Bells Beyond the Sand: An Inheritance of Poetry vary in condition from fair to poor and in size. They include numerous revision comments as well as corrective sections glued over the original pages, and many are marred by adhesive hole protectors. The contents include working index materials for the book and a fifteen-page holograph of the index with glued organizing tabs.

The thirty-five holograph manuscript pages for Brownies, Hurry! are in good condition and include revision comments; many are marred by adhesive hole protectors.

The three manuscript copies for Brownies, It's Christmas are in good condition. The first holograph manuscript consists of thirty-eight pages. The second holograph manuscript, in dummy format for Oxford University Press, consists of eighty-two pages. The third holograph manuscript, with extensive revisions, consists of forty-five pages.

The dummy sheet for Casco, The Little Seal comprises eight pages from the final copy: 50, 51, 54, 55, 58, 59, 62, 63. The pages include three illustrations by Else Bostleman.

The two manuscript copies for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure are in fair to good condition, although a few pages are marred by adhesive hole protectors. The typewritten manuscript consists of fourteen pages with extensive holograph revision comments. The first holograph manuscript in dummy format comprises seventy-nine pages and contains revision comments.

The dummy manuscript copy for Seventeen to Sing combines holograph and typewritten pages in fair to good condition. The thirty-two pages include sheet music with holograph revision comments and two holograph notes.

The fourteen page proofs for Something Surprising include holographic revision comments and illustrations by Helen Rinald.

The holograph manuscript pages for What Miranda Knew number thirty-one in good condition.

The Chicago Schools Journal: Supplement of May-June 1951 gives biographical sketches of authors and illustrators of children's literature in the Chicago area including Adshead's, and also includes Adshead's personal marginal holograph comments concerning those authors with which she was acquainted.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Gladys Lucy Adshead Papers, Ax 446, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Correspondence; Series II. Manuscripts.

Acquisition Information :  

Gift of Gladys Adshead in 1968.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Correspondence
Container(s)
Description
Subseries A: Outgoing correspondence
Box
Folder
1 1 Letter to Elizabeth Orton Jones re: Brownies--Hush release party (partial)
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings, Oxford UP, June 14th, 1954 re: illustrations and revisions of Brownies, It's Christmas
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings, Oxford UP, November 11th, 1956 re: revisions to manuscript "Spilled Milk - and the Luck of the Irish" (back side title page of Si-Ling's Secret)
1 1 Letter to Muriel Fuller, May 29th, 1957 re: autobiography for H. W. Wilson "More Junior Authors"
1 1 Letter to Miss Cummings, September 3rd 1957 re: manuscript submission of Si-Ling's Secret
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings, Oxford UP, July 5th, 1957 re: manuscript submission of Si-Ling's Secret
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings, Oxford UP, October 13rd, 1957 re: manuscript submission of Si-Ling's Secret
1 1 Letter to Henry Z. Walck, Oxford UP, January 11th, 1958 re: publishing house changeover to Henry Z. Walck, Inc. and manuscript submission of Brownies, Hurry!
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 28th, 1959 re: reaction to published copy of Brownies--Hurry! and Vera Ilsley illustrations
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, January 14th, 1960 re: manuscript submission of Smallest Brownie's Terrific Adventure and trip to England
1 1 Letter to Mrs. Harold B. Lord, Jr., Henry Z. Walck, Inc, February 14th, 1960 re: manuscript submission for Smallest Brownie's Terrific Adventure
1 1 Letter to Mrs. Harold B. Lord, Jr., Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 7th, 1960 re: revised manuscript submission for Smallest Brownie's Terrific Adventure
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 14th, 1960 re: publication decisions for Smallest Brownie's Frightful Adventure; Patricia Cole as illustrator (back side page 2 of Smallest Brownie's Frightful Adventure)
1 1 Letter to Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, November 14th, 1960 re: revisions to Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 1 Letter to Patricia Cummings Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, January 31st, 1961 re: manuscript submission of The Dragon Who Went To Sea; Patricia Cole and Elizabeth Orton Jones as illustrators
1 1 Letter to Mrs. Edwin B. Lord, Henry D. Walck, Inc, November 6th, 1961 re: manuscript rejection of The Dragon Who Went To Sea; rights via books out of print
1 1 Letter to Mrs. E. B. Lord, ed Henry Z. Walck, Inc, May 22nd, 1961 re: illustrations by Pat Cole for The Dragon Who Went To Sea; advance copies of Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure (attached note "Submitted by Mrs. Allen E. Cole...")
1 1 Letter to Austin Olney, ed Houghton Mifflin, February 5th 1964 re: revisions to dragon story (back side page 34 of The Adolescent Dragon manuscript with cross-out markings)
1 1 Letter to Mary Silva Cosgrave, Random House, March 17th, 1965 re: unidentified enclosed manuscript (back side page 2 of The Adolescent Dragon manuscript with cross-out markings)
1 1 Letter to Alice Torrey, juv. ed. Coward-McCann, July 13th, 1965 re: manuscript submission The Adolescent Dragon
1 1 Letter to William McNorris, G. P. Putnam's Sons, January 31st, 1966 re: manuscript submission of The Adolescent Dragon; book titles
Subseries B: Incoming correspondence
Box
Folder
1 2 Note on index card "To Young Authors" re: publication of The Dragon Who Went To Sea
1 2 Receipt from Constable and Company, Ltd, May 21st, 1957 re: manuscript submission of Brownies--Hush and Casco
1 2 Postcard from E. P. Dutton & Co, Inc, November 14th, 1967 re: receipt of manuscript submission of The Adolescent Dragon
1 2 Letter from the editors, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc, July 28th, 1964 re: rejection of manuscript submission of The Adolescent Dragon
1 2 Letter from Henry Z. Walck, Inc, September 8th, 1958 re: receipt of manuscript submission of Brownies--Hurry
1 2 Letter from Henry Z. Walck, Inc, January 19th, 1960 re: receipt of manuscript submission of Smallest Brownie's Terrific Adventure
1 2 Letter from Henry Z. Walck, Inc, June 15th, 1965 re: receipt of manuscript submission of The Adolescent Dragon
1 2 Postcard from Houghton Mifflin Company, February 11th, 1964 re: receipt of manuscript submission of The Adolescent Dragon
1 2 Letter from Oxford UP, July 8th, 1957 re: receipt of manuscript submission of Si-Ling's Secret
1 2 Letter from Oxford UP, January 7th, 1958 re: receipt of manuscript submission of Brownies, Hurry!
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, re: publication delays in Brownies--Hurry!
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings, Oxford UP, October 11th, 1956 re rejection of manuscript submission of Spilled Milk--And The Luck of The Irish To You
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings, Oxford UP, December 12th, 1957 re: transfer of contracts; rejection of manuscript submission of Si-Ling's Secret; criticism of same and alternate suggestions
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, September 18th, 1958 re: revisions of manuscript of Brownies--Hurry!; payment of remaining royalties
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, December 29th, 1958 re: publication of Brownies--Hurry!
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, December 3rd, 1959 re: ending publication of Casco; reviews of Brownies--Hurry!
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 7th, 1960 re: revisions for Smallest Brownie's Terrific Adventure (handwritten comments on first page)
1 2 Letter from Patricia Cummings Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, October 4th, 1960 re: advance and illustrations for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, November 10th, 1960 re: illustrations and title change for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 2 Letter from Patricia C, Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, April 7th, 1961 re: future plans for The Dragon Who Went to Sea
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, May 5th, 1961 re: missing advance copies of Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure; plans for The Dragon Who Went To Sea
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, October 26th, 1961 re: rejection of publication for The Dragon Who Went To Sea
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 1st, 1962 re: rejection of manuscript submission of Bears on the Stairs verse collection; returned manuscript of same plus The Dragon That Went To Sea
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, January 2nd, 1963 re: social security form information
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, December 23rd, 1964 re: rejection of manuscript submission of Timothy Finds Two Friends
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, July 1st, 1965 re: rejection of manuscript submission of The Adolescent Dragon
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, November 19th, 1965 re: publication cessation of What Miranda Knew
1 2 Letter from Patricia C. Lord, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 30th, 1966 re: author copies of What Miranda Knew following publication cessation
1 2 Letter from Kuna Dolch, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, February 2nd, 1965 re: advance copy of Brownies--It's Christmas!
1 2 Letter from Carol Flattau, G. P. Putnam's Sons, February 24th, 1966 re: rejection of submission of "dragon" manuscript
1 2 Letter from Muriel Fuller, The H. W. Wilson Company, April 10th, 1957 re: request for autobiographical sketch for More Junior Authors
1 2 Letter from Muriel Fuller, The H. W. Wilson Company, June 8th, 1957 re: revision suggestions for autobiographical sketch
1 2 Letter from Morrell Gipson, The Seabury Press, June 20th, 1966 re: rejection of submission of manuscript of The Dragon's Secret Wish
1 2 Letter from Lorna Greenberg, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, December 8th, 1961 re: returned manuscript for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 2 Letter from Mary K. Harmon, Houghton Mifflin Company, August 12th, 1966 re: rejection of manuscript submission of Little Seal Lost (back side Adshead's reply of August 14th, 1966)
1 2 Letter from Grace Hogarth, Constable and Company, Ltd, April 4th, 1957 re: English publication of Brownies--Hush (note from Adshead on bottom of page)
1 2 Letter from Grace Hogarth, Constable and Company, Ltd, July 10th, 1957 re: rejection of manuscript submission of Brownies--Hush and Casco
1 2 Letter from Louise M. Jacobs, Managing Editor, Chicago Schools Journal, re: return of photograph and copies of Chicagoland Authors and Illustrators Supplement
1 2 Letter from Therese Jaeger, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, February 5th, 1959 re: request for biographical information
1 2 Letter from Therese Jaeger, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, March 31st, 1959 re: information request; biographical sketch
1 2 Letter from Chantal S. Leroy, Oxford UP, March 25th , 1959 re: reprinting permission for song, "Halloween Is Very Queer," from Seventeen to Sing
1 2 Letter from Barbara Litt, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, April 9th, 1959 re: publication rights for music with Allyn and Bacon
1 2 Letter from Barbara Litt, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, April 20th, 1959 re: sent copies of Brownies--Hurry!; publication rights for music with Allyn and Bacon
1 2 Letter from Barbara Litt, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, April 4th, 1960 re: contract and advance for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 2 Letter from Barbara Litt, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, April 21st, 1960 re: contract and advance for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 2 Letter from Barbara Litt, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, February 10th, 1961 re: publication and illustrations for Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure
1 2 Letter from Emilie W. McLeod, Atlantic Monthly Press, February 24th, 1966 re: rejection of manuscript submission of Little Seal Lost (handwritten response from Adshead at bottom of page)
1 2 Letter from Austin Olney, Houghton Mifflin Company, February 1st, 1962 re: receipt of manuscript submission of The Dragon Who Went To Sea
1 2 Letter from Austin Olney, Houghton Mifflin Company, March 7th, 1962 re: rejection of manuscript submission of The Dragon Who Went To Sea
1 2 Letter from Austin Olney, Houghton Mifflin Company, February 28th, 1964 re: rejection of revised manuscript submission of The Dragon
1 2 Letter from Henry Z. Walck, Oxford UP, January 7th, 1958 re: transfer to Henry Z. Walck, Inc.
1 2 Letter from Henry Z. Walck, Henry Z. Walck, Inc, April 1st, 1958 re: operations of new publishing company
1 2 Letter from Ewart Wharmby, The Brockhampton Press Ltd, August 23rd, 1956 re: rejection of manuscript submission of Brownies--It's Christmas
1 2 Letter from Ewart Wharmby, The Brockhampton Press Ltd, February 24th, 1958 re: difficulties in U. S. publication of British children's stories

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Series II:  Manuscripts
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
1 3 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holograph comments (1 of 12)
1 4 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (2 of 12)
1 5 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (3 of 12)
1 6 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (4 of 12)
1 7 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (5 of 12)
1 8 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (6 of 12)
1 9 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (7 of 12)
1 10 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (8 of 12)
1 11 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments (9 of 12)
1 12 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry) ; holographic comments; index of authors (10 of 12)
1 13 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments; index of titles; index of first lines; index of musical settings; working index for checking title, author, and copyright (11 of 12)
2 1 Bells Beyond the Sand (An Inheritance of Poetry); holographic comments; working index; holographic index (12 of 12)
2 2 Brownies, Hurry!; holographic comments
2 3 Brownies, It's Christmas; holograph with comments (1 of 3)
2 4 Brownies, It's Christmas; holograph with comments (2 of 3)
2 5 Brownies, It's Christmas; dummy holograph with comments (3 of 3)
2 6 Dummy fragments: Casco, the Little Seal
2 7 Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure; holograph with comments(1 of 2)
2 8 Smallest Brownie's Fearful Adventure; dummy holograph with comments (2 of 2)
2 9 Seventeen to Sing; dummy with holograph comments
2 10 Page Proofs: Something Surprising with holograph comments
2 11 Manuscript: What Miranda Knew; holograph
2 12 Copy: Chicago Schools Journal: Supplement; holographic marginal comments

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Subjects

  • Personal Names :
  • Adshead, Gladys L.
  • Cummings, Patricia--Correspondence
  • Subject Terms :
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Children's literature--Authorship
  • Teachers--United States
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Manuscripts for publication

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