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Special Collections and Archives

Cynthia Rylant Papers

Cynthia Rylant papers, 1950s-1992

Finding Aid

Prepared by Jennifer P. Crouch, July 18, 1995; Revised and updated by Christine Borne, February, 2002; Updated April, 2005
3 record storage boxes, 4 document cases and 1 oversize box, 5 cubic feet, 11th floor


Biographical Note

Cynthia Rylant was born in 1954 and grew up in West Virginia, a region she often revisits in her work. After graduating from college with a degree in English, she took a job in the children's room of her local public library. Soon afterward, she fell in love with children's books and sat down to write her own: When I Was Young in the Mountains was accepted for publication within three months. She went on to earn her M.L.S. from the Kent State University School of Library Science and lived in Kent, Ohio for many years. As an honorary Ohioan, she won the 1993 Ohioana Award for Children's Literature (even though she had recently moved to Eugene, Oregon, where she still lives).

Among her acclaimed books are her first, When I Was Young in the Mountains, a Caldecott Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book; A Fine White Dust, a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, and a Best Book for Young Adults; The Relatives Came, a Caldecott Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book; and Missing May, the 1993 Newbery Medal winner and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner. With the appearance of Dog Heaven in late 1995, Rylant added illustrating to her resume.


Scope and Content

Various forms of Rylant's manuscripts constitute the bulk of this collection, spanning the years 1987-1995. It also contains various correspondence, including many congratulatory notes regarding Missing May, letters from school children, and an interesting written dialogue between a TV movie producer seeking the rights to Missing May and a reluctant Rylant. Also included in the collection are speeches from 1992, 1993, and 1995, numerous photographs, publicity pamphlets and other biographical material, the program from the 1993 Newbery-Caldecott Awards Banquet, and three original illustrations from the Everyday books. Rylant also gave the University nine video adaptations of her books, one filmstrip, and two audiocassettes. The bulk of this collection dates from the late 1980s-mid 1990s, with a handful of items from the author's childhood in the 1950s and 60s.

There are also a substantial number of inscribed Cynthia Rylant books available for viewing in the Department of Special Collections and Archives. These books are cataloged in KentLINK.

A note about dates: it is difficult or impossible to tell when the author drafted each phase of her works. Unless specifically dated otherwise by the author, all preliminary, first, second, and other drafts have been approximated to the date of publication. Thus, in some cases, it may appear that the final phase of a work was completed before the first. All manuscripts are arranged in the collection by date of publication. It is also important to note that since the contents of the collection reflect several batches of material sent by the author, not all similar materials are grouped together (for example, there is a set of correspondence in Box 1, as well as in Box 3). For this reason, the reader is encouraged to scroll down through the entire inventory. The reader is also advised that the earliest part of the manuscripts portion of the collection -- dating from the early and mid-1980s -- appears at the end of this inventory, in Boxes 6-8.


Provenance

Cynthia Rylant sent the materials in this collection to the Department of Special Collections and Archives when she first established herself as an author.


Restrictions

All materials are available for research, but copyright is retained by the author.


Box 1

Folder -- Contents

  1. Correspondence -- 1987
  2. Correspondence -- 1988
  3. Correspondence -- 1989
  4. Correspondence -- 1990
  5. Correspondence -- 1991
  6. Correspondence -- 1992
  7. Correspondence -- 1993
  8. Correspondence -- 1994
  9. Correspondence -- 1995
  10. Correspondence -- date unknown
  11. Essays -- date unknown
  12. Exhibit -- Department of Special Collections and Archives, 1993
  13. Photographs -- various subjects, various dates
  14. Programs -- Newbery-Caldecott Awards Banquet, 1993
  15. Publicity -- various dates
  16. Speeches -- 1992
  17. Speeches -- 1993
  18. Speeches -- 1994

Box 2

Folder -- Contents

  1. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, corrected typescript, 1988
  2. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, galleys, 1988
  3. Manuscripts -- Mr. Griggs' Work, handwritten ms., 1989
  4. Manuscripts -- Mr. Griggs' Work, galleys, 1989
  5. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea, galleys, 1989
  6. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea, copyedited page proofs, 1989
  7. Manuscripts -- But I'll Be Back Again, handwritten ms., 1989
  8. Manuscripts -- But I'll Be Back Again, typescript 1, 1989
  9. Manuscripts -- But I'll Be Back Again, typescript 2, 1989
  10. Manuscripts -- But I'll Be Back Again, typescript 3, 1989
  11. Manuscripts -- But I'll Be Back Again, copyedited page proofs, 1989
  12. Manuscripts -- But I'll Be Back Again, galleys, 1989
  13. Manuscripts -- Soda Jerk, typescript, 1990
  14. Manuscripts -- Soda Jerk, galleys, 1990
  15. Manuscripts -- Missing May, notes, [1992]
  16. Manuscripts -- The Dreamer, handwritten ms., 1993
  17. Manuscripts -- The Dreamer, galleys, 1993
  18. Manuscripts -- I Had Seen Castles, notes, 1993
  19. Manuscripts -- I Had Seen Castles, handwritten ms., 1993
  20. Manuscripts -- I Had Seen Castles, typescript, 1993
  21. Manuscripts -- I Had Seen Castles, final typescript, 1993
  22. Manuscripts -- Everyday Children, 1993
  23. Manuscripts -- Everyday Garden, 1993
  24. Manuscripts -- Everyday House, 1993
  25. Manuscripts -- Everyday Pets, 1993
  26. Manuscripts -- Everyday Town, 1993
  27. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake, handwritten ms. and typescript, 1994
  28. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake, galleys, 1994
  29. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea, handwritten ms. and typescript, 1994
  30. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea, layout, 1994
  31. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog, handwritten ms., 1994
  32. Manuscripts -- Something Permanent, handwritten ms., 1994
  33. Manuscripts -- Something Permanent, typescript, 1994
  34. Manuscripts -- Something Permanent, photographs by Walker Evans, [no date]
  35. Manuscripts -- The Van Gogh Cafe, typescript 1, 1995
  36. Manuscripts -- The Van Gogh Cafe, typescript 2, 1995
  37. Manuscripts -- The Van Gogh Cafe, typescript 3, 1995
  38. Manuscripts -- The Van Gogh Cafe, uncorrected proofs, 1995
  39. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Best Day of All, handwritten ms. and typescript, 1995
  40. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin, typescript, 1995
  41. Manuscripts -- Gooseberry Park, handwritten drafts and revised typescript, 1995
  42. Manuscripts -- Gooseberry Park, final typescript, 1995
  43. Manuscripts -- Gooseberry Park, page proofs, 1995
  44. Manuscripts -- Gooseberry Park, galleys, 1995
  45. Manuscripts -- Dog Heaven, handwritten ms., 1995
  46. Manuscripts -- Dog Heaven, typescript, 1995
  47. Manuscripts -- Dog Heaven, galleys, 1995
  48. Manuscripts -- Dog Heaven, galleys, 1995
  49. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears, first layout, 1995
  50. Manuscripts -- Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears, final layout, 1995
  51. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge, miscellaneous, [no date]

Box 3

Folder -- Contents

  1. Biographical -- from Something About the Author, v.50, [1988]
  2. Correspondence -- letter from Rylant's father, [ca. 1950s-early 1960s]
  3. Correspondence -- from Ethel Kennedy, 1968
  4. Correspondence -- letters from Miss Sierra's reading class, 1991
  5. Interviews -- from Horn Book, 1987
  6. Memorabilia -- Beatles bubblegum cards (mentioned in But I'll Be Back Again), 1960s
  7. Manuscripts -- The Relatives Came, galley proofs and illustration, 1985
  8. Manuscripts -- All I See, 3 drafts including correspondence, 1987-88
  9. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, handwritten outline and chapter 11, [1988]
  10. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, handwritten first drafts, [1988]
  11. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, 1st typed draft, [1988]
  12. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, 1st draft, original, typed, [1988]
  13. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, 1st typed draft with letter and editor's comments, 1987
  14. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, 1st typed draft with copyediting marks, [1988]
  15. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, handwritten 2nd draft, [1988]
  16. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, 2nd typed draft + notes + [editor's] remarks, [1988]
  17. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, final typed ms., [1988]
  18. Manuscripts -- A Kindness, repro dupe, [1988]
  19. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea, handwritten draft, [1989]
  20. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat, handwritten draft, [1989]
  21. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat, typed draft, 1989
  22. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat, typed draft and copyright page, 1989
  23. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge get the Cold Shivers, handwritten draft, [1989]
  24. Manuscripts -- A Couple of Kooks, handwritten 1st drafts, + letter from editor, [1990]
  25. Manuscripts -- A Couple of Kooks, typed draft with copyediting marks, [1990]
  26. Manuscripts -- A Couple of Kooks, typed drafts with notes from author, [1990]
  27. Manuscripts -- Soda Jerk, handwritten 1st draft, [1990]
  28. Manuscripts -- Soda Jerk, copyedited typed draft, [1990]
  29. Manuscripts -- Appalachia, handwritten 1st draft, [1991]
  30. Manuscripts -- Appalachia, galleys, 1991
  31. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps, handwritten draft, [1991]
  32. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps, galley proofs, 1989
  33. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge take the Big Test, handwritten draft, [1991]
  34. Manuscripts -- An Angel for Solomon Singer, handwritten and typed drafts, [1992]
  35. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend, handwritten draft, [1992]
  36. Manuscripts -- Henry and Mudge and the Wild Wind, handwritten draft, [1992]
  37. Manuscripts -- Missing May, handwritten on legal pad, [1992]
  38. Manuscripts -- Missing May, 1st typed draft, [1992]
  39. Manuscripts -- Missing May, typed final draft + editor's remarks, [1992]
  40. Manuscripts -- Missing May, galleys, 1992
  41. Newspaper Clippings -- Rylant, [1961]
  42. Photographs -- Rylant, Christmas 1957
  43. Photographs -- Rylant & mother, with snake, 1959
  44. Photographs -- Robert Kennedy, [1960]
  45. Photographs -- "The Virginia Relatives", 1962
  46. Photographs -- from But I'll Be Back Again (biography), Rylant and various subjects, [ca. 1950s-1990s]
  47. Photographs -- Cool Ridge, WV, [no date]
  48. Photographs -- "The Real Mudge", [no date]
  49. Photographs -- Rylant and dog, [no date]
  50. Photographs -- Rylant's great grandfather, [no date]
  51. Publications -- Detskaya Literatura, Soviet journal featuring When I Was Young in the Mountains, 1991
  52. Publications -- Ohioana Quarterly, includes award acceptance speech by Rylant, 1994
  53. Slides -- 1 image from The Relatives Came, 1985

Box 4 -- Audiovisual

Folder -- Contents

  1. Audiocassettes -- A Fine White Dust, 1988
  2. Audiocassettes -- A Fine White Dust, 1988
  3. Filmstrips -- A Fine White Dust, 1988
  4. Videos -- All I See, 1988
  5. Videos -- A Fine White Dust, 1989
  6. Videos -- Henry and Mudge in the Green Time, 1989
  7. Videos -- Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble, 1989
  8. Videos -- Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days, 1989
  9. Videos -- Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon, 1989
  10. Videos -- The Relatives Came, 1988
  11. Videos -- The Relatives Came, 1988
  12. Videos -- When I Was Young in the Mountains, 1986
  13. Videos -- Meet the Newbery Author: Cynthia Rylant, 1990

Box 5 -- Oversized Items

Folder -- Contents

  1. Illustrations -- Everyday Books, [1993]
  2. Illustrations -- Everyday Garden, [1993]
  3. Illustrations -- Everyday Pets, [1993]
  4. Promotional -- The Relatives Came, from Publishers' Weekly, 1985

Box 6

Folder -- Contents

  1. Biographical sketch, [1985]
  2. Correspondence -- from Steven Kellogg, 1979
  3. Correspondence -- Dutton, 1979-81
  4. Correspondence -- Bradbury Press, 1981
  5. Correspondence -- from James Ayars, 1983
  6. Events and publicity -- [various dates]
  7. Newspaper clippings -- 1982
  8. Newspaper clippings -- 1983
  9. Newspaper clippings -- 1984
  10. Newspaper clippings -- 1985
  11. Newspaper clippings -- 1986
  12. Newspaper clippings -- 1987
  13. Newspaper clippings -- 1989
  14. Newspaper clippings -- 1990
  15. Newspaper clippings -- 1993
  16. Newspaper clippings -- [unknown dates]
  17. Manuscripts -- When I Was Young in the Mountains, drafts, correspondence, and illustrations, 1979-83
  18. Manuscripts -- Waiting to Waltz, drafts, correspondence, and galleys, 1983-84
  19. Manuscripts -- This Year's Garden, drafts, correspondence, and galleys, 1983
  20. Manuscripts -- A Blue Eyed Daisy, drafts, correspondence, and illustrations, 1983-84
  21. Manuscripts -- A Blue Eyed Daisy, drafts, uncorrected proofs, and galleys, 1984

Box 7

Folder -- Contents

  1. Manuscripts -- Night in the Country, drafts and correspondence, 1984
  2. Manuscripts -- Some Year for Ellie, (UK edition of A Blue Eyed Daisy), correspondence, 1985
  3. Manuscripts -- Every Living Thing, first draft and correspondence, 1985
  4. Manuscripts -- Every Living Thing, drafts and book jacket, [1985]

Box 8

Folder -- Contents

  1. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, working notes, 1986
  2. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, handwritten draft, [1986]
  3. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, drafts, 1986
  4. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, corrected draft, 1986
  5. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, corrected draft, 1986
  6. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, page proofs, 1986
  7. Manuscripts -- A Fine White Dust, galley proofs, 1986
  8. Speeches -- "Tear to Valentines: The Real Worth of a Book," 1984

 

 
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