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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Lawrence Oakley Cheever Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1931-1972
Creator: Cheever, Lawrence Oakley (1907-1974)
Extent: 2.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0494
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Industrial editor, author, book and bookplate collector. Correspondence, drafts, publications, and research relating to his interest in book illustrators, books and book plates.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs Box 3

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Acquisition: Mr. Cheever began giving his books and manuscripts to the University of Iowa Libraries in the early 1950s and continued to donate his materials for the next thirty years.

Preferred Citation: Lawrence Oakley Cheever Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Lawrence Oakley Cheever (1907-1974) was born in Cliffordsville, Minnesota. He graduated from Wisconsin's Ripon College in 1929 and earned a degree in library science from Columbia University in 1931. For thirty three years Cheever worked for John Morrell and Company, first in Ottumwa, Iowa and later in Chicago. From 1935 to 1965, he edited the company magazine. He was one of the founders of both the American Association of Industrial Editors and of the Iowa Industrial Editor's Association. In 1965, Cheever accepted a position with the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City and took charge of the Society's newspaper collection. He was also a frequent contributor to and associate editor of The Palimpsest.
 
L. Oakley Cheever's special interests were in fine printing and book illustration and more specifically in books iillustrated by the artists Rockwell Kent and Edward A. Wilson. His collection of Prairie Press books was one of the most complete in existence. He collected books plates, books about books, and the works of essayists such as Christopher Morley and Vincent Starrett. Over the years, L.O. Cheever published a number of his own writings, usually relating to his collecting interests. These were generally published in journals or in his privately printed Christmas booklets (many of which were printed by Carroll Coleman's Prairie Press).

The papers of Lawrence Oakley Cheever date from 1931 to 1972 and consist of approximately two linear feet of manuscripts. This collection is arranged in four series: 1) General files, 2) The Book Collector's Packet, 3) Bookplates, and 4) Christmas publications. The first series contains Cheever's correspondence files, as well as much of the material he collected concerning the Prairie Press and illustrator Rockwell Kent. The next section is comprised of research, typescript drafts, and copies of articles that Cheever published in a journal titled The Book Collector's Packet. His collection of bookplates, arranged by artist, makes up the third part of the papers. The final sequence contains the booklets that L.O. Cheever had published to send to his friends at Christmas. These include the drafts, correspondence, and all other manner of material relating to their writing and design.

Correspondence is found in three of the four series. There are letters from: Carroll Coleman, Rockwell Kent, Vincent Starrett, Raymond Lufkin, Dale Nichols, Edward A. Wilson, Will Simmons, Will Ransom, and George Perrottet.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: THE PRAIRIE PRESS
Series 3: THE BOOK COLLECTOR'S PACKET
Series 4: BOOKPLATES
Series 5: CHRISTMAS PUBLICATIONS
Series 6: ROCKWELL KENT COLLECTION

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Bountiana
  • Correspondence A-F
    Including letters from: Ben Abramson, George Ade, Elmer Adler, Bess Streeter Aldrich, George Arents, Temple Bailey, Margaret A. Barnes, O.L. Bettman, Ernest L. Blumenschien, Van Wyck Brooks, Katharing I. Brush, Ralph Budd, Thornton Burgess, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Harlan Bushfield, Witter Bynner, James Branch Cabell, Erskine Caldwell, Logan Clendening, Carroll Coleman, Ralph Coleman, James Connolly, Jay N. Darling, Paul DeKruif, Charles Dobie, David Edstrom, Eugene Ettenberg, T. Henry Foster, and Maurice Freed.
  • Correspondence G-K
    Including letters from: Harry Gage, Ellen Glasgow, Hermann Hagedorn, Bertha Harding, Rupert Hughes, Egbert Jacobson, Gustav Jensen, MacKinlay Kantor, William Kittredge, Alfred Knopf, and Joseph Wood Krutch.
  • Correspondence L
    Including letters from: Julius Lankes, Karl LeCompte, Alfred Lee, Allen Lewis, Oscar Lewis, and Anita Loos. Lufkin, Raymond.
  • Correspondence with Raymond Lufkin
  • Correspondence M-O
    Including letters from: George MacKaness, Archibald MacLeish, Douglas McMurtrie, Paul McPharlin, Cornelia Meigs, H.L. Mencken, G. Morris, Frank Luther Mott, Hans Mueller, Dale Nichols, Mathias Nehiemer, and C. B. Oldman.
  • Correspopndence P-W
    Including letters from: George Perrottet, William Phelps, Arnold Pyle, Will Ransom, Laura Richards, Kenneth Roberts, Leo S. Rowe, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Upton Sinclair, Vincent Starrett, Phil Stong, Harry Stuhldreher, Arthur Sulzberger, C.H. Tafts, Genevieve Taggard, Fred Toy, Douglas Watson, Linton Wells, Stewart White, William Allen White, Thornton Wilder, Ben Williams, William Carlos Williams, Edward Arthur Wilson, Phineas Windsor, and Newell Wyeth.
  • International Who's Who. July - 1947
  • Jensen, Gustav. Sketches in Ink for L.O. Cheever's letterhead stationery
  • Obituaries of L.O Cheever and Mrs.Dorothy K. Cheever and miscellaneous clippings
  • The Rippon Alumnus: "Rare Books for Lane Library." "Give Books to Lane Library." - 1936, 1940
  • Rockwell Kent: A Concise Bibliography of the Writings and llustrations of Rockwell Kent by. L.O. Cheever. Typescript draft
  • Rockwell Kent: A Concise Bibliography of the Writings and llustrations of Rockwell Kent by. L.O. Cheever. Reseaerch, book catalogs, correspondence, notes, etc. - 1941
  • State Historical Society of Iowa Newsletters - 1966, 1972
  • Series 2: THE PRAIRIE PRESS
  • Box 1:
  • Articles (published and typescript) about Carroll Coleman and/or The Prairie Press - 1938-1956
  • Clippings - 1945-1959
  • Correspondence - 1937-1972
    Including letters from: Carroll Coleman, Wilbur Schramm, and Will Ransom.
  • Box 2:
  • An Iowa Craftsman: Carroll Coleman
  • Miscellaneous publications - 1944-1951
  • Notes and research material for The Prairie Press: A Thirty Year Record by L.O. Cheever
    Published in Books at Iowa, #3 (Nov. 1965) pp. 15-33. Typescript drafts and correspondence, 1965. Including letters from Carroll Coleman.
  • "The Prairie Press: A Thirty Year Record." by L.O. Cheever
    Published in Books at Iowa, #3 (Nov. 1965) pp. 15-33. Typescript drafts and correspondence, 1965. Including letters from Carroll Coleman.
  • Series 3: THE BOOK COLLECTOR'S PACKET
  • Box 3:
  • "Allen Lewis" by L.O. Cheever. BCP.
    Materials include various typescript drafts with corrections and revisions.
  • "Dale Nichols" by L.O. Cheever. BCP, v. 3:no 4, November - 1945
    Pages 13-15. Materials include typescript drafts, research, artwork and photographs, published copy, and a Christmas card from Dale Nichols.
  • "Lynd Ward the Magnificent" by L.O. Cheever. BCP, v. 4:no.7 March - 1946
    Pages 4-8. Materials include typescript, research, published copy, and Christmas cards from Lynd Ward.
  • "The Work of Fritz Eichenberg" by L.O. Cheever. BCP, v. 4:no 9-10, June - 1946
    Pages 21-25. Materials include typescript drafts (one with holograph corrections by Eichenberg), reseach, art work, published copy, and Christmas cards from Fritz Eichenberg.
  • Series 4: BOOKPLATES
  • Box 3:
  • Blake, Sara Eugenia
  • Cheffetz, Asa.
  • Falls, C.B.
  • Fent, Adrian.
  • Hunte, William.
  • Jameson, J.W., two volumes at the end of this section.
  • Kreymborg, S.
  • Lewis, Allen.
  • Litchfield, Philly M.
  • Ogilvie, Helen.
  • Perrottet, G., two volumes at the end of this section.
  • Rogers, Bruce.
  • Shaw, Cayfield.
  • Simmons, Will.
  • Waddell, Jay.
  • Webb, P.E.
  • Bookplates by unidentified designers.
  • Series 5: CHRISTMAS PUBLICATIONS
  • Box 3:
  • A Book Collector? How Come? by L.O. Cheever. - 1937 -- 1938
    Materials include typescript draft, page proofs, and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman.
  • Bookplates by L.O. Cheever. - 1939-1940
    Materials include typescript draft and carbon, dummy mock-up, printed copy, and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman and Rockwell Kent.
  • Edward A. Wilson -- Book Illustrator by L.O. Cheever. - 1941-1942
    Materials include typescript drafts, galley proofs, copyright registration, reviews, and correspondence with letters from Edward A. Wilson and Carroll Coleman.
  • Esoterica Viniana by Christopher Morley. - 1938-1939
    Materials include a holograph draft by Morley, typescript draft, proof, various dummy mock-ups, and correspondence with letters from: Carroll Coleman, Christopher Morley, Robie Mcauley, Hal Trovillion, and E.M. Moore.
  • First Editions by Vincent Starrett. - 1938-1940
    Materials include printed copy and correspondence with letters from Vincent Starrett and Bennett Cerf.
  • Hugh Gaine, Printed by L.O. Cheever. - 1943-1944
    Materials including typescript draft and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman and Raymond Lufkin.
  • My Library by L.O. Cheever. - 1936-1937
    Materials include typescript draft, printed copy, and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman.
  • Pocahontas by L.O. Cheever. - 1945-1946
    Materials include printed copy and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman and Wilbur Schramm.
  • The Second Book of Bookplates by L.O. Cheever. - 1942-1943
    Materials include correspondence from Will Simmons and T. Henry Foster.
  • Will Simmons an Appreciation by L.O. Cheever. - 1944-1945
    Materials include typescript draft, printed copy, and correspondence with letters from Will Simmons, Carroll Coleman, Wilbur Schramm, and Raymond Lufkin.
  • Series 6: ROCKWELL KENT COLLECTION
  • Box 3:
  • Items from a scrapbook
  • Scrapbook
    Oversized; lying on top of the boxes.