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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Cornelia Meigs Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1949
Creator: Meigs, Cornelia (1884-1973)
Extent: 2.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: MSC0658
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Children's author and Iowa's first Newbery Award winner. This collection consists of a manuscript and various clippings. Iowa Author Mss.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


Preferred Citation: Cornelia Meigs 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

Cornelia Meigs was born at Rock Island, Illinois, in 1884. She grew up in a family where storytelling was second nature. In a paper in this collection she says, Since my father's kindred had been, in long succession, officers in the army and navy and my mother's father and mother had been pioneers from Vermont to Illinois, stories current in our house made the settlement of the Middle West, the War of 1812, the brush with the Barbary pirates, and the Civil War as familiar as any events within the century.
She received a public school education before going to Bryn Mawr College, where she received her A.B. degree in 1908. She taught English in Davenport, Iowa, at St. Katherine's School until 1913. She taught in the English Department at Bryn Mawr from 1932 to 1950.
Meigs published her first book for children, The Kingdom of the Winding Road, in 1915. She wrote over thirty books for children. She sometimes wrote under the pseudonym of Adair Aldon. In 1927 she won the Beacon Hill Bookshelf Prize with The Trade Wind and in 1934 she won the Newberry Medal for Invincible Louisa, a biography of Loisa May Alcott, becoming the first Iowan to win that honor. In 1953 A Critical History of Children's Literature was published, for which Meigs served as editor, and she wrote some of the pieces as well. In addition to writing books for young people, Meigs also wrote short stories for magazines. She died in 1973.

This collection consists of Meigs' drafts and correspondence concerning her book The New Moon.
There is another manuscript collection for Meigs at the de Grummond Library at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence - 1949
  • Box 1:
  • Short story version for the Youth's Companion early title Silver Sixpences
  • First Draft, with revisions
  • Suggested passage for jacket illustration
  • Printer's typescript, with revisions
  • Galley proofs, with revisions