The University of Southern Mississippi de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection has named Ann Ashmore, an assistant professor at Roberts-LaForge Library at Delta State University and Dina Weinstein, a Coral Gables, Fla. - based freelance journalist as co-recipients of its Ezra Jack Keats/Janina Domanska Fellowship for 2011.
This fellowship program, established by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, the Janina Domanska Literary Estate and the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, awards grants to scholars engaged in projects based substantially on the holdings of the de Grummond Collection.
The purpose of the program is to encourage and facilitate imaginative and productive research in children's literature, specifically scholarly use of the resources of the de Grummond Collection at the university’s McCain Library and Archives.
“This fellowship program is one of the most important things we do. Scholars come from all over the world to access our materials,” said Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Collection.
Ashmore’s research will focus on the life and career of Margret Rey from 1925-35. Prior to her marriage to H. A. Rey, Magarete Elisabeth Waldstein’s early career certainly served as a catalyst for what followed.
“To my knowledge, no one has researched or written about Margret’s early career,” said Ashmore. “Yet, in my opinion, it was the experience she gained during this period of her life that propelled the creative collaboration which led to the Curious George phenomenon in books, merchandise, movies and television.”
Weinstein’s research will center on the Syd Hoff papers held at the de Grummond Collection. As part of Hoff’s centennial, Weinstein hopes to launch an exhibition.
“The trip to see Hoff’s work at the de Grummond is especially important because the papers contain book dummies, typescripts, galleys, illustrations, and color separations related to 46 books published between 1958 and 1993,” Weinstein said. “They also include more than 1,700 cartoons drawn for newspapers and magazines between 1946 and 1977.”
The fellowship program is juried and decided upon by a team of scholars. This year’s selection committee included three Southern Miss English professors, including Dr. Kate Cochran, Dr. Kay Harris and Dr. Eric Tribunella. Dr. Elizabeth Haynes, a professor from the Southern Miss School of Library and Information Science, and Peggy Price, Curator of Special Collections at McCain Library, were also on the selection committee.
“I appreciate the thought and time it took for the members of the selection committee to decide upon these significant research projects,” Ruffin said. “The de Grummond Collection has a wealth of resources, and these projects will highlight two of our premiere collections.”