The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection is one of North America's leading research centers in the field of children's literature. Although the Collection has many strengths, the main focus is on American and British children's literature, historical and contemporary. Founded in 1966 by Dr. Lena Y. de Grummond, the Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,300 authors and illustrators, as well as 180,000+ published books dating from 1530 to the present.
The collection contains the works of authors and illustrators that include Randolph Caldecott, John Newbery, Kate Greenaway, H.A. and Margret Rey and Ezra Jack Keats. These are some of the most celebrated names in children’s literature with Caldecott, Newbery, Greenaway and Keats all having prestigious national awards named in their honor, and the Rey’s being the creators of Curious George. Keats, the man behind The Snowy Day, is one of America’s most groundbreaking authors with his efforts to break the color barrier in children’s publishing, and The Snowy Day is considered to be one of the most important American books of the 20th century.
These original materials are supplemented by a book collection of historical and contemporary children's literature that include Aesop’s Fables that date back to 1530, a board game from 1790, more than 100 version of the Cinderella story and the papers of popular young adult author, John Green. Researchers from across the United States, around the world and all disciplines at Southern Miss visit the collection on a regular basis to study its fables, fairy tales, folklore, alphabet books, nursery rhymes, textbooks, religious books, moral tales, fantasy, fiction, primers, and children's magazines. Complementing these holdings are scholarly studies, biographies, bibliographies, and critical works.