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  • Dawn Smith

de Grummond Receives $30,000 Gift

Updated: Aug 16


Pictured is Dr. John Eye, dean of University Libraries, Eric Schonblom, Ellen Ruffin, curator of de Grummond, and Lorraine Stuart, head of Special Collections.

In April, longtime friend, and supporter of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, Eric Schonblom, hand delivered a check for $30,000 to Ellen Ruffin, de Grummond’s curator. Along with the check, Schonblom also brought his complete collection of books and manuscripts by Constance Savery.


Schonblom’s financial and material gifts will allow de Grummond to continue the work of preserving and protecting the Savery materials. With this collection, scholars and researchers will be able to see the works that influenced Savery's writings, the books she reviewed and cherished. His gift also included work by Savery's siblings, so a scholar will have everything necessary to conduct a thorough understanding of Constance Savery.


Schonblom became acquainted with Savery’s work as a child when he read Emeralds for the King. Years later, he located a copy of this book and found that it was still as important to him as an adult as it was to him as a child. After reading all of her books, he decided to dive deeper into her work and discovered correspondence, stories, articles, and manuscripts. Over time, Schonblom transcribed hundreds of letters spanning her entire life, over a century, which are available digitally in the de Grummond Collection. In 2017, he completed a biography of Constance Savery entitled Another Lady.


Schonblom was born in Pennsylvania and attended Culver Military Academy, which he says prepared him for M.I.T., where he graduated in 1956 with an engineering degree, which he followed with a master’s degree. He spent four and a half years in the United States Army then moved on to teaching at the Bradford campus of the University of Pittsburgh. He obtained his PhD from the University of Florida in 1974 and taught for 23 years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


Lorraine Stuart, Ellen Ruffin wit Eric Schonblom, going through dozens of boxes of donated books.

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