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A Guide to the Ruth M. Baldwin Papers

Finding aid prepared by Joyce Dewsbury

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
March 2005


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Baldwin, Ruth Marie, 1918-1990
Title: Ruth M. Baldwin Papers
Dates: 1938-1990
Abstract: Articles, correspondence, manuscripts for books and articles, and records of purchases for Ruth Baldwin's children's book collection.
Extent: 8.5 Linear feet. 15 boxes.
Identification: Ms Coll. 80
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Ruth Marie Baldwin was born on September 29, 1918 in Due West, South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Muskingum College in 1939, a Master of Arts in Library Science from the University of Illinois in 1945, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Library Science from the Graduate College of the University of Illinois in 1955. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree she worked as a librarian at Huron College in Huron, South Dakota for two years, and as the county Librarian for Meigs County and Gallia County from 1942 to 1944. After receiving her Master's degree in 1945 she taught at the Library School at San Jose State College for three years. She then returned to the University of Illinois to work on her doctorate but then left after one year and from 1950 to 1953 she taught at the library school of the University of Southern California and then from 1953 to 1955 completed her doctorate at the University of Illinois.

The year 1953 was a fateful one for Ruth Baldwin as it marked the start of what was to become a lifelong quest and vocation of collecting children's books. Her parents who were staying in England visited a bookstore and the owner happened to show her parents some chapbooks. Her father, who was a noted Shakespearean scholar and and English professor, had no interest in them but Ruth's mother bought and sent them to her daughter. Apparently Ruth Baldwin was delighted with them and for the next year her mother sent over 300 chapbooks and other 19th century children's books to her daughter. Over the years the collection grew through Ruth's efforts and those of her immediate family. She established a network of booksellers and purchased books as often as possible. One of the ways in which Ruth Baldwin managed to garner funding for her book purchases was to sell duplicates of the books. By the time she retired after teaching at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge from 1956-1977 she had accumulated over 35,000 volumes.

Prior to her retirement she began to consider a more permanent home for her very sizeable collection. A delegation from the University of Florida visited Ruth Baldwin as a result of Dr. Joy Anderson (an English professor at the University of Florida) having seen the collection at Ruth's home in Baton Rouge. The outcome was that Ruth Baldwin and her collection - the Ruth Baldwin Library - came to the University of Florida and the library opened in the year 1977 with Ruth as curator. From 1977 until her death Ruth Baldwin continued to nurture and add to the collection that now numbers over 90,000 volumes.


Scope and Content

The manuscript collection consists of articles, correspondence (including that of booksellers, family, and personal), lists of children's books, records of book sales, invoices, memoirs, materials related to the Baldwin Library (as articles and history), photographs, records of visitors to the Baldwin Library, diaries, copies of Ruth Baldwin's Masters and PhD. Theses, a draft of an unpublished book, diplomas, and other miscellaneous items and ephemera. The invoices provide a documentation of the names of booksellers, the types of books, and the prices. The diaries and the correspondence give some insights and information about Ruth Baldwin. Also included in the collection is a large archival folder with a drawing (pen and ink and watercolor) of a graphic of the letter D such as would have appeared in an alphabet book.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

The product of Ruth Baldwin's 40-year collection development efforts, the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries contains more than 93,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the early 1700s through the 1990s.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ruth M. Baldwin Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


Contents List

Box
1 Articles - Book Collecting
1 Articles by Ruth Baldwin
1 Baldwin, Ruth - Article and correspondence about her
1 Baldwin, Ruth - Retirement
1 Baldwin Family Home in Due West, S.C.
1 Baldwin Library - Articles
1 Baldwin Library - Auction
1 Baldwin Library - Collection philosophy of Ruth Baldwin
1 Baldwin Library - Consultant's Report, Correspondence (Richard Fyffe)
1 Baldwin Library - Dedication
1 Baldwin Library - Description of Collection
1 Baldwin Library - History
1 Baldwin Library - Organization, Space, and Other Issues
1 Baldwin Library - Policy Statement
1 Baldwin Library Catalog - Correspondence and Drafts
1 Bechtel Fellowship Program
1 Beta Phi Mu (National Library Science Honorary Fraternity)
1 Biographies (Gillian Avery, Ruth Baldwin)
1 Book - Dictionary of Literary Biography
1 Book - Index to the Baldwin Library of Books
1 Book - 100 Nineteenth Century Rhyming Alphabet - Agreement
1 Book - 100 Nineteenth Century Rhyming Alphabet - Book Jacket
1 Book - 100 Nineteenth Century Rhyming Alphabet - Correspondence
2 Book - 100 Nineteenth Century Rhyming Alphabet - Proofs
2 Book - 100 Nineteenth Century Rhyming Alphabet - Review
2 Books both sent and bought (lists of)
2 Book Lists - 1984 (From Ruth Baldwin to State of Florida)
2 Book Sale to Benefit Baldwin Library
2 Book Sales to Other Universities #1
2 Book Sales to Other Universities #2
2 Bookplate for the Baldwin Library
2 Booksellers - List of and Notes
2 Cataloging Schedule. September-December 1978
2 Center for the Study of Children's Literature
2 Charitable Pledge - UFF
2 Children's Books - Chronological List of Famous Ones
2 Children's Books - Lists of Authors and Titles
2 Children's Book Collection of Dr. Wofford E. Baldwin
2 Commencement
2 Conference - Children and Childhood in the Nineteenth Century
2 Conference - First Texas Governor's Conference on Libraries
2 Convention - Louisiana Library Association (LLA)
2 Correspondence - Appointment of Dr. Baldwin as curator
2 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers. 1966-1984
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers. 1985-1989
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers. Not dated
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers - Dictionary
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers - Faerie Queene
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers - Pinocchio. 1982
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers - Pinocchio. 1983-1989
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Researchers - Pinocchio. Not dated
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library - Sales
3 Correspondence - Baldwin Library Dedication
3 Correspondence - Bibliograph8ic Project (for Index)
3 Correspondence - Booksellers. 1954-1969
3 Correspondence - Booksellers. 1970-1971
3 Correspondence - Booksellers. 1972-1973
3 Correspondence - Booksellers. 1974-1979
3 Correspondence - Booksellers. 1980-1982
3 Correspondence - Booksellers. 1983-1989
3 Correspondence - Booksellers - Lawrence Darton
3 Correspondence - Booksellers - Surrey Smith LTD.
3 Correspondence - Booksellers - Benjamin Tighe
4 Correspondence - Booksellers - Undated
4 Correspondence - Center for the Study of Children's Literature
4 Correspondence - Children's Literature Association (ChLA)
4 Correspondence - Dedication of Baldwin Library
4 Correspondence - Donations of Books to Baldwin Library
4 Correspondence - Donation of Books by Dr. Baldwin (List also)
4 Correspondence - Duplicate Books. 1963-1970
4 Correspondence - Duplicate Books. 1970-1972
4 Correspondence - Duplicate Books. 1973-1988
4 Correspondence - Duplicate Books. Not dated
4 Correspondence - Family. 1912, 1931, 1938-1939
4 Correspondence - Family. 1951
4 Correspondence - Family. 1952
4 Correspondence - Family. 1953
4 Correspondence - Family. 1954
4 Correspondence - Family. 1955-1964
5 Correspondence - Family. 1965
5 Correspondence - Family. 1966
5 Correspondence - Family. 1967-1975
5 Correspondence - Florida Out-of-Print and Antiquarian Book Market Seminar
5 Correspondence - General. 1963-1979
5 Correspondence - General. 1981-1987
5 Correspondence - General. 1988-1989
5 Correspondence - Gowan/Baldwin Letters in AB
5 Correspondence - Individual - Avery, Gillian
5 Correspondence - Individual - Baldwin, Cynthia
5 Correspondence - Individual - Chester, Tessa
5 Correspondence - Individual - Smith, Rita (also Misc.)
5 Correspondence - Invitations to speak or write an article
5 Correspondence - Job Offer and Inquiry
5 Correspondence - Personal (photocopies)
5 Correspondence - Personal "The Robins"
5 Correspondence - Proposed Book (The Pursuit of Happiness in Early American Children's Books)
5 Correspondence - Sympathy cards to Cynthia Baldwin #1. 1990
5 Correspondence - Sympathy cards to Cynthia Baldwin #2. 1990
5 Correspondence and Journal of Elizabeth Baldwin
5 Death Documents
6 Directory, Small Booksellers
6 Duplicate Books - Lists
6 Essay Contest - Announcement and Essay
6 Estate Inventory. 1990
6 Evaluation and Pay
6 Exhibit - "Animal Fair" (Florida State Museum)
6 Exhibit of 19th Century Books
6 Interview with Dr. Wofford Baldwin
6 Interviews
6 Inventory - Items in Baldwin Library
6 Inventory of Books - Gift of Ruth Baldwin to UF Foundation
6 Invoices. 1955-1977
6 Invoices. 1978-1986
6 Invoices. 1987
6 Invoices. 1988
6 Invoices - James E. Carr
6 Invoices - Corner Book Shop
6 Invoices - The Coventry Bookstore
7 Invoices - Customs Declaration
7 Invoices - Percy Dobell and Son
7 Invoices - Jabez Elliott
7 Invoices - Edward C. Fales
7 Invoices - Friday's Child
7 Invoices - Doris Frohnsdorff
7 Invoices - The Garden House (R.A. Brimme II)
7 Invoices - George's
7 Invoices - Helen Gildersleeve
7 Invoices - Haunted Mansion Bookstore
7 Invoices - Hayloft Book and Print Shop
7 Invoices - Helpmate Books
7 Invoices - Edgar Heyl
7 Invoices - G. Heywood Hill LTD.
7 Invoices - The Hillside Press
7 Invoices - Howes Bookshop Ltd.
7 Invoices - Irene Jackson
7 Invoices - H.T. Jantzen
7 Invoices - Kitty Kelly's Books
7 Invoices - C.F. LaBarre
7 Invoices - Ken Leach
7 Invoices - The Little Bookshop (D.M. Gibbons)
7 Invoices - M and S Rare Books, Inc.
7 Invoices - Ruth V. McKee, Books
7 Invoices - Edwards Morrill and Son Inc.
7 Invoices - Mrs. John G. Nadler
7 Invoices - J. McNaughtan
7 Invoices - New Englandiana
7 Invoices - The Old Bookshop
7 Invoices - Edna and Don Parkinson
7 Invoices - Pickering and Chatto Ltd.
7 Invoices - Plandome Book Auctions
7 Invoices - Justin G. Schiller, Ltd.
7 Invoices - Seven Gables Bookshop, Inc.
7 Invoices - George Sexton, Ltd.
7 Invoices - Stanley Smith
7 Invoices - Surrey Smith LTD.
7 Invoices - Henry Sotheran Ltd.
7 Invoices - Pauline Stone Summers
7 Invoices - Undated
7 Invoices - Victoria Book Shop
8 Invoices - F. Weatherhead and Son LTD
8 Juvenilia (Ruth Baldwin)
8 Libraries - - Children's Books - Elizabeth Nesbitt Room
8 Memoirs Re: Book Collection, Notes on books bought, Care of books
8 Memoirs of England Trips. 1965-1966
8 Memoirs of Ruth Baldwin
8 Memoirs of Thomas Whitfield Baldwin
8 Memos
8 Memos from Ruth Baldwin
8 Merit Pay Issue
8 Obituary - Father of Ruth Baldwin
8 Obituary and Letter
8 Photocopies of photographs
8 Photographs - Dr. Wofford Baldwin
8 Photographs - Flood (In Baldwin Library)
8 Photographs - Ruth Baldwin's Alphabet
8 Photographs - Ruth Baldwin and Maurice Sendek
8 Photographs of Ruth Baldwin
8 Play - "Stage Door" (1938)
8 Position Description - for Ruth Baldwin
8 Printed Illustrations
8 Professional Organizations
8 Promotion - Correspondence
8 Purchases by Check. 1953-1977
8 Reunion - University High School
8 Space Committee
8 Tenure granted
8 Visitors to the Baldwin Library and Misc.
9 Diary. 1917-1944
9 Diary. 1945-1949
9 Diary. 1950-1954
9 Diary. 1955-1959
9 Diary. 1960-1964
9 Diary. 1965-1969
9 Diary. 1970-1974
9 Diary. 1975-1979
9 Diary. 1980-1984
9 Diary. 1985-1989
10 Miscellaneous Materials
10 U and I - University High School Yearbook. 1935
10 RUBAIYAT - Huron College yearbook. 1942
10 Certificate of tribute to Thomas Whitfield Baldwin
10 University of Illinois Master of Arts Degree - Ruth Marie Baldwin
10 Muskingum College Bachelor of Arts Degree - Ruth Marie Baldwin
10 Certificate of Commendation presented to Ruth M. Baldwin. 1989
10 Photostat copy of Transcript of Library Science - University of Illinois
10 Monthly Planner. 1989
10 Presidential Medal from the University of Florida
10 Ruth Baldwin's Social Security Card
10 Typed notes regarding purchase of books, unpacking, etc. 1953-1965
10 High School Graduation Announcement
10 Ruth Baldwin's Passport
10 Ruth Baldwin's Business Cards
10 Recognition of Scholarship
10 Sigma Tau Delta Certificate
11 Unpublished Book - The Pursuit of Happiness
11 Bird Project - Descriptions and pictures of various birds
12 Thesis for Master of Arts in Library Science
12 Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy
12 Four Essays
12 Copy of Dissertation Abstract
13 Draft of PhD. Thesis
14 Invoices
15 Cassette Tapes

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Baldwin Library.
Children's literature, American.
Children's literature, English.
Women book collectors -- Florida.



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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