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Andrew Svenson Papers

Identifier: DG0959

Scope and Contents

The Andrew E. Svenson Papers contain audio-discs, typescripts, galleys, and proofs for twenty-one series adventure books written between 1953 and 1970. The material is organized into three series: books, related material, and letters sent.

The papers in the book series are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each book is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. Svenson's technique for writing books involved writing a complete chapter outline, studying it, and then dictating about ten pages of text. He dictated the story on a sound scriber and his secretary transcribed it. Svenson preferred dictation to writing because he thought dictation made the dialog "jump." The papers contain audio-discs for thirteen titles. The material for The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Mexican Idol represents the best example of Svenson's creative process from beginning to end.

The series of related materials contains a matted biographical excerpt from Something About the Author. It also contains a matted Publisher's Weekly obituary with a photograph of the author. Marion Svenson, the author's widow, donated these items.

The series of letters sent contains four letters sent to the de Grummond Collection by Andrew Svenson and one sent by Marion Svenson, four months after her husband's death.


  • 1953-1975

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; Available for research

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

Biographical / Historical

Andrew Svenson was born in New Jersey in 1910. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1932 with a degree in creative writing and for fourteen years did editorial work for the Newark Evening News. On leaving the newspaper in 1948, he joined the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which produced the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery series, eventually becoming a partner in 1961. In the 1940s and 1950s he also taught writing at Rutgers University and Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey.

While at Stratemeyer, Svenson shared the major writing chores with Harriet Adams, daughter of Edward Stratemeyer, who was the original Carolyn Keene of Nancy Drew mystery fame and the originator of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Under a variety of pseudonyms, many shared with other authors, Svenson wrote several books for the Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and Honey Bunch series. He is probably best known as the founder and author of three children's series: The Happy Hollisters (writing as Jerry West), The Tolliver Family (as Alan Stone), and Dan Scott (as Bret King.) In his career, Svenson authored more than seventy adventure novels for children.

"The trick in writing children's books," Svenson once said, "is to set up danger, mystery and excitement on page one. Force the kid to turn the page. I've written page one as many as twenty times. Then in the middle of each chapter there's a dramatic point of excitement, and at the chapter's end, a cliff-hanger."

Andy Svenson died of bone cancer in 1975, leaving a wife and six children.


Something About the Author, v. 2, pp. 238-9

Obituary, New York Times, 23 August 1975, p. 24

Obituary, Publisher's Weekly, 29 September 1975


3.65 Cubic Feet (12 boxes)

Language of Materials



Andrew Svenson was a best-selling author whose name remained largely unknown to the public. Under a variety of pseudonyms, Svenson authored or co-authored more than seventy Happy Hollisters, Bobbsey Twins, and Hardy Boys series books. The Andrew Svenson Papers contain production materials for twenty-one books authored by Svenson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Andrew and/or Marian Svenson between 1968 and 1981.

Andrew Svenson Papers
In Progress
Cheri Alder
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001