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Corydon Bell Papers

Identifier: DG0075

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, illustrations, color separations, typescripts, and photographs for seven titles. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title. Within each title the materials are arranged in the probable order in which they were created.

All of the books in the collection are illustrated by Corydon Bell. Five of the titles are novels for young readers, one is a biography, and one is an explanation and history of geometry. For the novel, A Dash of Pepper , the collection includes typescripts and illustrations. The other four novels are The Magic Pin, The Secret Circle, Top Hill Road, and The Wooden Locket. For these titles, we have illustrations only. The majority of the materials in the collection are for String, Straight-Edge, & Shadow: The Story of Geometry. These materials include numerous illustrations, color separations, correspondence, and notations and specifications about the book and its design. Materials held for the biography When Washington Traveled , include illustrations.

Although he and his wife Thelma both wrote, Corydon Bell did not author any of the titles in this collection. However, Thelma did write A Dash of Pepper.


  • 1950-1965

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

Corydon Bell was born July 16, 1894, in Tiffin, Ohio. His earliest childhood memories were of his ability to communicate through drawing. At six his artistic endeavors expanded into building theater models with scenic backdrops. As Bell grew, so did his interests. Although partial to drawing, he also became interested in medicine, music, and writing.

He began his college studies in pre-medicine at the University of Michigan, but later changed to pursue studies in English at Western Reserve University. His schooling was halted out of necessity to provide a living for his family. Bell and his wife, Thelma, raised three children: Patricia, Corydon Jr., and Nancy.

Bell began his career as an artist working in copyright. He soon began creating book and advertising illustrations. However, he desired a more challenging career. In 1944, after their children were in college, Bell and his wife Thelma, a children's book author, moved to the mountains of western North Carolina. This move provided Corydon and Thelma the scenery they needed to continue their successful careers in writing and illustrating. As well as illustrating his wife's books, Bell also painted and wrote about his new surroundings, which included his neighbors and the surrounding mountains.

Corydon Bell passed away in 1980, and Thelma followed five years later.


Illustrators of Children's Books: 1946-1956 , p. 72.

Something About the Author - Vol. 3 , pp. 19-20.

Third Book of Junior Authors , pp. 35-36.


.60 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials received by the de Grummond Collection from Corydon Bell and Ina B. Forbus between 1966 and 1973.

Related Materials

See the Ina B. Forbus Papers (DG0334)

Corydon Bell Papers
In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001