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Natalia Maree Belting Papers

Identifier: DG0076

Scope and Contents

This collection contains three series: Alphabetical Files; Correspondence; and Books.

The "Alphabetical Files" contain newsclippings about Belting, as well as reviews about books for which the collection has no original material. The "Correspondence" Series consists primarily of letters to and from publishers and editors, as well as some royalty statements. Researchers should cross-reference this series and the "Books" Series.

The "Books" Series is arranged alphabetically by title, with the material within each title arranged according to probable order of creation. Indy and Mr. Lincoln, Pierre of Kaskaskia, and Verity Mullens and the Indian are all works of historical fiction. Pierre of Kaskaskia tells the story of a young boy's adventures in a French village on the Mississippi River during the colonial period. Verity Mullens and the Indian recounts the adventures of a dog from Plymouth colony who gets lost in the woods.

The other books documented in this series are adaptations of folktales and myths. Among the subjects in these books are cats stories (Cat Tales), origin myths (The Earth Is on a Fish's Back), and myths about the sky (The Moon Is a Crystal Ball). Most of the books in this collection are documented with one or more typescripts. Several of these typescripts are partial and/or unnumbered. Also, there are reviews and publicity materials for every title. For most of the books there is also material from later stages of the publishing process, such as a galley, a proof, or folded and gathered sheets. For Indy and Mr. Lincoln, the collection contains some reproductions of preliminary illustration sketches.


  • 1950-1969

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

Natalia Maree Belting was born on July 11, 1915 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Her parents encouraged her to read, and she wrote her first book at age six. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1936, and went on to earn a master's degree in 1937 and a Ph.D. in American history in 1940 from the same institution. She taught history at her alma mater from 1942 until her retirement, forty years later. She became an associate professor in 1973, and retired as a full professor. She studied and wrote about the history of Native Americans and early French colonizers in Illinois. This research formed the basis of her first children's book, Pierre of Kaskaskia, as well as her third book, In Enemy Hands. Her books Indy and Mr. Lincoln, and Verity Mullens and the Indian were also based on historical incidents. For the most part, Belting adapted myths and folktales for young readers. Focusing on a single theme, such as "little people" (Elves and Ellefolk) or the sun (The Sun Is a Golden Earring), Belting usually included ten to twenty myths from around the world. In 1962, The Sun Is a Golden Earring, with illustrations by Bernarda Bryson, was a Caldecott Medal honor book. She went on to produce 24 children's book titles and numerous articles during her career. Throughout her adult life, Belting was active in community affairs, and preached occasionally in Presbyterian churches where she was a lay minister.

Natalia Belting passed away in 1997.


Third Book of Junior Authors

Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Volume 3


1.50 Cubic Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Natalia Belting between 1968 and 1990.

Related Materials

The Leonard Everett Fisher Papers (DG0327) and The Anne Marie Jauss Papers (DG0510)

Natalia Maree Belting Papers
In Progress
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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