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Mary and Conrad Buff Papers

Identifier: DG0135

Scope and Contents

The "Alphabetical Files" contain a drawing of a young girl by Conrad Buff, a photograph of Mary and Conrad Buff, and three articles about the couple. The series also contains a folder of research materials relating to U.S. Navy training and operations. Another folder contains typescripts of articles about the Navy by authors other than the Buffs.

The "Books" series contains two galley sheets, and a book jacket proof for Kemi, An Indian Boy Before the White Man Came.


  • 1966

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

Mary Marsh Buff (nee Mary Marsh) was born on April 10, 1890 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In her youth, she developed a love for painting and poetry which eventually led to her career as an author of children's books. She received her bachelor's degree from Bethany College in Kansas and studied painting in Chicago and Cincinnati. She married Conrad Buff in 1922. She taught at schools in Montana, Idaho and Hollywood before beginning her career as an author in 1937.

Conrad Buff was born on January 15, 1886 in Speicher, Switzerland, the son of an Alpine farmer. He attended the School of Arts and Crafts in St. Gallen, Switzerland from 1900-1903, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1904. He immediately traveled west and fell in love with the landscape. After working as a sheepherder and house painter, Buff found success with his paintings, winning several prizes for his artwork during the 1920's. He has since had his paintings or lithographs included in the permanent collections of such museums as the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum and the National Gallery.

Between 1937 and 1968, Mary and Conrad Buff collaborated on both text and illustrations to produce fourteen books. Recurrent themes of their books included nature, especially in western ecosystems, Native Americans, and Switzerland. Dash and Dart was a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal in 1943. Three of their books, Big Tree (1947), The Apple and the Arrow (1952), and Magic Maize (1954), were runners-up for the Newbery Medal.


Something About the Author, vol. 19.


.30 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material was donated by Mary and Conrad Buff in 1966.

Mary and Conrad Buff Papers
In Progress
Christopher Peters
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