Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The de Grummond Exhibit

I recently made use of one of the resources of our undergraduate library and payed a visit to the "de Grummond" children's literature exhibit. De Grummond is known to be the largest collection of children's literature in the world, with works ranging from the United States all the way to China. It is named after its creator, Lena de Grummond, who came to the University of Southern Mississippi as a teacher off children's literature--later beginning this collection to expand on the learning experience for children and students. This vast archive of works could satisfy the taste of any child, as well as whatever preference adults would have for literature to satisfy their personal desires with over 100,000 compositions in children's literature.

The most locally focused piece of de Grummond, is shown in the first case one sees upon entering this exhibit. The Dolls' House possesses its own display which lays out the history of its founders, Emilie and Marie Stapp, who moved from Iowa down to Wiggins, Mississippi. This house began as a planned to be home with a complementing pecan farm to be known as, Friendship Farm. Later on, this house turned into the home for over 400 dolls, earned its coined name as, "The Dolls' House." These many dolls were given to the Stapp sisters by sisters and friends, locally and international, to be held in their collection so be shared with, "all adults with memories and all children with hope."

Moving along with the exhibit, you will come across one of the most notable parts of the exhibit which features stories of the famous Curious George within the, H.A. and Margret Rey Collection. This display tells of the origin of Curious George--the real-life experiences of H.A. and Margret Rey. In response to de Grummond's request for a piece of the Reys' literary work, a special catalog of Curious George was created, "Curious George Comes to Hattiesburg: The Life and Work of H. A. and Margret Rey." Depicted on the cover of this catalog is Curious George himself, moving to Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Reys continued to provide the de Grummond exhibit with works or literature until Margret Rey's death, when their collection in its entirety was willed to Ms. Grummond.

To accompany the success of the de Grummond Collection, the University of Southern Mississippi began its own award linked to the program. The first Special Children's Collection Medallion was first awarded in March of 1969, and is now known as the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion Award. These medallions are made with the face of the author and their names on them, labeled to denote the author and year in which they were presented the award. Presently, up to 2009, this medallion has been presented to 40 authors.

These are just a few of the thing one can see upon visiting the de Grummond exhibit at Southern Miss. At various points of the year, the works on display are changed which can always leave more for you to see. If you stay long enough, you can relax in a seat next to Curious George in his casual dress with a Southern Miss bow tie.

For more on the exhibit, visit the de Grummond webpage

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