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Follett Publishing Company, Children's Department records

Identifier: Ax 865

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of a large variety of manuscripts, publication material, front matter revisions and manuscript revisions. While a large part of the collection contains copyright and revision material, there are some interesting translations of children’s literature from French, Danish and German. Also, some traditional folk and fairy tales show skillful adaptation to modern American language. Some of the children’s’ classics show innovative illustration devices.

Among the works of American writers there are some dummies or mock-ups, which show the development of a work from initial concept to finished product.

The editors for Follett during the time span covered by this collection were: Margaret Friskey, Esther Meeks, Sandra Griefenstein, Marci Carafoli and Ellen Rudin.


  • 1944-1977


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Follett Publishing began in 1873 with Charles M. Barnes opening up a used bookshop in Wheaton, Illinois. A few years later the company moved to Chicago and was named C. M. Barnes and Company. It sold new and used textbooks, stationery and school supplies. C.W Follett joined the company in 1901 in the position of a stock clerk.

In 1908 William Barnes’s (Charles’s son) father-in-law John Wilcox became primary shareholder of the company. In 1912 Follett became vice president and a shareholder. With the near retirement of John Wilcox, in 1918 Follett took over the management of the company. It was renamed J.W Wilcox & Follett Company.

Following the death of Wilcox in 1923 Follett and his wife bought the company. The company became a family endeavor as Follett’s three sons joined the company. Over the next several years Follett’s sons brought innovation to the company and helped it to grow.

After the death of C.W. Follett in 1952 his son took over the company as chairman. The company was named Follett Company in 1957. In the next several years the company went through several changes including adding non-family members to the board.

In 1998 Follett Company celebrated its 125th anniversary. There are now three primary groups of customers Follett Company targets: higher education, elementary and high schools and libraries.

Follett Publishing Co. shows an active concern with bringing the children’s literature of other countries to American children while retaining the flavor of the original work. The "Children of the World" series contains some fine illustrative photography and text.


13.5 linear feet (9 containers)

Language of Materials



Follett Publishing Company targets its publications to elementary-higher education and libraries and shows an active concern with bringing the children’s literature of other countries to American children while retaining the flavor of the original work. The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, illustrations, photographs, and other items of the authors in the collection.

Arrangement note

Collection is arranged in alphabetical order by last name of author.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Follett Publishing Company in 1979.

General Physical Description note

9 containers

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Carolyn Minette, August 1979.

Guide to the Follett Publishing Company, Children's Department Records
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by processing staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA