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Doris Gates papers

Identifier: Coll 180

Scope and Contents note

The Doris Gates Papers consists largely of correspondence, manuscripts and published materials. Business-related correspondence is arranged chronologically. A separate folder of family correspondence appears at the end of this series.

Manuscripts are arranged by length and nature, alphabetically within each segment. Each title is arranged in the order in which it was written, ranging from outlines and notes to final drafts submitted for publication.

Ginn and Company, a series in itself, is devoted to materials Gates either received or submitted during her more than thirty-year association with the publishing house. Included are promotional material, curriculum policies, sales and conference reports, and manuscripts.

Speaking engagements are arranged alphabetically by state, and, within each state, by city. Also included in the collection are Gates' teaching notes, memorabilia, souvenirs and awards, and a large volume of fan mail, mostly written by children that she promised to save. Several tape recordings, found in box 44, document the writing of several works. The remainder of the collection consists of books written by Gates as well as several textbooks in which her stories were published.

Photographs include prints and an oversize print.


  • 1936-1985


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. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

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

Doris Gates, renowned author and editor of literary works for children, was born on November 26, 1901 in Mountain View, California. Raised on her family's prune ranch, Doris had a little gray burro and soon developed a fondness for horses that would later recur as a frequent theme in her children's novels, such as Sarah's Idea and Little Vic.

After receiving a degree in library science from Western Reserve University in 1930, Doris Gates launched her active and celebrated career in the field of children's literature. Her experiences ranged from her work as children's librarian at the Fresno Public Library in California from 1939 to 1940, to her long-standing association with Ginn and Company as editor and contributor for the basic reader and enrichment textbook series, and her own prolific career as an author. Although she had children of her own, Gates maintained contact with young readers through her frequent and popular guest lectures at elementary schools and children's libraries. Her deep interests in storytelling and mythology were evident in her oral and written narratives.

Gates also worked with older students and prospective writers as a lecturer at San Jose State College from 1940 to 1942, and the University of San Francisco from 1944 to 1948, as well as her editorial work for Ginn and Company. Gates spent the latter years of her life writing and raising horses at her "dream-home" overlooking the Pacific coast in Carmel, California, until her death in 1987.


28 linear feet (47 containers)

Language of Materials



Doris Gates (1901-1987), renowned author and editor of literary works for children, was born in Mountain View, California. Gates' deep interests in storytelling and mythology are evident in both her oral and written narratives. This collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, and published materials. Also included are records relating to Ginn and Company, publisher of textbooks.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Biographical Information

Series II: Correspondence

Series III: Manuscripts

Series IV: Ginn and Company

Series V: Speaking Engagements

Series VI: Teaching notes

Series: Memorabilia, souvenirs, and awards

Series: Fan mail

Series: Audiotapes

Series: Scrapbook

Series: Photographs

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Robert Koppelman, Manuscripts Processor, October 1988.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Doris Gates papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared Robert Koppelman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is 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