Skip to main content

Lucille Ogle papers

Identifier: Coll 201

Scope and Contents

The Lucille Ogle Papers contain the following series: biographical materials; Lucille Ogle's manuscripts; correspondence and assorted papers relating to publishers, including manuscripts and artwork; rejection letters; files reflecting her personal interests; collected artworks and artifacts; and photographs.

Lucille Ogle is best known for her work as an editor and publisher, but she was active as a writer both before and after her long career at Western Publishing Company. Eight of her manuscripts, all published, are arranged in alphabetical order by title along with pertinent correspondence and production files. Oversized material for a given title, mainly artwork, is housed separately in solander cases and is indicated by the "SC" designation.

The correspondence series, arranged in alphabetical order by writer, contains primarily personal correspondence, Christmas greetings, and other correspondence not related to known titles or publishing companies. Authors, artists, and editors with whom Lucille Ogle came in contact are represnted; she made friends easily and kept them long, and was often relied upon for good advice in business and personal matters. Noteworthy in thes series are letters of Irving Adler, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Stuart A. Courtis, Fritz Eichenberg, Helen Geisel, Irving Kerlan, Ruth Krauss, Alice and Martin Provensen, Feodor Rojankovsky, Richard and Patricia Scarry, Jane Werner Watson, and Herbert Zim.

The series of papers relating to publishers forms the bulk of the collection. It begins with papers of Western Publishing Company, followed by the company's divisions in alphabetical order; all other publishers follow Western and are arranged in alphabetical order. When author and artist of represented works are known, they are listed with the title.

Rejection letters, declining manuscripts offered to Golden Press from 1960 to 1968, are arranged in chronological order accompanied by the submission of letters and relevant readers' and editors' responses. Lucille Ogle was courteous and remarkably generous with her time, experience, and editorial philosophy. In her rejection letters she consistently offered valuable guidance to each would-be author. This series contains a wealth of information on marketing forces and editorial tastes during the period it represents.

Lucille Ogle's professional interests are represented by a file of correspondence from her period on the board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. More private concerns included her interest in world-wide conservation and wildlife preservation, represented here by her collection of materials from conventions of the International Union of Conservation Nations. Material from the League School for Seriously Disturbed Children represents Lucille Ogle's concern for the welfare of children.

Lucille Ogle received artwork as gifts from the artists with whom she worked, and she collected works in her extensive travels. These are represented by the series of collected artwork which is arranged in two subseries, unframed and framed. Each subseries is in alphabetical order by artist. Noteworthy among these are prints by Arthur Singer and works by Caldecott Medal winners Elizabeth Orton Jones, Alice and Martin Provensen, and Feodor Rojankovsky. Among the framed works are the complete set of original illustrations to the Fireside Book of Love Songs by the Provensens.

Artifacts include several products designed as spin-offs of publishing ventures. Photographs includes matted enlargements of travel photographs taken by Lucille Ogle and publicity photographs from Western Publishing Company and Walt Disney Productions.


  • Creation: 1934-1973


Conditions Governing Access

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

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

Lucille Edith Ogle was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 20, 1904, daughter of John Brown and Maud (Johnston) Ogle. She earned a B.Ed. degree at Western Reserve University in 1936, and an M.A. in marketing at New York University in 1937. She was editor-in-chief of Harter Publishing Company in Cleveland from 1927-1936. In 1936 she joined Artists and Writers Guild (later Artists and Writers Press) in New York City, which specialized in book design and production for other publishers.

While with Artists and Writers Guild, Ogle joined with Georges Duplaix, a Guild editor, in designing a new line of mass-market children's books to be printed in full color yet sell for twenty-five cents each. The idea was well received by Albert Leventhal, vice president of Simon and Schuster; he and Leon Shimpkin, another Simon and Schuster executive, worked with Ogle and Duplaix to bring out an initial printing of 600,000 copies of twelve original Little Golden Books in the fall of 1942. The heavily promoted line, sold primarily through outlets such as drug stores and grocery stores, was an immediate success. One of the original titles, The Poky Little Puppy, by Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustav Tenggren, has sold over six million copies and is still print.

In 1947 Lucille Ogle became a vice president of Artists and Writers Press, assuming responsibility for a number of projects, particularly the Little Golden Books. The Golden line was transferred in 1957 to Western Printing and Lithography Company (later Western Publishing Company), Simon and Schuster's printer. Western created a subsidiary, Golden Press, which was responsible for publication of the Little Golden Books and spin-off lines such as Merrigold, as well as the famous Golden Guides and many other books for both children and adults. Design and production remained the responsibility of Artists and Writers Press, also a Western subsidiary. Lucille Ogle became a vice president of Golden Press in 1965. She also served as vice president and director of Story Parade magazine from 1941 to 1955, and a a director of Odyssey Press, another Western subsidiary.

Ogle served on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Graphic Arts from 1956 to 1962 and on the Board of the League School for Seriously Disturbed Children beginning in 1964. She was active in the National Education Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the International Union of Conservation Nations, the Child Study Association of America, the International Reading Association, the American Craftsmen's Council, and the Horticultural Society of New York. A contributor to activities pages in publications such as Disney's Mickey Mouse magazine in the 1930's, Ogle wrote or co-authored ten books: Read It and Do It (1934); Little Boy Snow (1935); On Top of the World (1937); Five Times One (1938); Rolling Along through the Centuries with Marie Gilchrist (1936); A B See with Tina Thoburn (1972); Beginner's Dictionary with Tina Thoburn (1976); I Hear with Tina Thoburn (1971); and I Spy with Tina Thoburn (1970).

Lucille Ogle retired from thirty-two years with Western Publishing Company in 1969. To honor her long service and achievements Western, in 1969, announced the establishment of two Lucille Ogle Literary Awards to be make each year through the Publications Department of the Bank Street College of Education. Reflecting Ogle's lifelong interest in encouraging new talent, each literary award is given for the best original manuscript submitted by a new author in one of two categories of children's literature. She also was presented at this time with the Mousecar Award from Walt Disney Productions for her significant contributions to Disney publishing through Western Publising Company.

Ogle remained active after retirement as a free-lance consultant in book production and as a volunteer and supporter of educational and environmental associations until her death in 1989.


37.5 linear feet (70 containers)

Language of Materials



Collection comprises the papers of children's book editor and author Lucille Ogle and reflects her work for several publishing companies and presses, including Western Publishing Company, Golden Press, and Artists and Writers Press, and her interest in the design, publication, and marketing of children's books and young adult literature.


Collection is organized into the following series: Biographical materialsLucille Ogle manuscriptsCorrespondencePublishersRejection lettersPersonal and professional interestsArtifactsCollected artworkPhotographs

Related Materials

Children's Book Collection of Lucille Ogle, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

General Physical Description note

55 containers, 15 solander cases, 1 folio

Processing Information

Collection processed by Richard Bear, November 1990.

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 Lucille Ogle Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Richard Bear
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