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Emma Gelders Sterne papers

Identifier: Ax 391

Scope and Contents note

The Emma Gelders Sterne Papers constitutes her literary manuscripts in various drafts; secondarily it includes research notes, correspondence, speeches, publicity materials, plays, and poems, reflecting Sterne's literary work and interests in civil rights and women's rights. The collection retains its arrangement as it was received from Sterne, with literary manuscripts, subject files, and correspondence interspersed throughout the collection.


  • 1928-1971


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

Emma Gelders Sterne (May 13, 1894-August 29, 1971), born in Birmingham, Alabama, was primarily a writer of juvenile literature, though she was involved in a number if different activities. For example, at an early age Sterne became involved in the American Suffrage Movement, and in cooperation with a newly established juvenile court, she started a school for delinquent children in 1917.

Sterne began her writing career by serving on the editorial staff literacy magazines in high school and while attending Smith College. She attended Columbia University Graduate School taking courses in English and philosophy. She sold her first story in 1923 while living in Pelham, New York. She continued to write children's books, gardened extensively, and pursued her interest in civil reform. After serving as editor of the Aladdin Books of American heritage Series, Sterne moved to California where she continued to write, often in collaboration with her daughter, Barbara Lindsay. The Kathy Martin series was written under the pseudonym "Josephine James."


10.5 linear feet (7 containers)

Language of Materials



Emma Gelders Sterne (1894-1971) was primarily a writer of juvenile literature. The Sterne collection consists of manuscripts and supporting materials for eleven books, two plays, two speeches, and correspondence.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Emma Gelders Sterne in 1968.

Processing Information note

Collection processed by processing staff, May 2005.

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 Emma Gelders Sterne Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by processing staff
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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