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Cameron mss., ca. 1955-1965

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Cameron, Polly.

Cameron mss., ca. 1955-1965

Collection No.
LMC 2594

750 items

Materials are in English.

Collection consists primarily of original art, writings and book design materials for six children's books written and illustrated by Polly Cameron. Includes also children's fan letters, art and cards sent to Cameron.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Artist and children's author, Polly Cameron, 1928-2000, was born in Walnut Creek, California; attended Phoenix College in Arizona and the University of California, Santa Barbara, but left before graduating to return to Arizona were she became an advertising and display manager in Phoenix and a year later director of theatre publicity in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After traveling through Europe for three years, during which time she did editorial layout and illustration for Elle Magazine and advertising and promotional design for nightclubs, a shipping company and department stores, Cameron returned to New York and became a free-lance graphic designer. One of her design projects was for publisher Coward-McCann and while under contract there she wrote and illustrated her first children's book The Cat Who Thought He Was a Tiger, which Coward McCann then published.

In addition to both writing and illustrating seven children's books, Cameron also illustrated Rufus the Red-Necked Hornbill, written by Patricia Lauber (1958), and wrote The Green Machine, illustrated by Consuelo Joerns (1969). All of her works have been published by Coward-McCann and several of them were designed by her as well. She won the American Institute of Graphic Arts Award for outstanding book design for A Child's Book of Nonsense and "I Can't" Said the Ant received the American Library Association Notable Book Award in 1961.


Organized into the following series: I. Books; II. Personal; III. Graphic Design Work.

Scope and Content Note

Books include original manuscripts and illustrations by Polly Cameron. Personal files include fan letters written by children, as well as Cameron’s financial records.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Purchase; 2008.
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Cameron mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Processing Information
Processed by Staff.

Completed in 2013

Series: Books

Arranged alphabetically by title.

Box 1 The Boy Who Drew Birds (Coward-McCann, 1959).

Manuscript, original art, proofs, marketing materials (2 folders)

The Cat Who Couldn't Purr (Coward-McCann, 1957).

Manuscript, original art, book production and marketing materials (3 folders)

The Cat Who Thought He Was a Tiger (Coward-McCann, 1956).

Art, book production materials (2 folders)

A Child's Book of Nonsense (Coward-McCann, 1960).

Manuscript, art, proofs, book production (5 folders)

The Dog Who Grew Too Much (Coward-McCann, 1958).

Manuscript draft, art, book production materials (2 folders)

I Can't Said the Ant: a Second Book of Nonsense (Coward-McCann, 1961).

Manuscript, original art, unbound pages, marketing (3 folders)

"The Kingdom that Turned off its Ears" (unpublished?).

Manuscript, art (1 folder)

Series: Personal

Box 1 Biographical

Includes resumes


(2 folders)

Children's art and greetings notes


Largely invoices for graphic design fees

House plans and drawings

Includes some cost figures


Series: Graphic Design Work

Contains final, printed examples.

Box 1 The American Girl

Brochures, announcements, sales promotions

Book jackets and book/publisher ads


Includes greeting cards, Floor Covering Weekly promotions, etc.