Ruth Sawyer Collection and Ruth Sawyer Papers

The Ruth Sawyer Collection

The Ruth Sawyer Collection is comprised of children's books, both old and new, which form a history of literature for children. Further, books of folk literature and storytelling reflect the interests of Ruth Sawyer Durand, author and storyteller, for whom the collection is named. The Ruth Sawyer Endowment Fund, started in 1967, serves to maintain the collection and support additions to it.

Mrs. Albert Durand, who wrote as Ruth Sawyer, first came to St. Catherine in the summer of 1942 to teach a course in storytelling. A lasting, mutual friendship followed. As a tribute to this relationship, the Library announced in 1957 that its collection of rare books in the field of children's literature would henceforth be known as the Ruth Sawyer Collection. The collection includes nearly all of Sawyer's published work, each volume autographed and some inscribed to the College of St. Catherine. An effort has been made to acquire outstanding children's books of historical value, such as complete runs of Caldecott and Newbery prize books, almost all of which are first editions and many autographed. A representative selection of the folk literature of many nations is also part of the collection.

The bookplate for the collection was designed by writer/illustrator Robert McCloskey, of Make Way for Ducklings fame. McCloskey was was married to Sawyer's daughter Margaret.

The Ruth Sawyer Papers

The Ruth Sawyer Papers is an archival complement to the collection of books. The Papers contain 29 drafts and typescripts of Sawyer's work; publisher contracts; extensive correspondence from Ruth Sawyer or pertaining to her; materials related to the dedication of the Ruth Sawyer Collection at the College of St. Catherine in 1958; Sawyer's various medals (Alexandrine, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Newbery, and Regina); various artifacts, such as Ruth Sawyer’s storytelling dress; audio recordings of Ruth Sawyer, storyteller; family photographs; accounts of Ruth Sawyer's memorial service; and additional biographical material.


Questions regarding the Ruth Sawyer Collection or Ruth Sawyer Papers may be directed to