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. 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.

Other important aspects of the Ruth Sawyer Collection are: a nearly complete collection of Ms. Sawyer's own writings, all autographed and some inscribed to the College; a collection of her letters, detailing books which were currently in progress; recordings of Ms. Sawyer telling some of her favorite stories; and some manuscripts, galley proofs and medals.

The bookplate for the collection was designed by Ruth Sawyer's son-in-law, writer/illustrator Robert McCloskey (who was married to Ruth's daughter Peggy).

Questions regarding the Ruth Sawyer Collection may be directed to