Special Collections and University Archives

The popular “Cherry Ames” series created in 1943, in the midst of World War II, and was one of several patriotic series among girls’ books. While the early titles centered on the war efforts of nurse Cherry and her colleagues, the series lasted through twenty-six titles until 1968, the post-war volumes showing “Nurse Cherry” in […]

And the Mystery of Seal Island Although not the first of the “flying girls” series (the “Girl Aviator” series appeared in 1911, and there are other earlier series involving a female aviator), the “Airplane Girl” books (four titles, all in 1930) demonstrated the continuing fascination with flying and the increased independence of daring women. The […]

No other girls’ series can match the popularity and durability of “Carolyn Keene’s” Nancy Drew books. So endearing are these books to generations of young readers that many even today believe that a single author by the name of “Carolyn Keene” wrote the more than 170 titles that have appeared since 1930. Not so! “Carolyn […]

Like “Miss Minerva” and “The Wizard of Oz,” “Pollyanna” represents a popular series begun by one author and continued by others. The first two books of the series (1913-1915) were written by Eleanor Porter; the next four (1924-1929) were penned by Harriet Lummis Smith; and the final eight (1931-1951) were by three other writers. Thus […]

The Campfire Girls at Camp KeewaydinUndoubtedly the most complex entry among girls’ series, there were at least ten separate series about the “Campfire Girls,” all by different publishers, representing the work of at least eleven different authors. The ten Hildegard Frey titles were published by A. L. Burt between 1916 and 1920; the titles in […]

In the Great NorthwestOne of the longest and most diverse of the early twentieth-century girls’ series, the “Ruth Fielding” books (thirty titles between 1913 and 1934) have Ruth mature from a young girl of twelve to a young woman with a husband and child. Many of the stories are mysteries; others focus on school, travel, […]

in Army Service The twenty-three titles in the “Outdoor Girls” series (1913-1933) offered young readers a mixture of travel and mystery / adventure stories. The stories’ subtitles often reveal a mystery that is at the heart of the plot. “These are the tales of the various adventures participated in by a group of bright, fun-loving, […]

Afloat with the Flag One of many patriotic series spawned by World War I, the “Red Cross Girls” was the earliest and most prolific, with ten titles appearing between 1916 and 1920. Despite the images on the cover, the endpapers of this series depict a world curiously detached from the horrors of war. -Dr. William […]

at Basketball : or The Great Gymnasium Mystery Several among the seven titles in this series (1914-1921) broke new ground in promoting sports for girls. While boys’ sports books proliferated and were extremely popular, books advocating athletics for young girls were sparse in the early twentieth century. All but two of the books in this […]

and William Green HillFrances Boyd Calhoun’s book created a minor sensation when it introduced the world to crotchety but warm-hearted Miss Minerva and her rambunctious nephew William Green Hill. Miss Minerva is initially described as a “sober, proper, dignified, religious old maid unused to children.” Sadly, Calhoun died before she could add a sequel to […]