Robert McCloskey and “Lentil”

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McCloskey clipping 1929 OPSRobert McCloskey was born on September 14, 1914 in Hamilton, Ohio. As a child he liked music and electronics; his interest in art surfaced later when he began creating illustrations for his high school yearbook. After studying art in Boston and New York, McCloskey initially struggled to make a living as an artist. After a conversation with a children’s book editor, he returned to Ohio and based his first book, Lentil, on his experiences and observations there. Many of his other books were also based on places where McCloskey lived, including Make Way for Ducklings (set in Boston, where he attended art school) and Blueberries for Sal (set in Maine, where he lived with his family). McCloskey was the first two-time winner of the Caldecott Medal for children’s book illustration, and won two Ohioana Book Awards: in 1949 for Blueberries for Sal and again in 1958 for Time of Wonder.

The newspaper clipping above from The Columbus Citizen describes McCloskey’s visit to the Lazarus book shop in May, 1940 to promote his first book, Lentil. The image shows McCloskey presenting an inscribed copy of the book to Ohioana’s director, Florence Roberts Head. The inscription is shown below–complete with a buckeye!

Lentil inscription lowres cropped

The Big Give

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TBG_300x250Amplify your gift by donating to the Ohioana Library during this special online giving event! For a 24-hour period beginning at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 17, all donations of $20 or more made to the Ohioana Library via The Big Give will be augmented by part of a $1 million bonus pool provided by the Columbus Foundation, its family of donors, and community partners. 100% of your donation goes to the Ohioana Library! Click here for more information.

And, as a special “thank you” for donating, you can receive free goodies from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Homage, and Piada! Click here to find out how.

Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us provide activities that connect Ohio writers and readers throughout the state, including the annual Ohioana Book Festival, “On the Road with Ohioana” tours, and much more. THANK YOU in advance!

Ohioana on Ohio Memory!

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This page documents the 1943 Annual Meeting and Book Awards. The place card in the upper left corner was handmade.

The Ohioana Library is pleased to announce the completion of its first major collection digitization project! Seven publicity scrapbooks that document the library’s activities from its founding in 1929 through the 1970s have been scanned and are now available for viewing on the Ohio Memory website as the Ohioana Scrapbooks collection.

This project marks the first step in making some of our unique collection items more easily accessible to the public and in further sharing Ohioana’s mission and history. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, photographs, ephemera, correspondence, and administrative documents that describe Ohioana’s founding and accomplishments. The majority of these scrapbooks focus on the 1940s and early 1950s; topics include author teas, day trips, county literary news, and extensive coverage of the Ohioana annual meetings and award banquets.

Florence Roberts Head helped Martha Kinney Cooper establish the Ohioana Library and served as its director for more than two decades.

Digitization of the scrapbooks was a joint project between Ohioana and the Ohio Historical Society, with support from the State Library of Ohio and a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act program. We’ll be digitizing additional scrapbooks and other collection items as resources allow!

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