Monday, December 04, 2006

Donald Culross Peattie - an Illinois treasure!

At the November gathering of Leafing Through the Pages, the Sterling Morton Library’s book discussion group, I highlighted some of the resources in our collection relating to Donald Culross Peattie. Born in 1898 in Chicago, Peattie is a significant mid-20th century natural history writer. During our break from discussing Green Laurels : the lives and achievements of the great naturalists, group members viewed some of the books that were written by Peattie and also those co-written with his wife Louise Redfield Peattie. In addition to these volumes, a donor recently presented to the Library a significant Peattie collection including unique manuscripts, letters and some of Peattie’s high school publications. In our collection are several original corrected typescript manuscripts of Peattie’s books Green Laurels, Singing in the Wilderness and The Flowering Earth. These unique manuscripts include corrections, additions and deletions made by Peattie as he reviewed the drafts. We also have The Midway, “a publication for the advancement of literary interest among the students of the University [of Chicago] High School.” Within these several issues (v.8, no. 1 & 2, v. 9, no. 3 – November 1914, December 1914 and February 1915) are stories written by the young authors Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield (later Peattie). A significant author and naturalist, this collection represents a rich resource.
Libraries are such surprising places! Imagine being able to read Peattie’s Green Laurels, examine his manuscript and peruse some of his correspondence! Please visit the Sterling Morton Library to immerse yourself in this rich resource on Donald Culross Peattie and Louise Redfield Peattie.

For further information about this writer and naturalist read Donald Culross Peattie : remembering an early prophet in Chicago Wilderness from the Chicago Wilderness Magazine.

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