Rebecca Caudill papers [microfilm]

Descriptive Summary

Rebecca Caudill papers [microfilm]
Caudill, Rebecca
0.1 Cubic Feet
Radio adaptations.
Children's literature, American -- Adaptations.
Children's literature, American -- Book reviews.
Radio scripts.
Authors, American -- Kentucky.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by: Eric Weig
Preferred Citation
M-557 : [identification of item], Rebecca Caudill papers [microfilm], 1928-1963, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Children's author Rebecca Caudill was born in 1899 in Poor Folk, Harlan County, in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. When Caudill was five years old, her family left Kentucky for Tennessee in order to pursue better educational opportunities for the ten Caudill children. Much of Caudill's writing is based on her two Appalachian childhood settings.
Caudill was the first member of her family to go to college. She earned a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia and a master's degree in international relations from Vanderbilt University. After completing her studies, Caudill taught English in Brazil for two years, worked as an editor in Nashville, and finally moved to Chicago to work in a publishing house. In Chicago she met fellow author and editor James Sterling Ayars, whom she married in 1931. In 1937, the Ayars moved to Urbana, Illinois, where they settled permanently with their two children, James Ayars, Jr. and Rebecca Jean Ayars.
Over the course of her career, Caudill wrote over twenty children's books, including Tree of Freedom, which was a Newbery Honor Book in 1950 and Pocketful of Cricket, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1965. In 1969, she and her husband co-authored Contrary Jenkins
Though known primarily for her children's books, Caudill also wrote magazine articles, short stories, and a nonfiction book, My Appalachia, which is a documentary of the socio-economic conditions in Southern Appalachia in the mid-1960s. Caudill was also active in her Illinois community and her Kentucky hometown. She gave many lectures and speeches throughout Appalachia and the Midwest to advocate for peace, cofounded the Champaign-Urbana Peace Council, and served on the boards of trustees for Harlan County, Kentucky's Pine Mountain Settlement School and for the Urbana Free Library in Illinois. Harlan County's first community library in Cumberland, Kentucky was renamed the Rebecca Caudill Public Library in her honor in 1973.
Caudill died in 1985.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of materials related to Rebecca Caudill's work as a writer, along with some biographical material. It includes reviews of Barrie and Daughter, Happy Little Family, [Tree of Freedom], The House of the Fifers, Susan Cornish, Time for Lissa, Higgins and the Great Big Scare, and The Best-Loved Doll. Also includes biographical materials, articles by Caudill about her work, radio scripts of Up and Down the River, The House of the Fifers, and The Best-Loved Doll, and newspaper articles about Caudill's public appearances, her awards and honors, and her trip to Geneva, Switzerland with a peace group in 1951.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
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