Margo Benary-Isbert papers, 1950-1971  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Benary-Isbert, Margot
Margo Benary-Isbert papers
1950-1971 (inclusive)
4.5 linear feet, (5 containers)
Collection Number
Ax 394
Margot Benary-Isbert (1889-1979) was an author of books for young people. The collection includes manuscripts, original illustrations, published books, and correspondence relating to Benary-Isbert's interest in German history and people, and her experience of post-war Germany.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Margot Benary-Isbert was born on December 2, 1889, in Saarbrucken, Germany, the daughter of Adolf and Toni (Ippel) Isbert. She married Wilhelm Benary, a psychologist and seed firm executive, in 1917 and they had one daughter, Eva Toni. She attended the College St. Carolus and the University of Frankfurt.

Benary-Isbert began her career as a secretary from 1910-1917 at the Museum of Ethnology and Anthropology in Frankfurt, Germany. She fled to West Germany when, at the end of World War II, the Russians took over the area in which her husband's estate was located. In 1952 she moved to the United States, where she worked as a writer until her death in 1979. She received American citizenship in 1957.

Most of Benary-Isbert's books were written and published originally in German; some were later translated into English and published again. Her children's novels include Die Arche Noah (1948), translated as The Ark (1953), which won first prize at the New York Herald Tribune's Spring Book Festival in 1953; Die Ebereschenhof (1949), the sequel to Die Arche Noah, published as Rowan Farm in 1954; Heiligenwald (1953), published as A Time to Love (1962); and Schloss an der Grenze (1956), translated and published in 1956 as Castle on the Border. She wrote at least seventeen other books, including Annegret und Cara (1951), which won the Jane Addams Children's Book Award from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1957. The book was translated in 1967 and titled Blue Mystery.

Benary-Isbert is known for her "depictions of humane, realistic characters" A reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement wrote that, "Benary's people are people; they are solid, real characters and their lives and their hopes and their sorrows matter to the reader." Benary-Isbert drew much of her inspiration from her own experiences living in Germany during and after the World War II period. She was also interested in portraying nineteenth-century German history, a time before Germany was unified as a state. Her narratives are admired for being richly detailed and of a consistently high quality, perhaps higher than many other books in the same genre of the time.

Margot Benary-Isbert died on May 27, 1979, in Santa Barbara, California.

(Source: Gale Literary Databases. "Margot Benary-Isbert." Contemporary Authors. 28 October 2003. 11 July 2005.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Margot Benary-Isbert papers include manuscripts for Aufruhr in Vogelsang and Das Abenteuer des Alterns; correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, including letters from readers; forty-eight original illustrations in ink and watercolor, and seven in ink; and twenty-one published works. These books are Die Arche Noah (1948); Grootmoeder en Haar Eerste Kleinkind (1951); Mädchen für Alles (1953); Sternschnuppe im Schnee (1954, second printing); Anemoon en de Boze Uil (1955); Schloss an der Grenze (1956, second printing); Heiligenwald (1956, third printing; with 1956 translation); Annegrete op Heiligenwald (1956); Arken (1956); Förtrollningen (1957); Kevät Nooan arkissa (1958); Rönngården (1958); Rønnebærgården; Annagret und Cara (1962, fifth printing; with 1951 translation); A Arca (1963); Unter dem Sichelmond (1965); Das Abenteuer des Alterns (1966, first edition); Die Grofsmutter und Ihr Erstern Enkel (1966, with 1959 translation); Gefährlicher Frühling (1966, second edition); ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag (1968); and Ich reise mit meinen Enkeln (1971).

The collection also includes drafts, page proofs, and printer's copies of ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Several files contain lecture correspondence, published articles, publicity materials, and biographical information.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Manuscripts Librarian of the Division of Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Margot Benary-Isbert Papers, Ax 394, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence. D. Gundert Verlag, Stuttgart 1950-1953
1 2 Correspondence. D. Gundert Verlag, Stuttgart 1954-1958
1 3 Correspondence. Harcourt, Brace, and Co. 1951-1954
1 4 Correspondence. E. Heimeran Verlag, Munich 1951-1965
1 5 Correspondence. Publicity and letters from readers
1 6 Correspondence. Publicity and letters from readers
1 7 Correspondence. Publicity and letters from readers
1 8 Manuscript. Das Abenteuer des Alterns. Three copies
1 9 Manuscript. Aufruhr in Vogelsang.
1 10 Manuscript. Aufruhr in Vogelsang. Corrected American edition
1 11 Manuscript. Das Abenteuer des Alterns. Translation, published as These Vintage Years
1 12 Original illustrations
1 13 Published works
1 13 Sternschnuppe im Schnee
1 13 Unter dem Sichelmond
1 13 Annagret und Cara (1951)
1 13 Annagret und Cara (1962)
1 13 Das Abenteuer des Alterns
1 13 Grootmoeder en Haar Eerste Kleinkind
2 1 Published works
2 1 Grofsmutter und Ihr Erstern Enkel
2 1 Die Arche Noah
2 1 Schloss an der Grenze
2 1 Annegrete op Heiligenwald
2 1 Mädchen für Alles
2 1 Gefährlicher Frühling, 2 copies
2 1 Heiligenwald
3 1 Published works
3 1 Der tugendhafte Fuchs, by Julia Cunningham. Translated by Benary-Isbert
3 1 Mak und das unmögliche Mädchen, by Julia Cunningham. Trans. by Benary-Isbert
3 1 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag
3 2 Das Abenteuer des Alterns. Page drafts, etc.
3 3 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Broadcast scripts, page proofs
3 4 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Manuscript
3 5 Das ewige Siegel. Manuscript
3 6 Lecture correspondence 1953-1965
3 7 Published articles
3 8 Miscellaneous
4 1 Correspondence. Incoming. Franz Ehrenwirth Verlag 1946-1951
4 2 Correspondence. Incoming. Harcourt, Brace, and Company 1960-1962
4 3 Correspondence. Fan letters, English 1964-1970
4 4 Correspondence. Fan letter, German 1965-1969
4 5 Correspondence. Incoming. German
4 6 Correspondence. Incoming. German. Hilda Heinz 1967-1969
4 7 Correspondence. Incoming. German. Martha Schramm 1966-1970
4 8 Correspondence. Outgoing. Franz Ehrenwirth Verlag 1946-1951
4 9 Correspondence. Outgoing. Harcourt, Brace, and Company 1960-1962
4 10 Anemone und der Böse Kauz. Galleys, complete 1968
4 11 Anemone und der Böse Kauz. Page proofs, complete
4 12 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. First draft. Two chapters
4 13 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Intermediate drafts. Five chapters
4 14 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Final draft. Two chapters
4 15 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Final draft, carbon. Seven chapters
4 16 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Manuscript fragments
4 17 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Printer's copy, complete
4 18 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Printer's signatures. Third edition
4 19 These Vintage Years. Translation from Abenteuer des Alterns. Final draft, carbon
4 20 These Vintage Years. Printer's copy
4 21 Manuscript fragments, German
4 22 Speech and editorial texts, English
4 23 Translations, German-English. One chapter each of:
4 23 Dangerous Spring
4 23 These Vintage Years
4 23 Under a Changing Moon
4 24 Dangerous Spring. Preliminary notes, partial
4 25 Das Abenteuer des Alterns. Book reviews; radio scripts 1965-1968
4 26 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Book reviews 1968-1969
4 27 Miscellaneous book reviews
4 28 Biographical material
4 29 Das Abenteuer des Alterns. Fan mail, publicity
4 30 Mädchen für Alles. Page proofs; finished work
4 31 Finances and receipts
4 32 The Adventure of Growing Old. Manuscript, English
4 33 Das Abenteuer des Alterns. Manuscript with corrections
4 34 Drafts with corrections
4 34 Leute, die ich kannte
4 34 Woher und Wohin
4 34 Nie zu spaet zum Schreiben
4 34 Lydia
4 34 Ziehe ich in ein Altersheim...oder ziehe ich nicht in ein Altersheim?
4 34 Gruenes Tal
4 35 ...ein heitrer Abend krönt den reichen Tag. Page proofs
4 36 "A Birthday Greeting". By Trudy Schmidt. To Margot Benary-Isbert. Published by Die Tat
5 1 Published works
5 1 Anemoon en de Boze Uil (1955)
5 1 Förtrollningen (1957)
5 1 Annegrete op Heiligenwald (1956)
5 1 Kevät Nooan arkissa (1958)
5 1 Noah's Ark (1959)
5 1 Ich reise mit meinen Enkeln (1971)
5 1 Rönngården (1958)
5 1 Rønnebærgården
5 1 Arken (1956)
5 1 A Arca (1963)
5 2 Correspondence. Incoming
5 3 Manuscripts
5 4 Book reviews
5 5 Biographical material

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Authors, German--20th century
  • Publishers and publishing--Correspondence
  • Young adult fiction, German--Authorship
  • Personal Names :
  • Benary-Isbert, Margot--Correspondence
  • Geographical Names :
  • Germany--History--Juvenile fiction
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Book illustrations