Dorothy Sterling papers , ca. 1845-2007

Overview of the Collection

Sterling, Dorothy
Dorothy Sterling papers
ca. 1845-2007 (inclusive)
9.5 linear feet, (6 boxes)
Collection Number
Ax 852
Dorothy Sterling (1913-2008 ) is a writer, particularly of fiction and non-fiction books for children and young adults.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

Paper finding aid with additional information available in Special Collections & University Archives.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Dorothy Sterling was born in New York, New York on November 23, 1913, daughter of Elsie Darmstadter Dannenberg and Joseph Dannenberg. She was educated at Wellesley College and Barnard College, graduating from Barnard with a B.A. in 1934. She married Philip Sterling (also a writer) on May 14, 1937. They have two children, Peter and Anne.

Dorothy Sterling's fiction books for children are typically mysteries, such as The Brownie Scout Mystery (1955), The Silver Spoon Mystery (1958), Secret of the Old Post-Box (1960) and The Cub Scout Mystery (1952). Her non-fiction books fall into two categoris: science and nature, such as Trees and Their Story (1953), Insects and the Homes They Build (1954), and The Story of Mosses, Ferns, and Mushrooms [1955]); and civil rights, such as It Started in Montgomery: A Picure History of the Civil Rights Movement (1972), Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman (1954), Tear Down the Walls!: A History of the American Civil Rights Movement (1968). Mary Jane (1959), is a best-selling young adult novel about a twelve-year-old black girl who was among the first students to integrate a junior high school in the 1950s.

Dorothy Sterling has won several awards for her writings, including the Carter G. Woodson Book Award from the National Council for the Social Studies for The Trouble They Seen: Black People Tell the Story of Reconstruction (1976)

Dorothy Sterling died December 1, 2008 in Wellfleet, MA.

Source: Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2003.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Dorothy Sterling Papers consist of correspondence and literary manuscripts of several of her books for children.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • African Americans
  • African Americans--Juvenile literature
  • Children's literature, American--Authorship
  • Women authors, American--20th century
  • Young adult literature, American--Authorship

Personal Names

  • Sterling, Dorothy