University of Arizona

                                             Special Collections will be closed December 20, 2023 through January 1, 2024 in observance of the University Holiday break.

Papers of Ann Nolan Clark


Born in Las Vegas, New Mexico on December 5, 1896, Ann Nolan grew up with children of diverse backgrounds. She graduated from New Mexico's Highlands University in 1919 with a degree in Education. In 1920, she married Thomas Patrick Clark and they had one son.

While Clark worked as a teacher for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1920-1962, she began writing books for children that reflected their culture. She also worked for the Institute of Inter-American Affairs in Central and South America, 1945-1950, training teachers and writing materials for the classroom. Her work with various cultures was a source for her children's books.

She was awarded the New York Herald Tribune Spring Festival Award for In My Mother's House, 1941, and Looking for Something, 1942; the Newbery Medal, 1952, for Secret of the Andes; U.S. government's Distinguished Service Award, 1962; and the Regina medal, 1963. Throughout her career, her writings, including over 28 trade titles, have presented a variety of cultures with dignity and respect. She died in Tucson on December 6, 1995.

The bulk of this collection consists of drafts of ten of Clark's books published after 1965. Material for A Child's Story of New Mexico consists of correspondence with the publisher about revisions for the 1969 edition. The manuscripts often represent several versions of the stories and most contain numerous edits by Clark. The sequence of drafts is often unclear. The draft entitled "Tam and Cam", published as In the Land of Small Dragon, is a Vietnamese folk tale told to Clark by Dang Manh Kha. Also present are supplemental items such as an 8x10 black-and-white photograph of Clark by Laura Gilpin; a summary of her royalty earnings from April 30, 1968; her bibliography; a list of children's authors in Tucson, Arizona and their books from the 1960s; a typescript of a 1962 talk given to the Texas Association of School Libraries; an audiotape "Writing for and with children"; and a few letters to Clark.