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Gail Haley Papers

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Haley (Gail) Papers

Gail Haley papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Haley, Gail E.
Gail Haley papers
Date [inclusive]
1842 - 2005
28.0 Linear feet
Papers and selected art work of Haley. The collection includes drafts of her books printing blocks and color separations for some of her illustrations. Gail Haley is the only person to win both the Caldecott (American) and the Greenway (British) awards for children's book illustration.

Preferred Citation note

Gail Haley Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Gail Einhart Haley, the daughter of George Einhart and Louise Bell, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1939, and grew up in the rural Shuffletown area, just outside of the city. Her father was the art director of the Charlotte Observer and her mother was also an artist. In addition to an interest in art, she also learned about printing techniques, including traditional block printing, and color separation. Later, her interests took her into costume design and puppetry; knowledge she would employ in illustrating her books.

Haley made her literary debut by self-publishing her first book, My Kingdom for a Dragon, in 1962, financing its publication with a bank loan. Her first notable success in writing children's literature was A Story, A Story, which won her the famed Caldecott Medal in 1971. Later, while living in England, she wrote The Post Office Cat, for which she won the Greenaway Award in 1976. Part of Haley's success in writing children's literature is the didactic nature of her stories. To date, she has written over forty books.

Haley, who has traveled extensively, and lived in the Caribbean, England and Asia, derives her literary inspiration from the places she visits. She is one of the very few authors to win both the British and American awards for illustration.

She now resides at Blowing Rock, North Carolina. She is the author-in-residence at Appalachian State University.

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Scope and Contents note

The Gail E. Haley Collection consists primarily of illustrations and rough drafts for the children’s books she has written. The nature of this collection is actually much more graphic than textual, though the written drafts of some of her books are also found in this collection. Materials developed in the composition of Haley’s books (which she either wrote or illustrated, or both) in this collection are: The ABC Book; Birdsong: story and pictures; Dream Peddler; Go Away, Stay Away; Jack and the Bean Tree; Jack and the Fire Dragon; Jack Jouett’s Ride; The Knitting Lady; Kokopelli; Lost in the City; Marguerite; Mask; Mountain Jack Tales; My Kingdom for a Dragon; Noah’s Ark; One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: a book of counting rhymes; Post Office Cat; Puss in Boots; Sea Tales; Shuffletown; and Two Bad Boys.

Not all of Haley’s artistic work concerns her own books, or publishing efforts. Some of the items in her collection could not be linked with any of her published work (found in Series IV), and some of her work was intended to illustrate the projects of others who hired her talent. These items are found in Series V.

Series VI contains a small amount of Haley genealogical notes.

Series VII contains some genealogical notes.

There is a significant amount of miscellaneous material in the Haley Collection, including two items concerning James and William McGill (a property indenture dated 1842, for 260 acres in South Carolina; and a court summons from a South Carolina court, dated 1854); material from the Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church in 2005; handprints on clear plastic plates; book plates; paper jewelry, wooden printing blocks; and a few other odds and ends. These items constitute Series VIII.

A series has been set aside for the literary awards that Ms. Haley won, and these are placed in Series IX

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Arrangement note

Arranged into ten series: Series I - Articles and Biographical Notes; Series II - Correspondence; Series III - Book Drafts; Series IV - Unidentified Artistic Works; Series V - Non-Book Artistic Works; Series VI - Puppetry; Series VII - Genealogical Notes; Series VIII - Miscellaneous; Series IX - Awards; and Series X - Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 2005

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Revision Description

Finding aid updated to include materials integrated into collection. September 2009

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Gail Haley in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Processing Information note

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. Encoded by Robert A. McInnes, September 2005.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Haley, Gail E.


  • Children's literature
  • Children's stories, American
  • Fairy tales
  • Folklore--United States
  • Relief printing
  • Visual literacy--United States
  • Wood-engraving--Printing

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Collection Inventory

Series I Articles and Biographical Notes

"What can be learned from the Beulah Collection?"

Poster entitled "North Carolina's Women of Letters" in map cabinet 4.4.3

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Series II Correspondence

Correspondence, 1957-2005. 1957-2005

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Series III Book Drafts

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