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Corydon Bell illustrations


Held at: Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection [Contact Us]1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Corydon Bell was born on July 16, 1894 in Ohio. After serving in the Army Medical Corps during World War I he decided against furthering his medical training and devoted himself to art. He married author Thelma Harrington on May 12, 1921. They settled in Ohio and he illustrated books and advertisements before moving to the mountains of North Carolina in 1944. In North Carolina he continued to illustrate children's books, including his wife's, in addition to painting his Cherokee neighbors and the environment. The natural world inspired many of his books, including The Wonder of Snow (1957) and, with his wife Thelma, Thunderstorm (1960). He wrote and illustrated John Rattling-Gourd of Big Cove (1955), a collection of Cherokee legends, after learning the legends from Cherokee on the Qualla Reservation. It was the first time the legends had been printed since the 1890s. He died in June of 1980.


"Corydon Whitten Bell (1894-1980)," Contemporary Authors.

“Finding Aid for the Thelma and Corydon Bell Papers, 1956 – 1972,” The University of North Carolina Greensboro, accessed January 3, 2012,

Something about the Author, vol. 4.

This collection contains twenty sheets of final art and one published copy of the book Snow (1954), written by Thelma Harrington Bell and illustrated by Corydon Bell. The published copy is a seventh printing.

Illustrations are arranged in the order in which they appear in the published book.

Gift of Corydon Bell, 1977.

Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Garrett Boos
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers by appointment. Please contact the Curator for information on access.

Use Restrictions

The right of access to material does not imply the right of publication. Permission for reprinting, reproduction, or extensive quotation from the rare books, manuscripts, prints, or drawings must be obtained through written application, stating the use to be made of the material. The reader bears the responsibility for any possible infringement of copyright laws in the publication of such material. A reproduction fee will be charged if the material is to be reproduced in a commercial publication.

Collection Inventory

Final art, graphite on acetate, 20 sheets, 1954.
Box 1 Folder 1-4
Scope and Contents note

The illustrations for pages 26, 32, 36, 40, 54, and 55 are not present.

Published book, seventh printing, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 5

Print, Suggest