Della Thomas Collection
Story originally ran in Perspectives Fall 2004
Fans of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland will want to make a stop at the OSU Library’s Curriculum Materials Laboratory (CML). The Library recently received a beautiful collection of Wonderland books and memorabilia. Former OSU Librarian, Della Thomas, donated the collection.
Della Thomas (1913-2004) established the CML as a model school library for students in the College of Education at OSU in 1957 and served as its director until 1969. Among her many accomplishments, she served as president of the Oklahoma Library Association in 1965. She was passionate about children’s literature and her personal collecting focused on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Donna Schwarz is the current CML Librarian and knew Thomas personally. She says, “Alice in Wonderland was a special interest of Mrs. Thomas. She had a brilliant mind and loved the subtlety of Lewis Carrol’s work. She could see the deeper meaning in children’s literature. You can certainly find this in Alice in Wonderland.”
Many of the pieces were picked up during her travels. There are nearly 400 books in the collection, but that’s not all. Items include a chess set, umbrella, dolls and figurines, postage stamps, a tea set, paperweights, and much more. Most of the collection will be housed in the Library’s Special Collections and can be viewed by appointment. Selections from the collection will be in a rotating display in the CML.
Some Local Resources:
View the items in the Della Thomas Collection
View items held in the OSU Libraries about Alice in Wonderland
For information on the H. Louise & H.E. "Ed" Cobb Speaker Series presented by the Friends of the OSU Library, contact Debbie Clemons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-744-7273.