MsC 494

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1931 -- 1972
(Bulk Dates: [date] to [date])
2 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: November 1997

Acquisition Note: Mr. Cheever began giving his books and manuscripts to the University of Iowa Libraries in the early 1950s and continued to donate his materials for the next thirty years.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Table of Contents

Biographical note

Scope and contents

I. Series One -- General Subject Files

Boxes 1 -- 2

II. Series Two -- The Book Collector’s Packet

Box 3

III. Series Three -- Bookplates

Box 3

IV. Series Four -- Christmas Publications

Box 3

 Biographical Note

Lawrence Oakley Cheever (1907 -- 1974) was born in Cliffordsville, Minnesota. He graduated from Wisconsin’s Ripon College in 1929 and earned a degree in library science from Columbia University in 1931. For thirty three years Cheever worked for John Morrell and Company, first in Ottumwa, Iowa and later in Chicago. From 1935 to 1965, he edited the company magazine. He was one of the founders of both the American Association of Industrial Editors and of the Iowa Industrial Editor’s Association. In 1965, Cheever accepted a position with the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City and took charge of the Society’s newspaper collection. He was also a frequent contributor to and associate editor of The Palimpsest.

L. Oakley Cheever’s special interests were in fine printing and book illustration and more specifically in books iillustrated by the artists Rockwell Kent and Edward A. Wilson. His collection of Prairie Press books was one of the most complete in existence. He collected books plates, books about books, and the works of essayists such as Christopher Morley and Vincent Starrett. Over the years, L.O. Cheever published a number of his own writings, usually relating to his collecting interests. These were generally published in journals or in his privately printed Christmas booklets (many of which were printed by Carroll Coleman’s Prairie Press).

 Scope and Contents

 The papers of Lawrence Oakley Cheever date from 1931 to 1972 and consist of approximately two linear feet of manuscripts. This collection is arranged in four series: 1) General files, 2) The Book Collector’s Packet, 3) Bookplates, and 4) Christmas publications. The first series contains Cheever’s correspondence files, as well as much of the material he collected concerning the Prairie Press and illustrator Rockwell Kent. The next section is comprised of research, typescript drafts, and copies of articles that Cheever published in a journal titled The Book Collector’s Packet. His collection of bookplates, arranged by artist, makes up the third part of the papers. The final sequence contains the booklets that L.O. Cheever had published to send to his friends at Christmas. These include the drafts, correspondence, and all other manner of material relating to their writing and design.

Correspondence is found in three of the four series. There are letters from: Carroll Coleman, Rockwell Kent, Vincent Starrett, Raymond Lufkin, Dale Nichols, Edward A. Wilson, Will Simmons, Will Ransom, and George Perrottet.


 Box 1



A -- F. Including letters from: Ben Abramson, George Ade, Elmer Adler, Bess Streeter Aldrich, George Arents, Temple Bailey, Margaret A. Barnes, O.L. Bettman, Ernest L. Blumenschien, Van Wyck Brooks, Katharing I. Brush, Ralph Budd, Thornton Burgess, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Harlan Bushfield, Witter Bynner, James Branch Cabell, Erskine Caldwell, Logan Clendening, Carroll Coleman, Ralph Coleman, James Connolly, Jay N. Darling, Paul DeKruif, Charles Dobie, David Edstrom, Eugene Ettenberg, T. Henry Foster, and Maurice Freed.

G -- K. Including letters from: Harry Gage, Ellen Glasgow, Hermann Hagedorn, Bertha Harding, Rupert Hughes, Egbert Jacobson, Gustav Jensen, MacKinlay Kantor, William Kittredge, Alfred Knopf, and Joseph Wood Krutch.

L. Including letters from: Julius Lankes, Karl LeCompte, Alfred Lee, Allen Lewis, Oscar Lewis, and Anita Loos. Lufkin, Raymond.

M -- O. Including letters from: George MacKaness, Archibald MacLeish, Douglas McMurtrie, Paul McPharlin, Cornelia Meigs, H.L. Mencken, G. Morris, Frank Luther Mott, Hans Mueller, Dale Nichols, Mathias Nehiemer, and C. B. Oldman.

P -- W. Including letters from: George Perrottet, William Phelps, Arnold Pyle, Will Ransom, Laura Richards, Kenneth Roberts, Leo S. Rowe, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Upton Sinclair, Vincent Starrett, Phil Stong, Harry Stuhldreher, Arthur Sulzberger, C.H. Tafts, Genevieve Taggard, Fred Toy, Douglas Watson, Linton Wells, Stewart White, William Allen White, Thornton Wilder, Ben Williams, William Carlos Williams, Edward Arthur Wilson, Phineas Windsor, and Newell Wyeth.

International Who's Who, July, 1947

Jensen, Gustav. Sketches in ink for L.O. Cheever’s letterhead stationary.

Obituaries of L.O. Cheever and Mrs. Dorothy K. Cheever; miscellaneous clippings

The Prairie Press

Articles (published and typescript) about Carroll Coleman and/or The Prairie Press, 1938 -- 1956.

Clippings, 1945 -- 1959

Correspondence, 1937 -- 1972. Including letters from: Carroll Coleman, Wilbur Schramm, and Will Ransom.

 Box 2

The Prairie Press (cont.)

An Iowa Craftsman: Carroll Coleman by L.O. Cheever. The Iowan, vol. 1, #2 (Dec. 1952 -- Jan. 1953). Typescript drafts, correspondence with Carroll Coleman, and published copy.

Miscellaneous publications, 1944 -- 1951.

Notes and research materials. The Prairie Press: a Thirty-Year Record by L.O. Cheever. Books at Iowa, #3 (Nov. 1965) pp. 15 -- 33. Typescript drafts and correspondence, 1965. Including letters from Carroll Coleman.

The Ripon Alumnus

Rare Books for Lane Library, June, 1936

Give Books to Lane LIbrary, January, 1940

Rockwell Kent: a Concise Bibliography of the Writings and Illustrations by L.O. Cheever.

Typescript draft.

Research, book catalogs, correspondence, notes, etc.

State Historical Society of Iowa Newsletters, 1966, 1972


Box 3

Allen Lewis by L.O. Cheever. BCP. Materials include various typescript drafts with corrections and revisions.

Dale Nichols by L.O. Cheever. BCP, vol. 3, #4 (Nov. 1945) p.13 -- 15. Materials include typescript drafts, research, artwork and photographs, published copy, and a Christmas card from Dale Nichols.

Lynd Ward the Magnificent by L.O. Cheever. BCP, vol 4, #7 (March 1946) p.4 -- 8. Materials include typescript, research, published copy, and Christmas cards from Lynd Ward.

The Work of Fritz Eichenberg by L.O. Cheever. BCP, vol. 4, #9 -- 10 (June 1946) p. 21 -- 25. Materials include typescript drafts (one with holograph corrections by Eichenberg), reseach, art work, published copy, and Christmas cards from Fritz Eichenberg.


Book plate collection

Blake, Sara Eugenia

Cheffetz, Asa.

Falls, C.B.

Fent, Adrian.

Hunte, William.

Jameson, J.W., two volumes.

Kreymborg, S.

Lewis, Allen.

Litchfield, Philly M.

Ogilvie, Helen.

Perrottet, G., two volumes.

Rogers, Bruce.

Shaw, Cayfield.

Simmons, Will.

Waddell, Jay.

Webb, P.E.

Bookplates by unidentified printers.


A Book Collector? How Come? by L.O. Cheever. Materials include typescript draft, page proofs, and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman, 1937 -- 1938.

Bookplates by L.O. Cheever. Materials include typescript draft and carbon, dummy mock-up, printed copy, and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman and Rockwell Kent, 1939 -- 1940.

Edward A. Wilson -- Book Illustrator by L.O. Cheever. Materials include typescript drafts, galley proofs, copyright registration, reviews, and correspondence with letters from Edward A. Wilson and Carroll Coleman, 1941 -- 1942.

Esoterica Viniana by Christopher Morley. Materials include a holograph draft by Morley, typescript draft, proof, various dummy mock-ups, and correspondence with letters from: Carroll Coleman, Christopher Morley, Robie Mcauley, Hal Trovillion, and E.M. Moore, 1938 -- 1939.

First Editions by Vincent Starrett. Materials include printed copy and correspondence with letters from Vincent Starrett and Bennett Cerf, 1938 -- 1940.

Hugh Gaine, Printer by L.O. Cheever. Materials including typescript draft and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman and Raymond Lufkin, 1943 -- 1944..

My Library by L.O. Cheever. Materials include typescript draft, printed copy, and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman, 1936 -- 1937.

Pocahontas by L.O. Cheever. Materials include printed copy and correspondence with letters from Carroll Coleman and Wilbur Schramm, 1945 -- 1946.

The Second Book of Bookplates by L.O. Cheever. Materials include correspondence from Will Simmons and T. Henry Foster, 1942 -- 1943.

Will Simmons an Appreciation by L.O. Cheever. Materials include typescript draft, printed copy, and correspondence with letters from Will Simmons, Carroll Coleman, Wilbur Schramm, and Raymond Lufkin, 1944 -- 1945.

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