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Margaret Rowlett Papers

Identifier: MSS 0041

Scope and Contents

The Margaret Rowlett Papers date from 1947 to 1962 and contain manuscripts and original artwork for children's books and stories, children's stationery with Cricket designs, correspondence, and clippings.


  • 1947 - 1962


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Margaret Rowlett (1897-1963) was born in North Carolina, where she attended school in a log house, picked cotton, and by age 14 worked for three dollars a week in a rag mill. "Cricket," a young girl who appears in Rowlett's books and fabric designs, was based partially on Rowlett's childhood ("Cricket" was a nickname given Rowlett by an uncle).

Rowlett graduated from Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, or UNCG) in 1925, received her master's degree from Columbia University, and became an elementary school teacher in Scarsdale, New York. She had no formal art training save one six-week course she took while a teacher. She began to paint with her students, and when she took her illustrations to Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and the Lord and Taylor's department store, they were received enthusiastically.

In 1944 Lord and Taylor commissioned Rowlett to design children's draperies and bedspreads and to paint murals in their toy shop and milk bar. In 1945 Rowlett won a special award for her design "Cricket in the Buggy". Several of her fabric designs were exhibited at the International Textile Exhibition at UNCG in 1945 and at the Modern Museum of Art and Design Exhibition in 1946.

Rowlett published two books for children, D is for Daddy (NY: Knopf, 1947) and When Cricket was Little (NY: Aladdin Books, 1948). In addition, she wrote a number of unpublished short stories and poems featuring the character of Cricket. Articles about Rowlett and her work appeared in House Beautiful (January, 1947) and McCall's (October, 1948).


0.80 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Margaret Rowlett (1897-1963) was an alumna of Woman's College (now UNCG), and a popular illustrator, textile designer, and author of children's books. The Margaret Rowlett Papers date from 1947 to 1962 and contain manuscripts, artwork, stationery, correspondence and clippings.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was recorded as residing in Jackson Library as early as 1975, but the source is not documented. The original (paper) finding aid states that the collection was most likely a gift of the author.

Separated Materials

A skirt made with cotton fabric with the "Cricket" design was transferred to the UNCG School of Home Economics Historical Costume and Textile Collection in January 1985.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

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Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US