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James Sterling Tippett Papers

Identifier: MSS 0017

Scope and Contents

This collection contains manuscripts and typescripts of some of Tippett's poems and children's books. There are also mounted illustrations from some of the works. There are a few personal essays, as well as some correspondence and a few news clippings. The collection also contains wooden toys and a notebook containing the Tippett's research notes for a proposed biography of John Pelham, an officer in the Confederate Army. Along with the notebook is a letter from Mrs. Charles Milham (10/6/53) whose late husband also wrote biography of John Pelham.


  • 1924 - 1966


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

James Tippett was born in Memphis, Missouri. When he was five, his family moved to a farm inherited from his maternal grandfather and remained there until he was thirteen, when they moved back to Memphis. Tippett began to teach upon graduation from high school, and attended the University of Missouri during the summers to earn his college degree.

In 1918, Tippett moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to become principal of the Peabody Demonstration School. Four years later, he left to join the Lincoln School at Teachers College in New York, as an instructor and special investigator. It was during this time that Tippett began to write books for children. His first book, The Singing Farmer (1927) was inspired by a classroom exhibit of a farm, which brought back happy memories of his childhood.

Tippett went on to teach in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and South Carolina, and continued to write books for children as well as editing educational textbooks. Some of his other titles include I Live in a City (1927), I Go A-Traveling (1929), I Spend the Summer (1930), Busy Carpenters (1930), Toys and Toymakers (1931), A World to Know (1933), Henry and the Garden and Stories about Henry (1936), Shadow and the Stocking (1937), Sniff (1937), Counting the Days (1940), and Abraham Lincoln (1951). He also wrote a series called Understanding Science. The collection given to the library does not contain all of his work.

In 1939, Tippett and his wife Martha moved to Chapel Hill, where he remained a visiting professor of education at the University of North Carolina until his death in 1958. He continued to write books for children, as well as short stories, poems, and essays on education. In 1972, his name was added to the North Carolina Educational Hall of Fame.


3.80 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



James S. Tippett (1885-1958) was a teacher, administrator, professor, poet, and author of children's books.

The James Sterling Tippett Papers date from 1924 to 1966 and contain manuscripts, illustrations, correspondence, notes, cards, clippings, and toys.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of Martha Tippett, widow of the author, 1959 to 1966. Additional materials came from Mr. Philip Schinhan of Chapel Hill following Mrs. Tippett's passing in June 1989.

Related Materials

More James Tippet papers at the University of Minnesota.

Separated Materials

The Singing Farmer. Yonkers, NY: World Book, 1927. Bound book. Toys and Toymakers. Bound Book. Henry and the Garden (Yonkers, NY: World Book, 1936) X 2. Bound Book Containing Author's 1939 Revisions. Also 1936 English Edition from George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., London. Stories about Henry (Yonkers, NY: World Book, 1936) Bound book. The Picnic E.M. Hale & Co., Milwaukee, in 1938. Sniff (NY: D.C. Heath, 1937) Bound Book. Christmas Magic (NY: Gosset and Dunlap, 1942) Bound Book. Tools for Andy. Bound Book. Crickety Cricket. Bound Book.

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.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives Staff Encoded by Jason Alston, July 2009

James Sterling Tippett Papers
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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