Recording of May Massee reading , on a phonograph record and a compact disc.

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Wallace, Gwendolyn
Audio recordings of May Massee reading Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
Undated, May 1960
0.75 Linear feet
Recording of May Massee reading Time of Wonder, on a phonograph record and a compact disc.

Preferred Citation note

Recommended citation: Audio recordings of May Massee reading Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

Processed by: Shari Scribner and Alexandria Lara, February - October 2010.

Custodial History: Previously held by the Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University, located in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical/Historical note

Gwendolyn Wallace Dr. Gwendolyn Wallace was once an editor for Viking Press. Gwen’s father, Fitzhugh Wallace, was the president and owner of Summers Hardware in Johnson City, Tennessee. Fitzhugh passed the company on to his son Fitzhugh Junior, who became president, and Gwen, who became part owner of the company.

May Massee May Massee was born on May 1, 1883, in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduating from high school when she was 16 years old and normal school at age 18. She taught for a year then attended the Wisconsin Library School. Massee then secured a position at the Buffalo Public Library where she worked for the next five years. She was first positioned at the main desk of the library but later chose to work in the children’s room. She also began visiting teacher’s colleges during the summers, giving talks about children’s literature. Massee later moved to Chicago and became the editor of the  A.L.A Booklist. It was through her job as an editor that she received a position at Doubleday, Page and Company in New York in 1922. She worked to create a “junior books” department at Doubleday, also becoming familiar with the process of book production. Massee brought in many books from and about foreign places, as well as artists with no previous experience in children’s literature. She left Doubleday’s employment in 1932 during the Great Depression and was then hired by Viking Press. She stayed there for 25 years, working in Viking Press’s new children’s book department. Of the books she published there, 4 received Caldecott Awards and 9 received Newbery Awards. Massee was also awarded the Constance Lindsay Skinner Medal given by the Women’s National Book Association. She became the first female member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and was awarded its gold medal in 1959. Massee became an advisory editor after retiring in 1960 at 77 years old. She began recording her life memories for the Oral History Project of Columbia University but only completed a record of her early life before she died on December 24, 1966.

Robert McCloskey Born on September 15, 1914, John Robert McCloskey grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, where he attended public school, was active in the Young Men’s Christian Association, and learned to play the piano, drums, oboe and harmonica throughout his youth. McCloskey’s illustrative works for his high school yearbook led him to pursue a career as an artist. In 1932, at the age of 18, McCloskey won the Scholastic Magazines Annual Art Awards scholarship to study art at the Vesper George School in Boston, Massachusetts. After two years of study he received his first commission: the bas-reliefs adorning the exterior of the Municipal Building in Hamilton, Ohio. In the fall of 1934 McCloskey enrolled in the National Academy of Design in New York; during two years of training there he won the President’s Award and exhibited his work at the Tiffany Foundation and the Society of Independent Artists in Boston. In 1935, McCloskey’s growing interest in children’s books led him to meet the New York-based editor, May Massee. He studied and painted on Cape Cod for two summers until 1938, when he assisted Francis Scott Bradford in creating a mural at the Lever Brothers’ Building in Boston. It was during this time in Boston that McCloskey noticed ducks walking through busy street traffic, which later inspired him to write the children’s book,  Make Way for Ducklings. McCloskey had his first children’s book,   Lentil¸ accepted for publication by May Massee’s Viking Press in 1938; the book would be published in 1940, the year that he also married Margaret “Peggy” Durand, daughter of children’s book writer Ruth Sawyer. In 1943, McCloskey enlisted in the Army and served for three years as a sergeant stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama. The McCloskeys had two daughters: Sal, born in 1945, and Jane, born in 1948. The family moved to the Scotts Isles in Penobscot Bay in 1948. From 1948-1949, McCloskey was enrolled in the American Academy, Rome. His oeuvre of children’s books and their multi-media adaptations were released between 1940 and 1970. He later applied his passion for engineering to improving puppet design. One of the founders of the May Massee Memorial Committee, McCloskey served actively with a group of his contemporaries to compile a memorial collection dedicated to children’s literature and book making between 1967 and 1972; during part of this time, he lived in Mexico. McCloskey received the Caldecott Award in 1948 and 1958; the Regina Medal by the Catholic Library Association in 1974; and was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. He held an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree at Miami University in Ohio. Robert McCloskey died in Maine on June 30, 2003.

Time of Wonder  Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey was published and copyrighted in 1957 by Viking Press. McCloskey was awarded his second Caldecott Medal in 1958 for   Time of Wonder, which was also his first book illustrated in color.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of one original recording of May Massee narrating Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey, which is recorded on one side of a vinyl phonograph record. The record is labeled “Columbus 5-4048 Audiosonic, Stereo Studios, 1619 Broadway New York 19, N.Y.” There is also a compact disc copy of the record, which was created by the Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University, located in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Time of Wonder is a picture book about two girls exploring the wonders of Maine.

Return to Table of Contents »

Arrangement note

Phonograph record followed by the compact disc.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives February - October 2010

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

Return to Table of Contents »

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Other collections related to this material include the Ruth Garver Gagliardo Collection and the May Massee Collection, both of which hold a copy of the book Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey. The William Allen White Library also has circulating copies of other books by Robert McCloskey as well as The Robert McCloskey Library and   Time of Wonder on videocassette. Other materials by and information about May Massee and Robert McCloskey can be found in the May Massee Collection.

Separated Materials note


Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Archives of Appalachia.
  • Maine--Juvenille fiction.
  • Stereo Studios.
  • Viking Press.

Personal Name(s)

  • Massee, May, 1881-1966, narrator.
  • Massee, May., 1881-1966
  • McCloskey, Robert, 1914-2003


  • Audiobooks.
  • Children's audiobooks.
  • Children's books.
  • Children's literature.
  • Children's Medal.
  • Illiustrated children's books--Awards.
  • Islands -- Juvenile fiction
  • Sound recordings.

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Box Object

Phonograph, May 1960. 

1 1

Compact Disc, undated. 

1 2