Morris Library at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is the archival institution for the Hegeler and Carus families’ papers and collections. Below, you will find links to three online exhibitions and links to the special collections.
In 1973, Open Court Publishing Company launched Cricket, the magazine for children. A literary magazine for children, Cricket was the brainchild of Marianne Carus, who had worked with her husband Blouke, head of Open Court, to improve reading and math textbooks for school children.
Designed to stimulate curiosity, imagination, and a sense of wonder about history, art, science, and world cultures, Cricket featured new stories and adaptations written by celebrated authors and interpreted by award winning illustrators. In addition to daring illustrator Trina Schart Hyman, and respected literary editor Clifton Fadiman, Newbery Medal winning children’s author Lloyd Alexander was a major contributor to the magazine’s development and content, often sharing wisdom in the guise of “Old Cricket”.
Housed in more than 560 boxes, the Cricket Media Records collection at Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) documents business development and operations from 1971 to 2006, including a large volume of original edited manuscripts and correspondence from authors, illustrators, and other professionals in children’s publishing. The collection also preserves most issues of the original magazine and later titles from 1973 to 2018, and an oral history interview with Marianne and Blouke Carus, conducted May 29, 2018.
Digital collection of The Open Court
The digital collection contains scans of every issue of the journal, all freely available online. This took many years to accomplish. Morris Library had to carefully scan each physical copy. But it was well worth it, since now they are now accessible to anyone around the world!