Familiar face named official curator of USM’s de Grummond children’s literature collection

Karlie Herndon officially was appointed curator Wednesday of the University of Southern...
Karlie Herndon officially was appointed curator Wednesday of the University of Southern Mississippi's deGrummond Children's Literature Collection.(University of Southern Mississippi)
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 5:24 PM CDT
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From University of Southern Mississippi Office of University Communications

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A familiar face was appointed curator Wednesday of the University of Southern Mississippi’s de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

USM’s University Libraries removed the “interim” designation from in front of Karlie Herndon’s name, officially naming her curator of a collection she has

“I’m stepping into a line of curators who have championed the de Grummond Collection, children’s literature and so much more that is vital to so many fields,” Herndon said. “Becoming curator means shouldering a responsibility that feels both light and heavy: light because I am so passionate about the work we do here, and heavy because de Grummond represents excellence in children’s literature curation, preservation and scholarship, and I plan to maintain that reputation.”

Herndon is well acquainted with USM and the de Grummond Collection.

She was a student employee for two summers and completed a practicum as well as an internship that allowed her to spend time in the Collection, developing skills in archival processing and creating research guides.

Herndon returned to USM in August of 2022 as the assistant curator, and in June of 2023, was named interim curator, following the retirement of Ellen Ruffin.

The de Grummond Collection is home to more than 1,400 collections of original manuscripts, illustrations and correspondence from authors and illustrators that include Randolph Caldecott, John Newbery, Kate Greenaway, H.A. and Margret Rey and Ezra Jack Keats.

The collection also includes other valuable assets that might be less prominent, and as curator, Herndon said she plans to highlight these materials.

“Everyone’s life has been somehow touched by children’s literature, and I want the local community to know what a treasure of memory, discovery, and inspiration sits right here on USM’s campus,” Herndon said.

Herndon said she intends to continue to increase local and in-state exposure to de Grummond while strengthening its national and international connections.

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