Fall is coming to campus! Leaves will be changing color, there will be a crisp cool breeze and longer nights, and Halloween is right around the corner! To help you get into the mood for the spooky season visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to explore our latest exhibit in Special Collections and University Archives titled Mysteries, Monsters, and the Macabre.
Mysteries, monsters and the macabre have plagued our minds for millennia. Medieval creatures lurking in the depths of the sea. Ghastly gothic tales of murderous guilt. An unexplainable 15th century code rumored to provide the key to immortality. Memorializing the dead with plaster casts. A curious purple vampire with a compulsive urge to count all he sees. These are a few of the intriguing stories you’ll uncover when literature, folklore, and history converge in the Special Collections exhibit Mysteries, Monsters, and the Macabre.
The Rose and Joseph Pangani Collection of Girls’ Series Books consists of 300 books published from 1917-2005, with a large portion published from 1930 to 1969. “Series books” are books that consistently feature the same protagonist. However unlike “books in a series”, the characters in “series books” seldom mature, age, or change. The protagonist in a “girls’ series” book is usually a girl in her late teens or early twenties who goes on adventures on her own or with a small group of friends around her age. The heroines of girls’ series usually had an interesting career such as an amateur sleuth, a nurse, or a stewardess. Girls’ series books were often disparaged for their formulaic plots and the cheap manufacture of the books themselves.
The majority of books in this collection were donated by Elissa Pangani in honor of her parents Rose and Joseph Pangani. The collection includes series such as the Nancy Drew Mystery Series, the Cherry Ames Nurse Stories, the Dana Girls Mystery Stories, and the Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess Series.
Explore the Rose and Joseph Pangani Collection of Girls’ Series Books finding aid.
To view any Girls’ Series Books in Special Collections visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library or if you have any questions, please contact us!
What is a finding aid?
A finding aid is a description of the contents of a collection, similar to a table of contents you would find in a book. A collection’s contents are often grouped logically and describe the group of items within each folder. You rarely find descriptions of the individual items within collections. Finding aids also contain information about the size and scope of collections. Additional contextual information may also be included.
For decades girls’ series books like the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories have been entertaining and inspiring readers of all ages. However there are many other girls’ series books such as the Dana Girls Mystery Stories or the Cherry Ames Nurse Stories. If you want to learn more about Hornbake’s collection of girls’ series books take a look at the finding aid for the Rose and Joseph Pagnani Collection of Girls’ Series Books. To learn more about the collection and girls’ series books in general be sure to visit our online exhibit Girls’ Series Books Rediscovered: Nancy Drew and Friends or our Flickr albums on Nancy Drew and other Girls’ Series books.
You may know about teen sleuth Nancy Drew, but have you head of Beverley Gray, Sue Barton, Cherry Ames, Judy Bolton, Penny Parker, or Vicki Barr?
Special Collections and University Archives is home to many wonderful book collections dating from the 16th century to the present day. One of our favorite, and perhaps most fun, is the Rose and Joseph Pagnani Collection Girls Series collection, available in Hornbake Library.
These books were targeted to young readers in the 1930s and beyond. They featured independent, fearless, and clever women who solved mysteries and foiled crimes in their everyday lives. The heroines in these novels were often young students or career women. Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton were a teen detectives, Cherry Ames was a nurse, Vicki Barr was a flight attendant, Penny Parker was a newspaper reporter, and Beverly Gray was a college student. And since many of these series spanned several years/decades, it is fascinating to see how these literary women evolved over time, growing older (sometimes) and adapting to cultural changes.
For images from our Girls Series Books, check out the gallery below or visit our Flickr album. Stop by the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to explore our collections.