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Howard R. Garis Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Garis, Howard Roger, 1873-1962.
Title: Howard R. Garis Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1910-1964.
Quantity: 6 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American author of children's books, creator of the Uncle Wiggily character and stories. Collection includes correspondence, business and personal letters (1929-1961); typescript books and stories, including those for Uncle Wiggily, and other writings and illustrations relating to various other Uncle Wiggily projects; and memorabilia, including photographs, and financial and legal material.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Howard R. Garis (1873-1962) was an American author of children's books, best known for his Uncle Wiggily stories.

Born April 25, 1873, in Binghamton, New York, the son of Simeon H. and Ellen A. Kimball Garis, he graduated from Binghamton High School and attended Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, New Jersey. From 1896 to 1947, Mr. Garis was a reporter and special writer for the Newark, New Jersey Evening News. His Uncle Wiggily stories first appeared in the News in 1910, were syndicated in 1915, and continued to be published for more than forty years, at one time appearing in one hundred newspapers.

In addition to 35 volumes of Uncle Wiggily stories, Mr. Garis wrote numerous other children's books under his own name as well as under several "house pseudonyms" used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate for its children's series. Among the series Garis contributed to are Tom Swift (as Victor Appleton), the Bobbsey Twins (as Laura Lee Hope), the Motor Boys (as Clarence Young), the Great Marvel series and books featuring Baseball Joe (as Lester Chadwick), and the Camp Fire Girls (as Marion Davidson). He also wrote With Force of Arms (1902), four volumes of the Rocket Riders series, and seven volumes of the Teddy series. His wife, Lilian McNamara Garis, whom he married in 1900, collaborated on several of his books including the Bobbsey Twins volumes.

In addition to his writing, Mr. Garis invented a number of board games, including the Uncle Wiggily Game, Mr. Doodle's Dog Game, Witch Magic Game, Get Well Game, and (with his son Roger) the 100 Red Convertibles Game.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Howard R. Garis papers are divided into four groups: Correspondence, Memorabilia, Writings and Illustrations.

Correspondence, 1929-1961, concerns business and personal matters. Subjects discussed include publication rights, royalties, and Uncle Wiggily books, stories and television programs. Fan letters also are included. Significant correspondents include the Bell Syndicate, Inc., 1929-1960; John J. Clancy, 1952-1953; Winthrop Dakin, 1957-1959; William C. Erskine, 1947-1957; Groban and Rava, 1957; John P. Marquand, 1940; Milton Bradley Co., 1956-1962; Selchow & Righter Co., 1952-1962; Western Printing and Lithographing Co., 1947-1957; and WNJR radio station in Newark, New Jersey, 1948-1950.

Memorabilia, 1910-1964, consists of biographical material, contracts and agreements, income tax returns, earnings statements and photographs. Photo-graphs are of Mr. Garis, his family and friends, and Uncle Wiggily displays.

Writings, 1930-1964, include books, stories, news-paper articles, letters to the editor, autobiographical writings and poems. The Uncle Wiggily manuscripts include a description of the various Uncle Wiggily enterprises, a book, the daily newspaper stories, marionette plays, radio stories and television scripts. Untitled material including fragments of autobiographical material, letters to the editor, news-paper articles, a story and poems is filed at the end of the collection. Most of this material is in typescript and typescript carbon form.

Illustrations, which are oversize, are for unidentified Uncle Wiggily enterprises. Ten pieces, including original drawings, a cutout and photostats of illustrations are included. The artists are unidentified.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by type. Within Writings, titled material is arranged alphabetically by title, followed by untitled material in no particular order. Illustrations are in no particular order.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Garis, Howard Roger, 1873-1962 -- Archives.

Associated Titles

Uncle Wiggily series.


Authors, American -- Juvenile literature.
Children's literature, American.
Children's literature, Authorship.
Wiggily, Uncle (Fictitious character)

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Howard R. Garis Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Roger Garis, July 1968; 7/12/62 letter gift of Jill Forman.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MFA
Date: Mar 1969
Revision history: 13 Feb 2007 - converted to EAD (AMCon); 1 Dec 2008 - updated bio, inventory (MRC); 12 Feb 2009 - adds (MRC); 26 Oct 2012 - extent revised (MBD)

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Box 1 1929-1955
Box 1 1956-1959
Box 1 1960-1961
Box 1 1962, undated
Box 1 Correspondence of Lilian Garis 1930, 1947 (2 items)
Box 1 Biographical material
Financial and legal material
Box 1 Agreements, contracts, insurance policies 1910-1958
Box 1 Income tax returns 1949-1962
Box 1 Marriage certificate and will 1946-1957
Box 1 Receipts 1954-1962
Box 1 Royalties and earnings 1944-1962
Box 1 Lilian Garis 1954
Box 2 Family
Box 2 Friends
Box 2 Howard R. Garis
Box 2 Uncle Wiggily displays and publicity
Box 2 Adventures in Secret Valley - book, typescript revised
Box 2 "The Cardiff Giant" - newspaper story, repro.
Box 2 Foreign notes - article, typescript carbon
Box 2 "Good Hunting" by Geoff Pouchester as told to Rotun Powwell - Draft A, original typescript; Draft B, typescript carbon, Draft C, original typescript; Draft D, typescript carbon revised; fragments
Box 2 Hard Scrabble Farm Mystery - book, typescript carbon
Box 2 Lobster - story, original typescript
Box 2 Lost Brook - book, original typescript
Box 2 "Professor Jonkin's Cannibal Plant" in Fantastic May 1963
Round Trip to Venus - book
Box 2 Draft A - typescript carbon
Box 3 Draft B - original typescript
Box 3 Secret Cave - book, typescript carbon
Box 3 Uncle Wiggily stories and enterprises, description and history - original and carbon typescript revised
Box 3 The Uncle Wiggily Book - part of jacket only
Box 3 Uncle Wiggily's Golden Days - book, original and carbon typescript revised
Uncle Wiggily Story, daily newspapers
Box 3 1930 - typescript carbon revised
Box 3 January 3-June 9 - typescript carbon
Box 4 June 11-September 1 - typescript carbon
Box 4 September 3
Box 4 January -March 23 - typescript carbon
Box 4 April 1-June 29 - typescript carbon
Box 4 July 1-October 5 - typescript carbon
Box 5 October 7-December 21 - typescript carbon
Box 5 January 6-April 5 - typescript carbon
Box 5 April 7-July 5 - typescript carbon
Box 5 July 7-September 6 - typescript carbon
Box 5 August-October - typescript carbon
Box 5 November-December - typescript carbon
Box 6 January 4-April 2 - typescript carbon
Box 6 April 3-30, June-July - typescript carbon
Box 6 Undated
Box 6 Samples - typescript revised; typescript carbon revised
Box 6 The Bell Syndicate April 1960 - repro.
Box 6 Child Story Syndicate samples - original typescript and repro.
Box 6 Fragments - typescript carbon
Box 6 Uncle Wiggily magazine stories, Pioneer March-April, 1949
Box 6 Uncle Wiggily marionette plays - typescript carbon
Uncle Wiggily radio stories
Box 6 May, 1930 - original typescript revised
Box 6 1961 - original and carbon typescript revised
Box 7 Fragments - original typescripts and carbons, some with revisions (2 folders)
Uncle Wiggily television programs
Box 7 Description and proposal - holograph and original and carbon typescript
Box 7 Scripts 1964, undated - typescripts, typescripts carbons, reproduction; some with revisions (2 folders)
Box 7 The Web - story, typescript carbon
Box 7 Autobiographical material - fragments, original typescript revised; newspaper clipping
Box 7 Letter to the editor, New York Times August 21, 1961
Box 7 Newspaper story, Newark Evening News November 18, 1939
Box 7 Poems - holograph
Box 7 Story - original typescript
Box 7 Book - incomplete original typescript, incomplete typescript carbon (2 folders)
Box 7 Miscellaneous fragments - typescript
Uncle Wiggily drawings, cutouts and photostats, unidentified artists
Package 1 Pen, ink and watercolor drawing
Package 1 Cutout of a rabbit
Package 1 Pencil sketch of game
Package 1 Chalk drawing of Uncle Wiggily
Package 1 Dining room
Package 1 Kitchen
Package 1 Uncle Wiggily
Package 1 Skeezicks
Package 1 Pipsisewah
Package 1 Uncle Wiggily, head only

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