Gray, Harold (1894-1968)
Scope:
The Harold Gray collection consists of artwork, printed material, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and other items.

Artwork in the collection primarily consists of Gray’s original pen and ink drawings for Little Orphan Annie . The daily strips date from 1924 to 1968, and the Sunday strips date from 1924 to 1964. Also included are Gray’s original drawings for Maw Green (1933-1964) and Private Life Of... (1931), as well as original drawings and watercolors for various Christmas cards and other miscellaneous ink sketches. An original drawings for a strip of Brenda Starr by Dale Messick is also included.

Printed material in the collection includes numerous proofs of Little Orphan Annie daily and Sunday strips (1925-1968), as well as proofs of Maw Green (1945-1950). Most of these are in bound volumes. Some proofsheets of daily strips of Little Orphan Annie from the Chicago Tribune-New York Times Syndicate, Inc. are also present, for the dates 1943, 1959-1961, and 1965-1968, as well as originals and photocopies of the printed versions of Little Orphan Annie and Maw Green (1926-1967, not inclusive), both daily and Sunday strips. Other printed items regarding Little Orphan Annie include issues of the comic book versions published by Dell (ca. 1942 and 1948) and David McKay (ca. 1934 or 1935), newspaper and magazine articles regarding Gray and Annie, a color advertisement for Dacron clothing featuring Annie from the New York Times Magazine (1966), a subscription ad for the New York Daily and Sunday News with a picture of Annie (1966), and the sheet music for “Little Orphan Annie’s Song,” from the Wander Company (1931).

Other printed material includes several block engravings, proofs, and printings of Gray’s Christmas cards, dating from 1941 to 1967; the Metropolitan Group Comics Calendar (1949-1953); the National Cartoonists Society Album, edited by Mort Walker (1965); and photostat copies of a comic strip titled The Gumps, by Sidney Smith, collected in a scrapbook (originally published in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, 1921-1922).

Correspondence in the collection consists of numerous letters, postcards, and telegrams dating from 1937 to 1967; many pieces of fan mail are included. There are several letters regarding an episode of Little Orphan Annie featuring a mental institution, as well as correspondence with Collier’s and Purdue University (1949). Notable correspondents include Al Capp and Mort Walker.

Manuscripts in the collection include Gray’s appointment books; many of which contain descriptions of dialogue for the day’s comic strip, or an outline of the plot. These are dated 1929, 1931, 1933-1935, 1937, 1944, 1946, 1949, 1950-1959, and 1961. Also present is the draft of a short story by Gray titled “Annie.”

Photographs in the collection include photographs of Gray drawing, as well as a scrapbook including photos of Gray as a U.S. Army officer (along with newspaper articles regarding Little Orphan Annie and World War II). Also included is a portrait photo of cartoonist Sidney Smith, inscribed to Gray.

Other material in the collection includes Little Orphan Annie memorabilia; a composing room plate for July 5, 1961, with 2 proof sheets; engraving plates for Christmas cards, 1952 and 1955; royalty statements, 1929-1951; Gray’s graduation diploma from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science; Gray’s Freedom Foundation Award; Gray’s diaries from 1960 and 1962-1968; and his Purdue University yearbooks (1914-1917).

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Notable Figures
1. Gray, Harold, 1894-1968
Associated Subjects
1. Humor, Comedy, and Satire Subject Guide
2. Artists, Cartoonists, and Illustrators Subject Guide