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For Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, UC San Diego Library Gets Gift of New Seuss Materials

Annual birthday celebration set for March 3 with exhibit of new materials

Image copyrighted by © Dr. Seuss Enterprises

Every year the University of California, San Diego Library, the world’s repository for the original works of Dr. Seuss, holds a campus birthday party to celebrate the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss. The party will be held at noon on Monday, March 3, but it’s the UC San Diego Library that is getting the gift--a gift of more than 1500 additional items donated by Audrey Geisel from the personal archive of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the reading public as Dr. Seuss.

“I am pleased about more of Ted’s work and memorabilia being in Mandeville Special Collections at Geisel Library,” said Audrey Geisel. "His Seuss history will be preserved for posterity.”

“Theodor and Audrey Geisel have been generous and stalwart supporters of UC San Diego and our Library,” said Pradeep K. Khosla, the University’s chancellor. “We are both honored and grateful to receive these amazing new materials and feel certain that they will inspire more phenomenal Dr. Seuss books. It is clear that Ted Geisel’s creative genius never ceased to burn bright.”

The recently donated materials, which are being added to the Dr. Seuss Collection in the Library’s Mandeville Special Collections, include hundreds of rough sketches and drawings for a variety of unpublished projects such as “Cat Ballooning,” “The Pet Shop,” “Bee Watches,” “How Welk Can You Spelk,” “The Clock Book,” and “Arabian Adventures.” Geisel’s ink drawings for a version of “Daisy Head Mayzie” are among the materials donated, as is “Tex McTarbox and the Fountain of Youth,” the latter, in Geisel’s words “the treatment for half of a screen play which I thought had great possibilities for mirth.”

“The UC San Diego Library is thrilled to receive this addition of creative materials to our fabulous Dr. Seuss Collection,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian. “We greatly treasure our Dr. Seuss materials and view Ted Geisel as much more than one of the most popular authors of children’s books. He is also a symbol of extreme creativity and innovation, values that are part of this University’s DNA.”

In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday celebration, a selection of the new materials are now on display at Geisel Library and will continue to be exhibited until the end of March.

Image copyrighted by © Dr. Seuss Enterprises

“It’s an amazing collection of rough drafts, sketches, project notes, and more … further evidence of Ted Geisel’s whimsical imagination and ever-present creativity,” said Lynda Claassen, the director of the Library’s Special Collections & Archives. “They add another dimension to the wealth of materials we already hold by illustrating how he expanded on early ideas with new freshness or how many ideas he had that were never fully realized. There are several unpublished book-length manuscripts in the gift, and these will probably be forthcoming from his publisher in the next few years.”

The annual birthday party will be held on Monday, March 3 at 12 noon, in front of Geisel Library, which was named for Theodor and Audrey Geisel in 1995, in recognition of their generous support to the University and the Library.

The party, which marks Dr. Seuss’s 110th birthday anniversary, will feature a giant inflatable Cat in the Hat, as well as some 2,000 cupcakes that will be served to mark the occasion. Chancellor Khosla and Brian E.C. Schottlaender will be on hand to pass out the cupcakes and greet attendees. Musical entertainment will be provided by The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra, directed by the Library’s Scott Paulson, which will be playing songs from The Cat in the Hat Songbook.

The UC San Diego Library received Geisel’s collection of drawings, notebooks, and other memorabilia after his death in 1991, and four years later Audrey Geisel made a substantial donation to support the university’s Library. In 2008, Audrey Geisel made a $1 million gift to the Library to establish San Diego’s first endowed university librarianship, held by Schottlaender. Most recently, Geisel also donated funds to renovate University House, the UC San Diego chancellor’s official residence and a venue for university events.

Mandeville Special Collections houses more than 10,000 items in its Dr. Seuss Collection, which includes original drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia, documenting the full range of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s creative achievements, from his high school activities in 1919 through his death in 1991.