Gustine Courson Weaver Collection
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About the Collection
Gustine Courson was married to Clifford Weaver and eventually lived in McKinney, Texas. Previously, the couple had traveled abroad to Japan as missionaries, but settled in Texas for the remainder of their lives. Mrs. Weaver was also the author of Santa’s Cotton Doll Farm, a children’s book which was illustrated by Dorothy McGonagill.
Gustine Weaver collected all forms of materials including dolls, manuscripts, pop-up books, miniature books, journals, newspaper clippings, and “Heidi” materials, among other things, including some artifacts. Mrs. Weaver also created scrapbooks of her own life as well as the many subjects she was interested in. This collection contains the materials which were originally part of the Historical Collection, which Mrs. Weaver donated in the 1930s and 1940s.
Included in this collection are the Te Ata scrapbooks, which have original photographs and clippings of the famous Native American. A scrapbook of Dickie Jones, the voice of Pinocchio, and scrapbooks on fabrics are also included with these materials. The remaining scrapbooks in this collection are in a bound format and are titled “Dolls,” “Heidi,” “Illustrators,” with additional titles arranged according to subject matter.
The collection includes the Weaver family photo album with photographs of Gustine Weaver’s father, John Courson, her sister, Olive Courson, and many of their cousins and other relatives. The album dates back to the late 1800s and includes primarily cartes de visites and cabinet cards. View the contents of the Gustine Courson Weaver archival collection here.
Additionally, Mrs. Weaver devoted herself to collecting children’s literature. Special Collections holds over 600 volumes from the library of Gustine Weaver, and has continued to acquire rare pop-up, miniature and juvenile materials to supplement the collection. Today the Weaver collection includes materials from the 18th- 21st centuries, including Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and an unprecedented number of English translations of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. Besides strictly children’s literature, Mrs. Weaver also collected first editions by Christina Rossetti (her works for children and adults) and Mary Webb. Highlights of the Weaver Collection include:
- Early children’s grammar and educational books such as The universal spelling-book, or, A new and easy guide to the English language, 1786
- Early children’s literature such as Cobwebs to catch flies, or, Dialogues in short sentences : adapted to children from the age of three to eight years, 1783
- Artifacts from the home of Johanna Spyri, including this Sewing Basket, ca. 1840-1890
- A scrapbook containing Ms. Weaver’s extensive research on early Texan Philip Nolan, including photos, correspondence and published works. Philip Nolan Scrapbook
- Examples of vintage fore edge painting, including Hints toward forming the character of a young princess, 1819, and Fables de La Fontaine, 1825