At the University of California San Diego, plans are underway for one of the campus’s favorite traditions—the annual birthday party held on March 2 for beloved author, artist, and cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. This year marks the author’s 113th birthday, a celebration that coincides with national Read Across America Day.
Dr. Seuss fans near and far are invited to attend the noontime celebration on Thursday, March 2, to be held in front of Geisel Library, the campus’s flagship building named for Theodor and Audrey Geisel in 1995. University Librarian Brian Schottlaender will host the birthday festivities, which will include cake, as well as a giant inflatable Cat in the Hat and Seussian musical entertainment by The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra, directed by the Library’s Scott Paulson. In addition to the birthday party, an exhibit of materials from the Dr. Seuss Collection will be on view through March 24 in Geisel Library.
In 1991, the UC San Diego Library’s Mandeville Special Collections became the official repository for the original works of Dr. Seuss. The Dr. Seuss Collection now holds more than 15,000 items, including original drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia, documenting the full range of Geisel’s creative achievements, from his high school activities in 1919 through his death in 1991. Of special note are several of the original cartoon drawings Geisel made for PM magazine in the early 1940s. Currently quite popular in the American press and on the internet, many of the cartoons lampoon the “America First” movement, an isolationist and non-interventionist group active during World War II, as well as the “GOPstrich,” offspring of the G.O.P and the Isolation Ostrich, who campaigns against all progress.
In 1995, Audrey Geisel made a substantial donation to support the university’s Library, which was subsequently named Geisel Library. In 2015, Audrey Geisel made a $3 million donation to the Library to refurbish the building’s main public spaces. With her generous gift, the Library launched the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative (GLRI), which seeks to revitalize the interior public spaces within the library building.
For more information about the Dr. Seuss Collection at the UC San Diego Library, visit: http://lib.ucsd.edu/dr-seuss-collection.