The works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, a longtime La Jolla resident better known to his reading audience as Dr. Seuss, have entertained and educated children and their parents for over half a century. In fabricating tales and bringing fantastic creatures to life in the imaginations of young and old alike, he has given us the likes of the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Yertle the Turtle, the Grinch, and the Lorax; we now have places to go like Solla Sollew, Who-ville and Sala-ma-Sond. His style of flamboyant, colorful illustrations, surreal surroundings, and clever yet simple rhymes has made his work recognizable throughout the world. These creations are fun, but with a serious purpose. They teach reading, self-confidence, and the wonderful possibilities of our imaginations.
Because of the fragility of the materials in the Seuss Collection, access to the collection is restricted to researchers who have previously obtained permission from the director of special collections. Items from the collection are usually on exhibit during the summer session and during the month of March (Dr. Seuss's birthday). Please consult the list of exhibits for more details.
UC San Diego's Dr. Seuss Collection contains original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, manuscript drafts, books, audio- and videotapes, photographs, and memorabilia. The approximately 8,500 items in the collection document the full range of Dr. Seuss's creative achievements, beginning in 1919 with his high school activities and ending with his death in 1991. Included are early student writings, drawings and class notes; commercial art for Standard Oil of New Jersey, Ford Motor and other companies; stories and illustrations published in Judge Magazine, Red Book Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and other popular magazines of the 1920s and 1930s; anti-fascist political cartoons published chiefly in PM; U.S. Army brochures and other documents related to Geisel's service during World War II; drawings and text, both rough drafts and finished renderings, for Dr. Seuss's books; "bone pile" fragments of preliminary drawings, false starts, and experimental sketches; scripts, storyboards and production notes for screenplay adaptations; his notes as editor of Beginner Books, a division of Random House; and other documents and artifacts that reflect marketing, publishing, commercial production, and public reactions to Dr. Seuss's work.
The Dr. Seuss Collection is housed in Mandeville Special Collections, located within Geisel Library. It is often featured in library exhibitions, including those celebrating the naming of Geisel Library in December, 1995, and, annually, Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2.