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Angela Shelf Medearis Papers

Identifier: SWWC-057

Scope and Contents

Annotated drafts, typescripts, page proofs, galleys, correspondence, photographs, notes, and newsclippings dating from 1984-2001 represent the writing career of award-winning children’s book writer, Angela Shelf Medearis. Over one half of the collection is comprised of materials related to the development and creation of Medearis’ works (children’s books, books for young readers, cookbooks, articles, poetry, and video projects). Other series include Correspondence, Subject Files, Newsclippings, Publicity, Awards, Calendars, Photographs, Personal Programs, and Artwork, the bulk of which also relate directly to Medearis’ writing career.


  • 1983-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

Children’s author and cookbook writer Angela Shelf Medearis was born on November 16, 1956, in Hampton, Virginia. In 1975, she married Michael Rene Medearis, and the couple moved to Austin, Texas. She attended Southwest Texas State University, has one daughter, Deanna, and one grandchild, Anysa. After working as a secretary for a number of years Ms. Medearis began writing full time in 1987. She founded Book Boosters in 1988, a non-profit, grant supported, multicultural reading program tutoring and teaching literacy to grade school children. Her sister Sandra currently directs the program. In 1990, Medearis published her first book, Picking Peas for a Penny, a picture book counting rhyme. According to Medearis, "Picture books are a child's first step into a lifetime of reading. That is why I feel that my job is important. I want to write in such an interesting and exciting way that the memory of reading my book, and the information I've related about a particular event, will linger with a young reader for a lifetime." Medearis has gone on to publish dozens of children’s books about Black Americans with real life themes, as well as history books geared towards young readers, such as Come This Far to Freedom (1993), and brief biographies of Coretta Scott King and Ida B. Wells.

Medearis routinely visits schools and performs storytelling, she produced Children’s Radio Bookmobile for the University of Texas at Austin (a weekly program featuring multicultural children’s literature), and curated Black American exhibits for the George Washington Carver Museum in Austin. Additionally, Medearis (and her husband, Michael) act as a consultants and writers for Scott Foresman, Scholastic, and Macmillan publishers, creating or contributing textbooks and children’s books. Among many other awards, Medearis won the first ever Teddy, a children’s-book award presented by Laura Bush (Poppa’s New Pants, 1996). In 1997, Texas Monthly magazine featured Ms. Medearis and described her as the best-selling children’s book author in Texas, with over 1.5 million copies of works in print. "I write the kind of books I always longed to find in the library when I was a child. Every child needs to find a reflection of himself or herself when looking for a book in the library or bookstore."


25 Linear Feet

36 boxes (Plus oversize.)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


Annotated drafts, typescripts, page proofs, galleys, correspondence,photographs, notes, and newsclippings dating from 1984-2001 represent the writing career of award-winning children’s book writer, Angela Shelf Medearis.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Angela Medearis, 2001.

Guide to the Angela Shelf Medearis Papers
Amanda York
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2011: Finding aid revised by Maggie DeBrecht.
  • 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles.

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA