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Joanna Cole Papers

Identifier: 2003-0130

Scope and Content

This collection contains editorial correspondence along with manuscripts and sketches from Joanna Cole's career as a children's book author. The collection dates from the 1980s to the 2000s, and includes correspondence with readers and publishers, dummie books, manuscripts, sketches, notes, storyboards of the Magic School Bus PBS television series, and other materials related to the production of Joanna Cole's children's books.


  • undated, 1985-1994


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Joanna Cole was born in Newark, New Jersey on August 11, 1944. After graduating from the City College of New York, Ms. Cole worked at Newsweek answering letters to the editor. For a brief period she worked as a librarian at an elementary school in Brooklyn before returning to Newsweek and continuing her career in publishing. She also worked as an associate editor for the SeeSaw Book Club at Scholastic, and as a senior editor for Doubleday Books for Young Readers. In 1980, she became a freelance writer, writing children's books and articles for magazines.

While she has written some 250 fiction and nonfiction books for children, she is most famous for her Magic School Bus Series. The first book in that series was written in 1985 and published the following year. The main character, Ms. Frizzle, was inspired by Cole's own fifth grade teacher who would conduct science experiments in front of the class on a regular basis, inspiring Ms. Cole's love of the subject.

She has sold millions of copies of her books, which have also been translated into multiple languages.

For more information on Joanna Cole, please see her page at Scholastic.


11.7 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains the editorial correspondence, manuscripts and sketches of Joanna Cole, a writer of Children's books and author of the Magic School Bus series.

Provenance and Acquisition

The collection was donated in 2003.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to children's literature and associated artwork. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.


For a complete listing of Ms. Cole's books, please see her Wikipedia entry at
Joanna Cole Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2011 June
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US