TU's McFarlin Library To Open La Vere Anderson Collection

Monday, November 13, 2000

Tulsa journalist, educator and author LaVere Frances Shoenfelt Anderson was a woman drawn to the printed word. It was this love of language that led to the amassing of nearly 4,500 titles in her personal collection. This collection, which has been given to The University of Tulsa by Andrson’s family, will be formally dedicated during a special ceremony at The University of Tulsa’s McFarlin Library on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 10:30 a.m.

The LaVere Anderson Collection encompasses art, music, literature, history, science and mainstream fiction. Topics of special interest to Anderson included the American Civil War, the American West and Oklahoma history.

Anderson was born in Muskogee seven months before Oklahoma statehood. A writer early on, she received a bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Tulsa and attended Columbia University’s School of Professional Journalism.

She began her professional career as a feature reporter for the Tulsa World in the 1930s, writing stories about the last of the pioneer settlers in Oklahoma. Anderson later became the editor of the book page for the Tulsa World, with her column, “Under the Reading Lamp,” considered one of the most popular features of the paper during the 1940s.

In addition to her journalism career, Anderson published historical children’s books such as the 1967 work “Robert Todd Lincoln, President’s Boy.” She also taught literature and creative writing at The University of Tulsa for many years and continued to contribute articles to the Tulsa World into the 1970s.

Anderson was married to Daniel Anderson, a 1926 graduate of The University of Tulsa. She died in 1998 and is survived by her two daughters, Audrey Thixton and Jessica May Nidisser of Tulsa, and her son, Dr. W. French Anderson, a genetic researcher in San Marino, Calif., who holds an honorary degree from TU.

The LaVere Anderson Collection will become a part of the 1.5 million items — letters, manuscripts, books, documents and artifacts — that comprise McFarlin Library’s Special Collections.