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SIM-12: Phyllis A. Whitney Collection

Identifier: SIM-12

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photocopies of articles, advertisements for books and photographs taken of and by Whitney documenting books Whitney set on Staten Island and her life on the Island. In addition, it contains correspondence that helps describe Phyllis Whitney’s life and accomplishments. Books Whitney set on Staten Island are available in the CSI Archives, most are signed and first editions.


  • Creation: 1947 - 2006

Biographical / Historical

Phyllis A. Whitney was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1903, and lived in Asia until she was 15. After the death of her parents she moved to Chicago where she lived with her aunt. Ms. Whitney resided in Staten Island for over 20 years with her daughter and second husband, Lovell Jahnke. She lived on Constance Avenue in Westerleigh and later on Fort Hill Circle in St. George. Staten Island became the inspiration and setting for several of her books. Her early career in writing was problematic as she found it difficult to secure publishing. However, after publishing her first book, “A Place for Ann,” she began writing prolifically, often completing two books in a year. Typically, one book was intended for adults and the other for younger audiences. During her career she often attended conferences and taught writing courses around the country. She taught at Northwestern University in 1945 and at New York University from 1947 to 1958. She had published over seventy books at the time of her death at 104 in February, 2008. Her books and style of writing have received and continue to receive praise.


4 Leaves

Language of Materials



This artificial collection provides some documentation of the years author Phyllis A. Whitney lived on Staten Island.


The materials in this collection are arranged by type of document.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Phyllis A. Whitney in July 2006.

Processing Information

Description and a final inventory were executed by intern Steven D’Avria in the Spring Semester, 2008.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the CSI Archives & Special Collections Repository