Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Hanson, D.P., mss., 1933-1983, consist of the papers, both personal and business, of Donald Parker Hanson, 1901- 1978, editor and publisher.

Hanson joined the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in 1929 and became advertising director in 1932. Almost immediately upon assuming that position he negotiated a radio series sponsored by A&P, written by Booth Tarkington, entitled first "Maud and Bill" and later "Maud and Cousin Bill." The program aired for 14 episodes, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from September 21 through October 28, 1932 and for 50 episodes, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, from January 9 until June 9, 1933.

Concurrently with the radio program, Hanson and Frank W. Wheeler, special assistant to the president of A&P, planned and set-up the A&P Carnival at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago. It proved to be the most successful industrial attraction exhibited at the Fair, drawing more than 10 million visitors.

In 1938 A&P decided to launch a magazine to be sold in grocery stores nationwide. Woman's Day was the brainchild of Donald Hanson and he edited and published the monthly from its beginning until his retirement in 1968. Another publishing innovation of Hanson's was the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, published by Fawcett in 1966, consisting of 12 volumes and sold in supermarkets across the country. The encyclopedia represented the first time a work of that magnitude had been undertaken by an American editor or publisher, and the result was "A comprehensive and colorful library on all culinary matters" with "every topic of culinary interest" being covered in its over 2000 pages of recipes, menus, definitions, and color food illustrations.

The collection contains correspondence, memos, photographs, and a few printed items relating to all of the above cited projects. Several of the files are accompanied by summary notes of explanation and description prepared by Mrs. Muriel Hanson at the time the materials were prepared for shipment to the Lilly Library. Also present are correspondence and royalty statements relating to the Boxer Trust. Donald P. Hanson was Trustee for the fund established by author Emily Hahn for the benefit of her two daughters Carola and Amanda Boxer. The Trust Agreement was made October 9, 1956 and the final income tax return for the Trust was filed in 1970 when the younger daughter reached majority.

There is a box and list of contents in the Vertical File.

An inventory is available in the library.

Acquired: 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1991

Collection size: 852 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.