Today in History: L. Frank Baum

L. Frank Baum and His Popular Books for Children. Chicago and New York: George M. Hill,1901. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society
Today in History–May 15–the Library of Congress features The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, born on this day in 1856. Lyman Frank Baum was in his 40s by the time he became a bestselling author. Learn more about this writer and the extraordinary success of the Oz mass media franchise by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access all types of Oz primary sources as well as books and stories by Baum* and Oz illustrator W.W. Denslow.

L. Frank Baum portraits (1908)

The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairytale (online exhibition)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum; pictures by W.W. Denslow. Chicago; New York: G.M. Hill Co., 1900, c1899 Page Turner – PDF (113.66MB)

First edition cover of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Illustration fromThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz movie poster

Pages from the hand-written manuscript for Glinda of Oz, L. Frank Baum’s last book

Ask the flowers to tell you” lyrics by L. Frank Baum (song recording)

There Was a Goose”  lyrics by L. Frank Baum from The St. Louis Republic, July 01, 1900, Magazine Section

Baby Pulled the Pussy’s Tail” lyrics by L. Frank Baum from The St. Louis Republic, July 08, 1900, Magazine Section

Can’t you hear the bell ring?” lyrics by L. Frank Baum from The St. Louis Republic, August 05, 1900, Magazine Section

The Girl Who Owned a Bear: An American Fairy Tale” by L. Frank Baum from The St. Louis Republic, March 03, 1901, Comic Section

The King of the Polar Bears” by L. Frank Baum from The St. Louis Republic, April 07, 1901, Comic Section

The Wonderful Pump” by L. Frank Baum from The St. Louis Republic, May 12, 1901, Special Mail Edition, Comic Section

How the Tinman Escaped the Magic Flood” by L. Frank Baum from The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), September 11, 1904, Comic Section

The Gingerbread Man” by L. Frank Baum from The Salt Lake Herald, October 28, 1906, Magazine Section

The Wonderful Stories of Oz: Tip Manufactures a Pumpkinhead” by L. Frank Baum from The Ogden Standard, December 28, 1918, Last Edition – 3:30 P.M., Page 2, Image 2

*Find more stories by Baum by searching in the Chronicling America Historical Newspaper Collection (click the Advanced Search tab and type L. Frank Baum in the …with the phrase box). Please share any gems you uncover in the comments section or let us know by contacting us.