Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in Fogler Papers

A page from the book Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
A page from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Beth’s recent favorite is this copy of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a book published as a promotional piece by the department store Montgomery Ward. Our library’s namesake, Raymond H. Fogler, was president of the New York-based company when the first edition of the book was published in 1939.  Fogler was instrumental in the selection of the story, written by Robert L. May, to replace coloring books that the company had been giving away to shoppers at Christmas time for several years.  It was adapted into a song in 1949.

Beth says this is a favorite because “It reminds me of my childhood along with the iconic song sung by Gene Autry and the stop-action tv show with Burl Ives. This original version is slightly different from those tellings and it’s interesting to see how the later versions evolved.”

More information about Raymond H. Fogler’s papers is available in our ArchivesSpace database and through DigitalCommons@UMaine , or by contacting Special Collections at 207.581.1686 or

This favorite contributed by: Beth Russell, Archivist