Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- II: -- THE HUMANITIES
- PART TWO
- 21 -- JUVENILE LITERATURE
- DRAWINGS BY CHILDREN'S BOOK ARTISTS; LETTERS; MANUSCRIPTS

DRAWINGS BY CHILDREN'S BOOK ARTISTS; LETTERS; MANUSCRIPTS

Although the Mulready drawings for William Roscoe's The Butterfly's Ball in the Spencer Collection, and a number of original drawings by George Cruikshank (some of which were intended for children's books) in the Berg Collection are notable, the library's strongest holdings of original drawings center on the English book artists of the late nineteenth century--Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, and Beatrix Potter. The Central Children's Room of the Branch Libraries holds six original drawings in pen-and-ink by Randolph Caldecott for his picture book The Diverting History of John Gilpin (1878). In the Arents Collection of Books in Parts are original drawings for nine of the uncolored plates for another of Caldecott's picture books, Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross (1894). The Spencer Collection has ten of Walter Crane's holograph pencil sketches for the Grimm Household Stories (1882) bound in with a copy of the book; also included is a group of watercolors made by Crane for his daughter Beatrice during a stay in Rome in 1882 and 1883, entitled Beatrice's Birthplace; these drawings have probably never been published. In the Manuscripts and Archives Division and in the Berg Collection are an illustrated manuscript diary, maps, and other related material on Walter Crane's trip to India from 1906 to 1907.

About one hundred Kate Greenaway drawings, watercolors, and designs for illustrations and Christmas cards are in the Berg Collection, while the Arents Collection of Books in Parts holds the complete set of original watercolors and drawings by the artist for her Mother Goose, with the original manuscript of the poems and rhymes. In addition to these are many other drawings, including a number done for the almanacs.

Although Beatrix Potter is represented by a single drawing in the library's collections--a watercolor entitled "Winter" in the Central Children's Room--the Manuscripts and Archives Division has two boxes of correspondence, Christmas cards, and photographs exchanged by Miss Potter and Anne Carroll Moore. This correspondence was part of a gift made to the library in 1961 by S.B. Lunt, Miss Moore's nephew. Also included were the layout for The Art of Beatrix Potter for which Miss Moore wrote the introduction, and correspondence with the children's book artist L. Leslie Brooke and many other authors with whom Miss Moore was associated.

Striking items in the Berg Collection include two original watercolor drawings for Thackeray's The Rose and the Ring (1885) and an original Tenniel drawing for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. The Spencer Collection holds four gouache drawings by Edmund Dulac for his illustrations to Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales (1919), twenty-two original Arthur Rackham drawings bound in a volume, and a manuscript of A Midsummer Night's Dream with original illustrations and decorations by Rackham. The Spencer Collection has purchased two sets of original drawings and sketches to accompany copies of Thomas Handforth's Mei Li (1938) and James Daugherty's Andy and the Lion (1938).

Among outstanding manuscripts is the pen-and-pencil holograph of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden (1911) in the Manuscripts and Archives Division, where it is joined by the original manuscript of "The Proud Little Grain of Wheat," a story published in St. Nicholas for January 1880. A group of twenty-two autograph letters by Lewis Carroll range in date from 1873 to 1891; the majority of the letters are addressed to Mrs. Blakemore.