Guide to the Research Collections



Prints Division

The Prints Division is the starting point for an investigation into the excellent resources in this area. Approximately 1,700 entries in the division catalog relate to book illustration; these provide a geographical breakdown, and many index entries for articles in periodicals and learned society publications. The division maintains files of those periodicals exclusively devoted to book illustration. Also much information on individual artists is maintained, with oeuvre catalogs and supporting reference works. Materials dealing with the illumination of books and manuscripts, including an extensive representation of specimens and reproductions, are under the jurisdiction of the General Research and Humanities Division, and are housed with the general collections.

Some 1,200 illustrated books in the Prints Division serve as examples of the illustrator's art in the Western world from the late seventeenth century to the present. Among them is a particularly fine representation of the work of George Cruikshank, the larger part given by Mrs. Henry Draper in 1911, with original wood-block and steel engravings. Thomas Rowlandson is also well represented. The division holds eleven scrapbook volumes of mounted proofs of the wood engravings of Alexander Anderson, the nineteenth-century American illustrator. Among more recent materials are many Denslow drawings for Frank Baum's Oz books, and most of the original drawings made by Reginald Marsh for book illustrations. There is a good collection of original woodcut proofs of Fritz Eichenberg's illustrations, as well as published books illustrated by this artist. The Book Illustrators Index in the division locates examples of the work of specific illustrators in the library's collections. The Illustrated Books Index lists notable illustrated books shelved outside the division.

Arents Collection of Books in Parts

The collection holds many drawings by nineteenth-century English artists, the originals of illustrations prepared for books acquired by the collection. Among those represented are Rowlandson (nine original drawings for the English Dance of Death and other items), George Cruikshank, Habl˘t K. Browne ("Phiz"), Millais, and Kate Greenaway. Many books in parts are themselves fine examples of the illustrated book.

Berg Collection

The Berg Collection of English and American Literature contains many illustrated books among its first and early editions, most of them from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A number of original drawings for illustrations include two by William Hogarth for the second edition of Sterne's Tristram Shandy.12 The illustrators of Dickens are particularly well represented. Drawings made by authors such as Thackeray and Kipling, often to illustrate their own books, are of interest.13 There are substantial holdings of the work of Kate Greenaway.

Spencer Collection

This collection of notable illustrated books and fine bindings from every period and geographical locale is described in chapter 16 of this Guide.

Additional Remarks

The examples of illustrated books and original drawings for book illustrations cited here offer no more than a general suggestion of the type of rare and unusual materials available in the Research Libraries. Illustrated books are found in every division or special collection. Descriptions of resources in illustrated books are included in a number of the sections of this Guide which discuss various national literatures and subject collections; the chapter on juvenile literature indicates holdings in the Central Children's Room at the Donnell Library Center, among them many drawings and some paintings by such famous illustrators as Randolph Caldecott, Howard Pyle, and N.C. Wyeth.

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