About Finding Aids:

A finding aid is a guide to an archival collection. Finding aids include information about the collection's creator(s) and subject matter, and describe the content, date, and format of the documents in a collection. A finding aid also details the collection's arrangement. Finding aids include information for researchers about how to access and use the collection, and how it should be cited.

Browse our finding aids by collection below.

Children's Literature Research Collection

  • Michael Albert artwork

    This collection contains artwork by pop artist Michael Albert during his visit to the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Children's Department in 2010.

  • Lloyd Alexander papers

    This collection contains the literary papers of author Lloyd Alexander, dating from 1941-1995. Drafts, proofs, and planning notes for Alexander's writings, together with correspondence relating to his books, make up the bulk of the collection; other types of materials present include drawings,…

  • Aliki papers

    The Aliki papers (1962-1975) consist of a book, color separations, dummies, illustrations, and text layouts for five of the children's books she illustrated: Averages, Birds at Night, My Five Senses, The Story of William Penn, and This is the House Where Jack Lives.

  • Jim Arnosky illustrations

    This collection contains original illustrations by the naturalist and children’s book author and illustrator Jim Arnosky. The illustrations include color separations and drawings. Six titles are represented, including Arnosky’s first book I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees (1977).

  • Barbara Baumgartner papers

    This collection includes drafts, notes, and source material by the author, children's librarian, and professional storyteller Barbara Baumgartner, for her book Crocodile! Crocodile! Stories Told Around the World (1994). The collection also includes correspondence between Baumgartner and her…

  • Jonathan Bean papers 2016

    This collection comprises promotional materials created by Bean for the book, Real Cowboys by Kate Hoefler.

  • Corydon Bell illustrations

    This collection contains twenty sheets of final art and one published copy of the book Snow (1954), written by Thelma Harrington Bell and illustrated by Corydon Bell.

  • Freda Pastor Berkowitz proofs

    Freda Pastor Berkowitz (1908-1994) was a Philadelphia-area pianist, music teacher, and author. The collection consists of galley proofs and folded and gathered sheets for On Lutes, Recorders, and Harpsichords (1967) and plate proofs for Unfinished Symphony (1963).

  • Sophie Blackall illustrations 2016

    This collection comprises ephemera and realia created to promote the works of Sophie Blackall.

  • Lizi Boyd illustration 2014

    This collection contains one illustration by Lizi Boyd.

  • Emma L. Brock notes and illustrations

    The collection contains three color separations for page 27 of Skipping Island (1958) by Emma L. Brock, with an identifying note.

  • Marcia Brown papers

    Marcia Brown is an author and illustrator known for her children’s books and illustrated folktales. The collection consists of dummies, an original print, and a carved wood block for How, Hippo! (1969).

  • Virginia Lee Burton papers

    This collection consists of sketches, artwork, illustrations, dummies, galleys, typescripts, and color separations created by Virginia Lee Burton for the book Life Story (1962).

  • Mônica Carnesi papers 2015-2017

    This collection contains the artwork and ephemera of children's author/illustrator Mônica Carnesi.

  • Lauren Castillo illustrations 2016

    This collection of original artwork was created by Lauren Castillo for the Free Library of Philadelphia's Summer Reading 2016 kick-off event.

  • Donald Ewin Cooke papers

    Donald Cooke was a Philadelphia-area children’s book author and illustrator and the founder of the Edraydo publishing house. The Donald Ewin Cooke papers include original art for Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1947), a character doll and book jacket final art for The Silver Horn of Robin Hood (1956), and…

  • David Hyde Costello papers 2013

    This collection contains original artwork and the correspondence of David Hyde Costello to Irene Wright.

  • Marguerite de Angeli papers

    This collection contains the papers of children’s book author and illustrator Marguerite de Angeli (1889-1987), with materials dating from 1914 to 1982 (bulk 1935-1977). Much of the collection consists of drafts and artwork for twenty-six of de Angeli’s children’s books. Also present are…

  • Beatrice Schenk de Regniers papers

    The collection consists of dummies, correspondence, manuscripts, outlines, sketches, research notes, drafts, galley proofs, and typescripts by the children's book author and editor Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (1914-2000), for her books The Little Girl and Her Mother (1963), May I Bring a Friend?…

  • Angela Dominguez illustrations circa 2012-2017

    This collection consists of final artwork by children's author/illustrator Angela Dominguez (1982-).

  • Louise Lee and Richard Floethe papers

    This collection contains one dummy and one piece of preliminary artwork for If I Were Captain, written by Louise Lee and illustrated by Richard Floethe. If I Were Captain was the first book on which the couple collaborated and was chosen as a Junior Literary Guild Selection.

  • Jane Flory papers

    This is a collection of manuscripts, illustrations, and notes by Jane Flory. Documentation is present for a number of Flory's books, including Faraway Dream, Farmer John, The Golden Venture, It Was a Pretty Good Year, The Liberation of Clementine Tipton, Mist on the Mountain, One Hundred and…

  • Donna Gephart papers

    This collection consists of research materials, drafts, correspondences, and promotional materials for works created by Donna Gephart. The papers span from 2008 - 2018 and include materials for the following titles: As if Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for…

  • Reinhold Weimar Goll writings

    This collection contains the typescript draft and editorial notes for the book Valley Forge Rebel (1974) by teacher and children's author Reinhold Weimar Goll (1897-1993).

  • Eulalie Osgood Grover papers

    This is a small collection of papers by the author Eulalie Osgood Grover. This collection consists of two typescript French translations of Sunbonnet Babies, a printed copy of A Trip to Egypt by Dreamland Babies, advertising material for The Art-Literature Readers, and correspondence. The…

  • Carolyn Haywood papers

    This collection contains the personal and literary papers of children's author and illustrator Carolyn Haywood. The collection consists of manuscripts, illustrations, proofs, sketchbooks, correspondence, clippings, audiovisual materials, photographs, scrapbooks, diplomas, and awards.

  • Elizabeth Hoffman Honness papers

    This collection contains typescripts, galley proofs, and engraver's proofs for books by children's author Elizabeth Hoffman Honness (1904-2003), including Mystery in the Square Tower (1957), Mystery of the Secret Message (1961), and Mystery of the Pirate's Ghost (1966).

  • Margaret O. Hyde papers

    Margaret Oldroyd Hyde is a writer who specializes in books for adolescents on topics of health, invention, or science. The Margaret O. Hyde papers consist of material from Flight Today and Tomorrow (1953), including typescripts, galleys, and illustration proofs.

  • Molly Schaar Idle papers 2014

    This collection contains work created by Idle to thank the members of the 2014 Caldecott committee for awarding her a Caldecott Honor.

  • Leonard P. Kessler papers

    This collection consists of production materials for the book How to Play Better Football (1972) by children's author C. Paul Jackson, illustrated by Leonard P. Kessler. The collection includes a dummy and a complete set of final art, in addition to small amounts of correspondence, preliminary…

  • Kristin Hunter Lattany writings

    This collection consists of a typescript for the book Boss Cat (1971) and a manuscript for the book The Soul Brothers and Sister Lou (1968) by Kristin Hunter Lattany (1931-2008).

  • E. (Elizabeth) MacKinstry illustrations

    This collection consists of sketches, studies, and drawings by children's illustrator E. (Elizabeth) MacKinstry (1879-1956).

  • Katherine Milhous and Frances Lichten papers

    This is a collection of the manuscripts, illustrations, and papers of Katherine Milhous, and the papers of Frances Lichten. Katherine Milhous manuscript materials include drafts, dummies, proofs, notes, finished art, color separations, and other production materials for her children’s books. Her…

  • Frances Salomon Murphy writings

    This collection contains the final draft and production material for the 1953 children’s book Ready-Made Family by Frances Salomon Murphy.

  • Frank Murphy Collection

    This collection contains the dummy, typescripts, and examples of final artwork for the 2001 children's book Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares , written by Frank Murphy and illustrated by Richard Walz. Also included a few pieces of correspondence between Murphy and Mallory Loehr of Random House…

  • Evaline Ness papers

    This collection consists of dummies, sketches, paste-ups, artwork, and color separations created by Evaline Ness as illustrations for the books Coll and His White Pig, The Truthful Harp, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, The High King, and Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog.

  • Scott O'Dell papers

    Scott O'Dell (1898-1989) was a well-known author of historical fiction for children, most notably the Newbery award-winning Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960). This collection consists of a typescript for the book Island of the Blue Dolphins and related award ceremony materials.

  • Elizabeth Olds papers

    This collection consists of preliminary artwork, dummies, mechanicals, wood blocks, and proofs for the books Little Una (1963) and Plop, Plop, Ploppie (1962) by children's author and illustrator Elizabeth Olds (1896-1991). There is also a screen print of Three Alarm Fire, which was the basis for…

  • Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks dummy

    This collection contains a dummy for the unpublished book Red Roofs and Flowerpots, with text and illustrations by Joseph Rous Paget-Fredericks (1903-1963).

  • Lucy Fitch Perkins papers

    This is a small collection of material by and about children's author and illustrator Lucy Fitch Perkins (1865-1937). It contains correspondence, a manuscript draft of The Dutch Twins, and advertising material for "The Twins Series."

  • Greg Pizzoli papers 2013-2017

    This collection contains art, realia, and ephemera created by Greg Pizzoli and promotional materials created for his works.

  • Mark H. Podwal illustrations 1998

    This collection contains illustrations by Mark H. Podwal.

  • Elizabeth Ripley papers

    This is a collection of manuscripts and notes by Elizabeth Ripley for her last three artist biographies: Copley: A Biography, Hokusai: A Biography, and Rodin: A Biography. Materials include drafts, outlines, notes, dummies, proofs, photographs, and correspondence.

  • Isabel Roxas illustrations 2016-2017

    This collection consists of self-published zines, marketing materials, and posters created by illustrator Isabel Roxas.

  • William Steig illustrations

    The collection consists of a piece of preliminary artwork and a dummy by cartoonist and children's author William Steig (1907-2003), for the book Sylvester the Magic Pebble (1969).

  • Susanne Suba illustrations

    This collection contains eighteen illustrations by artist Susanne Suba for Sonny-boy Sim, written by Elizabeth Whitemore Baker.

  • Tomi Ungerer papers

    This collection contains the literary papers of author, illustrator, and cartoonist Tomi Ungerer. Ungerer’s illustrations for children’s books, both his own and those of other authors, make up the bulk of the collection. The papers consist of notes, drafts, dummies, published volumes, sketches,…

  • Hendrik Willem Van Loon typescript and illustrations

    Hendrik Willem Van Loon (1882-1944) was a journalist, historian, radio personality, writer, and illustrator who published more than fifty books on history for a children and adults. The Van Loon papers include a typescript for A Short History of Discovery (1917) with original color illustrations.

  • Lucille Wallower papers

    The papers of Pennsylvania children's author Lucille Wallower contain typewritten drafts and illustrations for many different works, including Colonial Histories: Pennsylvania, A Conch Shell for Molly, The Hippity Hopper: or, Why There Are No Indians in Pennsylvania, Indians of Pennsylvania, The…

  • N. C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth Artwork circa 1938-1940

    This collection consists of final artwork by illustrator N. C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth (1882-1945).

Rare Book Department Finding Aids

  • Mary Wickham Bond papers on the "real" James Bond

    The lives of James and Mary Bond, a Philadelphia ornithologist and author, respectively, were altered the day that author Ian Fleming, a bird lover who was familiar with Bond’s book, “The Birds of the West Indies,” appropriated James Bond’s name for his fictional spy character. The resulting…

  • History of the Book and Illustrations collection

    This collection contains material that shows the history of the book. The majority of the examples of manuscripts are illustrations but there are a few letters and other documents. The printed material in this collection spans the 13th to the late 16th centuries and contains examples of different…

  • Free Library of Philadelphia collection of home management ephemera

    This collection includes advertising ephemera about cleaning, laundry, and kitchen products, mostly marketed to women who managed their own home.

  • Charles Dickens collection

    Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the most popular English novelists of the Victorian era as well as a vigorous social campaigner. This is a collection of correspondence, manuscript material, and other items related to him. The material dates from 1832-1993, with the bulk of the material…

  • Frank Edwin Elwell papers

    This collection consists of articles, biographical material, photographs, and scrapbooks related to the American sculptor Frank Edwin Elwell (1858-1922), compiled by his son and daughter-in-law, Alcott Farrar Elwell and Helen Chaffee Elwell.

  • John Frederick Lewis collection of autographs of engravers

    John Frederick Lewis was a Philadelphia lawyer, philanthropist, and collector of writing samples. This collection contains letters, receipts, and other documents by British engravers. Most of the material was written in England between 1775 and 1850. Many of the letters discuss artistic matters…

  • Oliver Goldsmith papers

    This collection is comprised of letters and other documents to and from Oliver Goldsmith. The first series has letters and documents from members in his literary circle as well as documents related to Oliver Goldsmith’s works. The second series is composed of contracts between Oliver Goldsmith…

  • Kate Greenaway collection

    This collection consists of material created by or about the children’s author and illustrator Kate Greenaway. It consists of correspondence, original artwork, and ephemera collected by the Free Library of Philadelphia.

  • Fine Press prospectuses and ephemera

    The collection contains material from fine presses and individual printers received by the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The bulk of the items are prospectuses, but the collection also includes greeting cards, keepsakes, printed advertisements, and samples.

  • Historical manuscripts collection

    This is a varied collection of historical manuscripts obtained by the Free Library of Philadelphia over the course of its history. The collection dates from 1347 to 1969 and is primarily an autograph collection. The collection includes American, British, and European materials; the majority of…

  • Frederick R. Gardner collection of Robert Lawson

    This collection contains the literary papers of author and illustrator Robert Lawson (1892-1957), collected by Frederick R. Gardner. Materials date from 1900 to 1983. Lawson’s illustrations make up the bulk of this collection; illustrations for forty-seven titles and unpublished artworks are…

  • Munro Leaf papers

    This collection contains the literary papers of author and illustrator Munro Leaf (1905-1976), with materials dating from 1918 to 1986. Manuscript drafts and illustrations from fifty-eight titles are represented (including fourteen titles produced as part of his work for the US Army and the…

  • W. Atlee Burpee Jr. collection of Lincoln papers

    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until he was assassinated in April 1865. He led the United States through the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. The Burpee collection of Lincoln papers covers the time period…

  • Free Library of Philadelphia Collection of Literary Manuscripts

    This collection contains letters, manuscript fragments, autographs, and other documents by famous authors. The material dates from 1666 to 1990 with the bulk of the collection consisting of letters written by the authors to various friends with some letters to editors or critics.

  • A. Edward Newton collection

    This collection consists of the personal and professional papers of Philadelphia book collector A. Edward Newton (1864-1940). The bulk of the materials are book manuscripts, correspondence, keepsakes, and newspaper clippings, with published volumes cataloged separately. The collection relates to…

  • Colonel Richard A. Gimbel collection of Edgar Allan Poe materials

    Richard Gimbel (1898-1970) was a leading rare book and manuscript collector and the son of the founder of Gimbel's department store. Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, short-story writer, editor, and literary critic, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. This collection of…

  • Beatrix Potter collection

    This collection consists of material created by or about the children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. It contains correspondence, original artwork, manuscripts, collectibles, research material, and ephemera collected by the Free Library of Philadelphia.

  • Norman H. and Charlotte Strouse collection of letters of the presidents

    This is a collection of manuscript letters of presidents of the United States dating from 1780 to 1993 collected by Norman H. Strouse. All of the presidents are represented except for Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. The letters and other documents relating to Abraham Lincoln…

  • Thornton Oakley collection of Howard Pyle and his students

    The Thornton Oakley collection of Howard Pyle and his students covers the influential artistic career of Howard Pyle and several of his students, most notably Maxfield Parrish, Violet Oakley, and N.C. Wyeth. The collection includes a wide range of materials, which was collected and assembled by…

  • Free Library of Philadelphia collection of Arthur Rackham

    This collection consists of material created by or about the children's illustrator Arthur Rackham. It consists of correspondence, original artwork, and ephemera collected by the Free Library of Philadelphia from a number of donors and trust fund purchases. Several hundred published volumes have…

  • Lubin Manufacturing Company records

    Siegmund Lubin (1851-1923) founded the Lubin Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which, from 1895 to just before its collapse in 1916, grew to be one of the largest motion picture production companies in the world. His moviemaking empire started with the purchase of one film…

  • 19th Century playbills

    The 19th Century playbills collection contains a range of material related to theater culture in nineteenth century Philadelphia and in selected other theaters across the northeastern United States. Researchers will find nineteenth century playbills from the following Philadelphia theaters: the…

  • Ed Wynn papers

    This collection contains the correspondence and papers of actor and comedian Ed Wynn. The collection includes ideas for gags, box office records for staged productions, telegrams, postcards, 65 publicity photographs, 50 gag magazines, and family papers and mementos. There are also approximately…