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Witold T. Mars Papers

Identifier: CLRC-87

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of illustrations, proofs, prints, and other materials related to the creation illustrations for children's books. This collection also includes some correspondence related to some titles, as well as designs for Christmas cards, advertising and commercial art, and other artistic endeavors.


  • 1957 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Witold Tadeusz Mars was born September 1, 1912, in Rzesna, Poland. His mother, Stefania, wrote children's books, and Mars illustrated one of her books when he was nine. He later studied in Krakow and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Mars worked as an artist and illustrator before World War II, exhibiting his work in Poland and Sweden. During World War II he served with the Polish forces in England and France. Mars came to the U. S. in 1951, and began working as an illustrators for various magazines and book publishers. He illustrated his first book for children, Reba Mirsky's Thirty-One Brothers and Sisters, in 1952. Throughout his long career, Mars illustrated children's and young adult books on a wide variety of topics and in various media and styles. He illustrated both fiction and nonfiction, many of the latter dealing with military history. He also illustrated a number of works of historical fiction, some humorous stories, and contemporary novels for children and young adults. Mars also wrote one book for children, The Baby Dragon, that drew on his interest in dragons, a symbol of Poland, and its old cathedrals. Mars died in New York in 1985.

Biographical Source: "Witold Tadeusz J. Mars (1912-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 3. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1971.


23 Linear Feet (14 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Witold Mars papers contains artwork and other material related to children's books illustrated by Mars, as well as correspondence related to some titles, as well as designs for Christmas cards, advertising and commercial art, and other artistic endeavors.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by publication title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota. Witold Mars added additional material to the collection from the 1960 through 1980s, with further material donated by his widow, Helene Mars, in 1992.


Witold T. Mars Papers
Christopher M True
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • February 2023: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library