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Chris Van Allsburg Papers

Identifier: CLRC-78

Scope and Contents

The Chris Van Allsburg papers contains sketches, primarily in pencil, for children's books written and illustrated by Van Allsburg, published between 1979 and 2002.


  • Creation: circa 1979-circa 2002


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

Chris Van Allsburg was born June 18, 1949 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received a B.F.A in sculpture from the University of Michigan, and his M.F.A from Rhode Island School of Design in 1974, where he would later teach illustration from 1977 unit around 2009. Van Allsburg began writing and illustrating children's books in the 1970s, publishing The Garden of Abdul Gasazi in 1979. The book was awarded a Caldecott Honor and two of Van Allsburg's later books, Jumanji and The Polar Express would win the Caldecott Award in 1982 and 1986 respectively. Van Allsburg lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Biographical source:

"Chris Van Allsburg (1949-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 245. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2012.


.44 Cubic Feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials



Chris Van Allsburg's papers contain sketches related to his children's picture books.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by publication title with miscellaneous/unidentified sketches at the end.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Chris Van Allsburg.

Chris Van Allsburg Papers, circa 1979-circa 2002
Christina Cowan, updated by John Barneson in December, 2005
1995, 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • August 2023: Collection reprocessed and collection guide updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library