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Lynd Ward Papers

Identifier: CLRC-79

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for over twenty titles published between 1930 and 1976. It includes illustrations done in tempera, ink, watercolor, some with separations, studies, sketches, dummies, proofs, including some progressive proofs, and lithographic prints. For the title The Cat Who Went to Heaven there is production material for three different editions, and for The Biggest Bear, there is copy of the book bound in bearskin inscribed by Lynd Ward for Irvin Kerlan. The collection also contains amount of correspondence both to and from Mr. Ward, May Yonge McNeer, and their daughter Nanda Ward, to and from Vera D. Petersen, illustrations for American Junior Red Cross News, some miscellaneous artwork done by Lynd Ward including a self-portrait done in 1930, and autobiographical note, and other miscellaneous material.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1976


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

Lynd Kendall Ward was born June 26, 1905, in Chicago, Illinois. He was educated at Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York and received his B.S. in 1926, and later studied art in Leipzig, Germany. He married May Yonge McNeer, a children's author and frequent collaborator. Lynd Ward was a graphic artist and illustrator, illustrating his own works and others for adults and children. He was awarded a Caldecott Honor for America's Ethan Allenin 1950, and in 1953 won the Caldecott for The Biggest Bear, a story that drew on his love of nature and the outdoors and summers spent as a child in Ontario, Canada. Ward also illustrated the Newbery Award winner The Cat Who Went to Heaven, originally published in 1930, and did additional illustrations for subsequent editions, as well as illustrating other Newbery award and honor books, including Johnny Tremain. Known for his woodcuts, Ward worked in a variety of media, including ink, tempera, and watercolor. He died June 28, 1985, in Reston, Virginia.


3.73 Cubic Feet (9 boxes [1 record carton, 1 half hollinger document box, 7 flat boxes])

Language of Materials



The collection includes materials related to children's book created by Lynd Ward, including illustrations in a variety of media, studies, sketches, dummies, prints, proofs, and other related items.


The collection is arranged into 4 series. Writings and publications are arranged alphabetically by title.

  1. Writings and Publications
  2. Correspondence
  3. Professional
  4. Personal

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. Additional material was given by Lynd Ward during the 1960s and 1970s.

Lynd Ward Papers, 1930-1976
Christina Cowan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • September 2023: Collection reprocessed and collection guide updated by Carter Thurmond. Some description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library