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Louis Slobodkin Papers

Identifier: CLRC-101

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for various titles illustrated by Slobodkin, as well as some miscellaneous material and artwork. The collection includes typescripts and galley proofs, notes, correspondence, illustrations done in a variety of media, some with separations, sketches and studies. The miscellaneous artwork includes sketchbooks and studies, and a black and white self-portrait.


  • 1918-2000s


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 Sketch

Louis Slobodkin was born February 19, 1903, in Albany, New York. He attended the Beaux Arts Institute for Design in New York City from 1918-1922, and in 1927 married Florence Gersh, who would be his collaborator on several children's books. Early in his career Slobodkin worked as a sculptor and designer, and in 1943 illustrated James Thurber's Many Moons, which received the 1944 Caldecott Medal. Throughout his long and prolific career, Slobodkin illustrated his and other author's works. He is well-known for his illustrations of Eleanor Estes' Moffat books. During the 1940s-1970s he wrote a number of books for young children, including a Read About series, and such humorous 'didactic' books as Thank You -- You're Welcome, that taught young readers about manners and courtesy with humor and style. He also wrote and illustrated a number of science fiction stories for older readers, including his Space Ship series. Critics have long praised his illustrations for their simplicity, and for his ability to show movement, tension, and the dynamics of human figures, to help move a story along and depict mood and place. Louis Slobodkin died May 8, 1975, in Florida. Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vols. 1, 26


15 Cubic Feet (16 boxes (7 record cartons and 9 flat boxes))

Language of Materials



Louis Slobodkin's papers focus on his work as an author and illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for various titles published between 1943-1972, as well as some miscellaneous material and artwork.


Finding Aid arranged alphabetically by 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. Additional material was given by Louis and Florence Slobodkin, as well as their family and heirs (Lawrence Slobodkin, Tamara Slobodkin, David Slobodkin, and Nathan Freeman).

Related Materials

See the Florence Slobodkind Papers for additional material related to Louis, including personal papers and correspondence he wrote to Florence.


Louis Slobodkin Papers
Jim Eyer; Updated by Ruth Paloma
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library