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Jim Kjelgaard Papers

Identifier: CLRC-152

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for works written by Jim Kjelgaard, several of which were published after the author's death in 1959. The collection also contains material for one title not verified as published and one script for the Walt Disney Company titled Fancy Dan, that is not verified as having been produced.


  • 1941-circa 1966


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

Jim (James Arthur) Kjelgaard was born December 5, 1910 in New York City. He grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and later studied for 2 years at Syracuse U. in New York. In 1941 he published his first book for young adults, Forest Patrol. The story was based on the wilderness experiences of his brother, a forest ranger, and himself. During the next 18 years he wrote many books for young adults, with most of his books featuring animals and wilderness settings. His most well known books was Big Red (1945), which was adapted into a Disney film in 1962. Kjelgaard died on July 12, 1959.

Biographical Source: "James Arthur Kjelgaard (1910-1959)." Something About the Author. Vol. 17. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1979.


2.05 Cubic Feet (3 boxes [1 record carton, 2 hollinger boxes])

Language of Materials



The Kjelgaard papers focus on his work as an author of young adult novels and contains production materials for published and unpublished works.

Accession Information:

Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated it to the U. of Minn. Kjelgaard's widow, Edna, gave additional materials to the collection in the 1970s.


Jim Kjelgaard Papers, 1941-circa 1966
Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • September 2019: 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