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Jean Fritz Papers

Identifier: CLRC-131

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for children's titles, primarily non-fiction, published by author Jean Fritz in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection includes drafts, proofs, correspondence, and related material, much of it for biographies written on historical American figures.


  • circa 1963-circa 1977


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

ean Fritz, nee Guttery, was born November 16, 1915 in Hanlow, China, where her father worked as a missionary. She grew up hearing his stories of American history and the country's heroes and these tales would later affect her writing career. Jean Fritz came to the United States and graduated from Wheaton College in 1937. She worked as a research assistant and children's librarian and in 1954 wrote her first book for children, Bunny Hopwell's First Spring. Jean Fritz continued to write fiction for children, including a number of historical novels that were widely praised for their authenticity and period detail as well as believeable characters and plots. In the 1970s, she begin writing historical biographies, focusing mainly on American Revolutionary War figures such as John Hancock, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, and Ben Franklin. Her biographies have been widely praised by critics for their realism, careful research, and informative and entertaining style. She has also written other biographies dealing with other historical figures. Jean Fritz drew on her own childhood in China for one of her books, Homesick, My Own Story(1982), an autobiographical work that was a Newbery Honor Book in 1983. Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vol. 72, p. 71-75 Twentieth Century Children's Writers, 3rd ed., p. 363-364


.6 Cubic Feet (2 boxes (1 hollinger, 1 half hollinger))

Language of Materials



Jean Fritz's papers focus on her work as an author of children's books, particularly her books concerned with American history. The collection contains production materials titles published in the 1960s and 1970s.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jean Fritz


Jean Fritz Papers, circa 1963-circa 1977
Christina Cowan, January 1991; Lois Steer, October 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • October 2017: Collection reprocessed and finding aid updated by Caitlin Marineau

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library