Skip to main content

Helen Sewell Collection

Identifier: CLRC-1565

Scope and Contents

The collection contains illustrative material for over a dozen children's books, plus a 1963 edition of a book Sewell originally illustrated in 1923. Production materials include studies and illustrations done in a variety of media, some with separations, retouched photographs of illustrations, dummies, and a set of progressive proofs. The collection also includes a bust of Sewell done by Isabel Moore Kimball, and a photograph of the Helen Sewell memorial window in the Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills, New York.


  • circa 1923-circa 1963


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

Helen Sewell was born June 27, 1896, in Mare Island, California. She attended the Pratt Institute and studied painting with the artist Archipenko. In 1923 she illustrated her first children's book, The Cruise of the Little Dipper and Other Fairy Tales, by Susanne K. Langer. She wrote and illustrated numerous books for children, and also illustrated works by other authors. She received a Caldecott Honor citation for The Thanksgiving Storyin 1955. She also illustrated books for adults, including several for the Limited Editions Club, including one in 1952 of Emily Dickenson's poems. Helen Sewell died on February 24, 1957, in New York City.

Biographical Source:

"Helen (Moore) Sewell (1896-1957)." Something About the Author. Vol. 38. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1985.


2 boxes

Language of Materials



Collection contains material related to works illustrated by Helen Sewell.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the U. of Minnesota. Additional items were given to the U. of Minnesota by Claude Bailey and Vera Peterson in 1985. Bust by Isabel Moore Kimball donated by Curtis (Bud) Noble, Jr.


Helen Sewell Collection, circa 1923-circa 1963
Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • February 2021: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library