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Mary Marsh Buff and Conrad Buff Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1942

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for twelve children's books created by the Buffs (including two separate editions of the book Dancing Cloud, which was first published in 1937 and then republished in 1957 with updated illustrations). The bulk of the collection consists of illustrative material, including pencil and ink artwork and illustration proofs. Manuscript material consists of a corrected typescript for the title Big Tree, signed for Dr. Irvin Kerlan in 1957. The collection also contains a number of greeting cards.


  • circa 1937-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

Conrad Buff was born January 15, 1886 in Speicher, Switzerland. He studied art in Switzerland and Germany and came to the United States in 1904. He married Mary Marsh, who was born April 10, 1890 in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1922. The Buffs collaborated on many children's books between 1937 and 1968. The Buffs were runners up for the Caldecott Medal for Dash and Dart, and runners up for the Newberry Award for Big Tree(1946) and The Apple and the Arrow(1951). Mary Marsh Buff died in November 1970 and conrad Buff died in 1975.


2.3 Cubic Feet (5 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Mary Marsh Buff and Conrad Buff''s papers focus on their work as authors and illustrators of children's books. The collection contains production material for books published between 1937 and 1966.


Collection guide is arranged alphabetically by published title with Miscellaneous and Unidentified material at the end.

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 donated by the Buffs' grandson, Conrad Buff IV.


Mary and Conrad Buff Papers, circa 1937-circa 1966
Christina Cowan and Nancy Larsen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • July 2020: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.
  • April 2021: New material added 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