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Rafaello Busoni Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1957

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for twenty-five titles published between 1942 and 1959. It includes colored illustrations, ink illustrations (some with separations), watercolors, sheets of stone lithographs, a charcoal illustration, illustrations done in a variety of mixed media, sketches done in a variety of media, studies done in a variety of media, proofs, sheets for text poof, layouts and illustrations, studies and sketches for book jackets. Several illustrations are signed for Dr. Irvin Kerlan. The collection also contains artwork for two titles not verified as published. There is also some miscellaneous artwork consisting of a matted watercolor, a greeting card from 1957, an ink sketch, and a self portrait.


  • circa 1942-circa 1959


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

Rafaello Busoni, the son of an Italian pianist, was born on February 1, 1900 in Berlin, Germany. He attended school in Germany and Switzerland and began drawing as a child. He quit school to become a painter and illustrated his first book, an edition of the Bible [the "Song of Solomon" section] in Berlin in 1922-23. Rafaello Busoni came to the United States in 1939, and became interested in children's books when his son was old enough to enjoy books. He began illustrating children's books in hte 1940s and throughout his long career, he illustrated dozens of trade and text books. He had a special interest in geography and illustrated a number of books in the "Land and People" series including France(1947), Germany(1951), Japan(1948), and wrote and illustrated Italy(1950). He illustrated children's books, both fiction and non-fiction, for a number of authors including Keith Robertson and Janette Sebring Lowrey. Rafaello Busoni also wrote several children's books beginning with Somi Builds a Church: A Story from Laplandin 1943. Rafaello Busoni died in March of 1962.

Biographical Source:

"Rafaello Busoni." Something About the Author. Vol. 16, pp. 61-64.


3 boxes

Language of Materials



Rafaello Busoni's papers focus on his work as an illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for twenty-five titles published between 1942 and 1959.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota.

Rafaello Busoni Papers, circa 1942-circa 1959
Nancy Larsen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • July 2020: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library