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Katherine Milhous Papers

Identifier: CLRC-58

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production materials for 20 titles published between 1938-1964. It includes an autobiographical sketch, holographs, typescripts, notes, one piece of correspondence, illustrations, including ink, ink and watercolor, tempera, watercolor, dummies, color samples, studies, and two mailing pieces. There is also some miscellaneous artwork, a watercolor, and a holiday greeting card.


  • 1938-1964


Language of Materials


Access and Use:

Collection is open for researchers with no restrictions. Registration with the collection is required.


This collection is 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.

Biographical Sketch

Katherine Milhous was born November 27, 1894, in Philadelphia, PA. She attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She began illustrating children's books in the 1930s, and writing them in the 1940s. Her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and love of Philadelphia played a major part in shaping both her artwork and her stories. Many of her books are set in the Pennsylvania countryside or in Philadelphia. Her Caldecott Award winning book, The Egg Tree, published in 1950, drew on the folk traditions of the region. Ms. Milhous' illustrations are noted for their colorful, bold, yet simple, style, as well as her use of fold motifs, and emphasis on the wonders of nature, while her writing is also plain and simple. Throughout her long career she continued to illustrate other author's works. She died on December 5, 1977.


3.5 Cubic Feet (.5 linear feet -- manuscripts 3 cubic feet -- illustrations)


Katherine Milhous' papers focus on her work as an illustrator and author of children's picture books. The collection contains production material for twenty titles published between 1938-1964; it also includes some miscellaneous artwork. The procduction material includes holographs (manuscripts), typerscripts, notes, illustrations, dummies, color samples, studies, a layout, and photostats. There is also a brief autobiographical typescript by Ms. Milhous.

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Accession Information:

Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota. In the 1960s and 1970s Ms. Milhous added additional material to the collection in several installmentrs.

Gift of: Milhous, Katherine
Katherine Milhous Collection
Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library