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Eleanor Estes Papers

Identifier: CLRC-25

<emph render="bold">Scope and Content</emph>

The collection contains production material for titles by Eleanor Estes published between 1944 and 1987, and includes both manuscript and illustrative material. The collection primarily contains typescripts and proofs related to her works, but the collection also holds illustrations and color separations for the book The Sleeping Giant. The collection also contains two boxes of correspondence and artwork sent to Estes by children.


  • circa 1944-1987


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.

<emph render="bold">Biographical Sketch</emph>

Biographical Sketch Eleanor Estes was born May 9, 1906 in West Haven, Connecticut. She attended Pratt Institute Library School and worked as a children's librarian in New Haven, Connecticut, and New York for a number of years. Eleanor Estes began writing children's books in 1941, publishing The Moffats, a family story that drew on her own memories of growing up in West Haven in the early part of the twentieth century. The book is the first in a series that featured the Moffat family. Ms. Estes continued to publish family stories for children for the next four decades, winning the Newbery Award in 1952 for Ginger Pye, the story of the Pye family and their new puppy, Ginger. Animals and a love for pets are frequently found in Ms. Estes' works. Her books have been praised by critics for their simple, direct, and authenticwriting, her ability to write as a child for a child with insight and vitalityand her empathy for all of childhood's emotions. One of her most memorable books, The Hundred Dresses, tells the story of a little girl who teaches another an enduring lesson in compassion and forgiveness in the face of prejudice and children's petty cruelties. She also wrote fantasies for children, but it is her family stories and her ability to mirror the magic of childhoodthat have made her books popular. Eleanor Estes died July 15, 1988.

Biographical Source: Something About the Author, vol, 91, p. 65-69


3.9 Cubic Feet (5 boxes [2 record cartons, 3 flat boxes])

Language of Materials



The Eleanor Estes papers contain material related to her work as an author and illustrator of children's books.

<emph render="bold">Arrangement</emph>

Collection guide arranged alphanetically by published title, with Articles and Children's Correspondence listed at the top.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of this collection was originally donated to Dr. Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota. During the 1960s-1980s, Eleanor Estes added additional material.

Eleanor Estes Papers, circa 1944-1987
Christina Cowan; updated by Larry Peterson
June 1995; updated November 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • January 2020: 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