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Ruth Chrisman Gannett Papers

Identifier: CLRC-31

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for 11 titles for children and adults, published between 1936-1951, and includes illustrations, in ink, pencil, watercolor, and many lithographs, a poster, and dummy. It also includes notes by the illustrator and Ruth Stiles Gannett, and a typescript for 1 story, apparently by Gannett's collaborator, Dorothy Thomas. There is also some correspondence from publishers, readers, and collectors, and some production material as well as 2 copies of a story Gannett illustrated for Child Life magazine.


  • 1936-1951


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

Ruth Gannett, nee Chrisman, was born December 16, 1896, in Santa Ana, California. She attended the U. of California at Berkeley, receiving an A.B. in 1919 and an A.M. in 1920. She also studied at the Art Students League. She married her second husband, Lewis Stiles Gannett, in 1931, and illustrated several of his books. She collaborated with her step-daughter, Ruth Stiles Gannett, on several children's books, the Elmer and the Dragons series, including the Newbery Honor book My Father's Dragons. She also illustrated another Newbery book, Miss Hickoryby Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, winner in 1947.

Gannett illustrated both children's and adult books, and her work is noted for its detail, charm, and in the Elmer books, its sense of humor. In 1946 she received as Caldecott Honor citation for My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. This book is based upon as Russian folk tale about a little girl's search for her mother, who for her truly is the most beautiful woman in the world. Gannett's illustrations were praised by critics for their detail and charm, and their illumination of the little girl's vision of her mother. Ruth Chrisman Gannett died on December 8, 1979, in West Cornwall, Connecticut.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Author,vol. 33


4 Cubic Feet


Ruth Chrisman Gannett's papers focus on her work as an illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for 11 titles published between 1936-1951, and includes illustrations, proofs, a dummy, book jackets, and notes. There is also some material and copies of a story published in a children's magazine, some correspondence, and some notes for one title, Elmer and the Blue Dragon, written by Mrs. Gannett's step-daughter and collaborator, Ruth Stiles Gannett.

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is a gift from Ruth Chrisman Gannett and her estate, received in several installments beginning in 1968, with the material from her estate arriving in 1980.

Processing Information

This collection was processed with financial assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Ruth Chrisman Gannett Papers
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