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Robert Lawson Papers

Identifier: CLRC-46

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production materials for sixteen titles published between 1932 and 1956. It includes typescripts, illustrations (pencil, pen and ink, and ink), layouts, proofs, accounts of how some stories came to be written, a biographical sketch, written by Lawson, and some miscellaneous art (etchings).


  • Creation: 1932-1956


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

Robert lawson was born October 4, 1892 in New York City and attended the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts between 1911-1914. He began illustrating books for children in the 1930s, often collaborating with Munro Leaf; their book, The Story of Ferdinand, published in 1936 is considered a classic that can still entertain and inform children with its subtle message of the story of a bull who does not want to fight but rather smell the flowers in peace. Lawson also wrote children's books, and in 1941 won the Caldecott Award for They Were Good and Strong, a story about his family and the pioneer experience in America. Lawson wrote and illustrated a number of books dealing with animals, particularly rabbits. In 1945, he won the Newbery Award for Rabbit Hill, a story of rabbits who interact with the owners of the Big House. Robert Lawson was unique among the authors/illustrators of his day in winning both the Caldecott and Newbery Awards. Robert Lawson dies on May 26, 1957.


2 Cubic Feet


Robert Lawson's papers focus on his work as an author and illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for sixteen of his works published between 1932 and 1956, and includes typescripts, accounts of how some of his books came to be written, illustrations, layouts, illustration proofs, a biographical sketch, and some miscellaneous original artwork.

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Accession Information:

Gift of the author/illustrator.

2 miscellaneous etchings titled "Happy Valley--Winter" and "Land of Beulah" were donated by Marcia Owen.


Robert Lawson Papers
David E Byer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • August 2020: Two etching donated by Marcia L. Owen added to collection guide.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library