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Lee J. Ames Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1112

Scope and Contents

The Lee Ames papers contains both written and illustrative production material for four books, two from the 1950s and two from the 1980s. The bulk of the material related to drawing books by Ames, including Make 25 Felt-tip Drawings Out West and Draw 50 Horses. The collection includes a pencil dummy inscribed to Irvin Kerlan for Winning of the West (written by Harold McCracken), and a painted jacket study for Haunt Fox (written by Jim Kjelgaard with interior illustrations by Glen Rounds).


  • Creation: circa 1954-1983


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

Lee Judah Ames was born January 8, 1921 in New York City. He attended Columbia University and served in the U.S. Army during World War II, after which he began illustrating children's books in 1948. He illustrated both fiction and nonfiction works, but is probably best known for his instructional drawing books, including the Draw Fifty series. Ames died in 2011.

Biographical source:

"Lee J(udah) Ames (1921-)." Something About the Author. Volume 151. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2004.


.87 Cubic Feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials



The Lee J. Ames papers contains production material for books written and illustrated by Ames.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by publication title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of the collection was initially given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who sent the materials to the University of Minnesota. Additional material was donated directly by Lee Ames.

Lee J. Ames Papers, circa 1954-1983
Sharlene Murphy
2004, 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • August 2023: Collection reprocessed and collection guide updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library