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James Riordan Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1313

Scope and Contents

The collection contains research and notes related to Riordan's research on Russian folktales, primarily used for his collections Tales from Central Russia and Tales from Tartary. The collection also includes a small amount of illustrative material provided by a niece in the USSR, according to Riordan, some of which was used in the British newspaper The Morning Star, which published several Tartar stories in 1979. The collection also contains a handwritten booklet in which Riordan recorded folk tales while traveling through Russia in the 1960s.


  • circa 1964-1977


Language of Materials


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 Sketch

James Riordan was born October 10, 1936, in Portsmouth, England, into a difficult childhood. With his parents' separation and the looming World War II, Riordan was sent to live with his grandparents. Although arduous, the time was also enriching, cultivating within him a strong faith in the ordinary person. Educated at Birmingham, London and Moscow, Riordan traveled and worked in various countries, learning languages and cultures. He soon became a lecturer of Russian at Portsmouth Polytechnic in England. Of his various titles and collections of children's literature, he is particularly fond of retelling folktales, including Russian ones. Riordan published his first children's book in 1974. Along with the children's literature, he is also the author of numerous stories from the former Soviet Union. Riordan died in 2012.

Biographical source: Something About the Author. Volume 95, 1998.


2 folders


The James Riordan Papers contain research material and notes related to Riordan's research on Russian folklore.

Accession Information:

Gift of James Riordan
James Riordan Papers, 1972-1977, undated
Sharlene Murphy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library