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Joseph Low Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1997

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material, with an emphasis on illustrative material, for nine titles. Materials include manuscript material for 1 title, including a holograph, corrected typescripts, a carbon typescript, and a sheet of calligraphy. Illustrative material includes studies and illustrations done in a variety of media, mostly in ink or pencil, separations, dummies, and proofs. Joseph Low signed one piece of artwork for Dr. Irvin Kerlan.


  • 1944-1973


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

Joseph Low was born August 11, 1911, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. He studied at the University of Illinois, the Arts Students League in New York City, and with George Grosz. Joseph Low began his career in 1933 by typesetting and printing his own work, and became well-known for his prints. He illustrated his first book for children, The Rainbow Dictionaryby Wendell William Wright and Helene Laird, in 1947. Throught his long and prolific career he illustrated dozens of books, fiction and non-fiction, for many different authors and on a variety of subjects, including folktales and poetry. He also wrote and illustrated many books, beginning with Mother Goose Riddle Rhymesco-written with his wife, Lois Low, in 1953. The book was praised by critics as the perfect book for a rainy day, with its pictures beautifully drawn. Low's books have also been lauded for their humor and fancifulness. Critics have called his pictures engaging and spritied. He received various awards for his work, including a Caldecott Honor citation for Mice Twicein 1981. Biographical Source: Something About the Author, Vol. 14


000 Cubic Feet


Joseph Low's papers focus on his work as an author and illustrator of children's books, with an emphasis on the latter. The collection contains production material for nine titles, including one adult title, Heads. Production materials include manuscript material, and illustrative material including studies, illustrations done in a variety of media, separations, dummies, and proofs. Joseph Low signed one piece of artwork for Dr. Irvin Kerlan.

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Accession Information:

Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota. Joseph Low placed additional material on permanent loan to the University in 1967, 68, and 74.

Gift of: Low, Joseph
Joseph Low 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