Skip to main content

Peter Spier Papers

Identifier: CLRC-1876

Scope and Contents

The collection includes illustrations and studies in various media for works written and/or illustrated by Peter Spier, as well as proof sheets, research materials, typescripts, some corrected and some in Dutch, dummies, layout sheets, correspondence, and notes.


  • circa1956-1993


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

Peter Edward Spier was born in the Netherlands in 1927 and received his art education from the Royal Academy of Art in Amsterdam. He began his career as a junior editor for Elsevier before coming to the United States in 1951. After illustrating about 50 books by others, he began writing his own, and has illustrated about 100 titles. In 1978 he won the Caldecott Medal for Noah's Ark. He died in 2017.

Biographical Sources: "Peter Spier." Something About the Author. Vol. 54. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1989.


4 boxes

Language of Materials


Dutch; Flemish


The collection contains production material related to seven books written and/or illustrated by Dutch-American children's book creator Peter Spier.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Peter Spier became interested in the Kerlan Collection when he was asked to autograph copies of his books for the collection in 1959. That year he gave Dr. Kerlan the production materials for one book jacket, for Hippolyte, the Crab King, selecting the materials with a plan for display to demonstrate the steps used in jacket production for that book. He continued to donate materials to the Kerlan Collection over the years.

Peter Spier Papers, circa 1956-1993
Jim Eyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • July 2020: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library