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Velma Ilsley Papers

Identifier: CLRC-145

Scope and Contents

Collection illustrative materials for 23 titles, in various media, including studies, illustrations, and other production materials for jackets, end papers, title pages, and text illustrations.


  • 1955-1980


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

Biographical Sketch Velma Ilsley was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1918. Her father died two years later, and she and her mother and sister moved several times before settling in Lakewood, New Jersey, where the sisters attended school. Ms. Ilsley studied at Douglass College, the Moore School of Art, Art Students League, and Hunter College. She began her career as a fashion artist in Philadelphia, Miami, and New York, but decided to begin illustrating children's books, and was convinced by Horace Gregory, the poet, to rewrite the story that became The Pink Hat (1956). She reminisced elsewhere that early book illustration was done from models or photographs, just as her fashion illustration had been done. Not until later in her career did she begin to draw from imagination.

Biographical Source: Something About the Author , vol. 12


ca. 4.06 Cubic Feet


Velma Ilsley contributed illustrative materials for 23 titles, including studies, illustrations, and other production materials for jackets, end papers, title pages, and text illustrations.

Physical Location

See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations

Accession Information:

Velma Ilsley began contributing her materials to the Kerlan Collection in 1970, with the studies and illustrations for 8 titles in November, and another 4 titles the next month. In a memo to the curator she noted that she had grouped the titles by production method. Time for Lissa, Mystery at the Doll Hospital, Mystery in the Square Tower, A Busy Day for Chris, Miss Jellytot's Visit, Stars for Christy, Pink Hat, Heart of Camp were done from models or photographs. What's a Cousin, Mystery at the Shoals, Brownies, It's Christmas, Mystery at Hurricane Castle were done without models.

Processing Information

This collection was processed with financial assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Velma Ilsley 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