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Ezra Jack Keats Collection

Identifier: CLRC-149

Scope and Content

This collection consists of production material for seven published titles as well as an audiotape and interview pamphlet.


  • 1962-2015


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

Ezra Jack Keats was born March 11, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the Art Students League and studied painting with the noted artist and children's book illustrator Jean Charlot. He worked as a muralist for the W.P.A. during the Depression, and later as an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1954 he illustrated his first book for children, Jubilant for Sure, by Elizabeth C. Lansing. During his career Keats illustrated books for many different authors and in 1960 he illustrated and co-wrote with Pat Cherr the bilingual book, My Dog is Lost!, or, Me Perro Se Ha Perdido. In 1962 he wrote and illustrated The Snowy Day, which was widely praised by critics for his unique style of blending painting and collage in vivid colors, as well as for depicting African American children in natural surroundings. The book won the Caldecott Medal in 1963. Critics have lauded Keats' works both for his texts and his illustrations, calling his stories universal, classless, and timeless, and his illustrations notable for innovative use of collage. Keats died on May 6, 1983 in New York City.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Authorvols. 14, 34, 57; Children's Literature Review, vol. 35; Twentieth Century Children's Writers, 3rd ed. pp.510-11


2 Linear Feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of production material for seven published titles as well as an audiotape and interview pamphlet.


Materials are arranged alphabetically by title.

Source of acquisition

The bulk of the collection was donated by Ezra Jack Keats, with collage material for Peter's Chair donated by Dianne L. Monson.

Related Material

Ann McGovern Papers
Ezra Jack Keats Papers, 1962-2015
Jim Eyer and John Barneson
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