Phoebe Erickson Collection
Scope and Contents
The collection contains production material for twenty-three titles published between 1946 and 1965, as well as illustrative material for four titles published in four different volumes of Doubleday's The Best in Children's Books. The collection includes both manuscript and illustrative material, with an emphasis on the latter. The collection contains corrected typescripts and galley proofs, dummies, clippings, and some correspondence, illustrations done in a variety of media (some with separations), sketches, studies, proofs, separations, and a layout. There is also some miscellaneous art work, including some done for an article in Lore magazine, designs for record covers, and layouts, sketches, and a proof.
- Erickson, Phoebe, 1907-2006 (Person)
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
Phoebe Erickson was born November 23, 1907 in North Bay, Wisconsin. She grew up on a farm where the love of animals and nature would serve as inspirations for many of her illustrations and stories. Phoebe Erickson attended the Chicago Art Institute from 1931-1933 and studied at Columbia University in New York. She began writing and illustrating children's books in the 1940s, publishing Black Penny, a story of a young girl and a horse, in 1946. Phoebe Erickson also illustrated a number of other authors' work, including several of Thornton Burgess' animal stories for young children, Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty and Felix Salten's Bambi's Children. Phoebe Erickson worked in a variety of media and her illustrations are noted for the accurate detail and loving depictions of animals and nature. While she wrote and illustrated primarily to entertain and interest young readers, Phoebe Erickson believed that her books conveyed a message that could be felt by children, such as the cruelty of steel traps evident in Daniel 'Coon, and that they could understand this best when the message isn't forced or blatant. Phoebe Erickson also believed that young readers want characters in books, especially the children, to be realistic not "goody-goodies" so they can identify with them and their problems. Her stories try to convey these beliefs along with her respect for nature and all life, and that caring for any creature demands responsibility and respect.
3.5 Cubic Feet (2 record cartons, 2 flat boxes)
Language of Materials
Phoebe Erickson's papers focus on her work as an author and illustrator of children's picture books. The collection contains production material for twenty-three titles published between 1946 and 1965, as well as illustrations for four titles published in four different volumes of Doubleday's The Best in Children's Books. The collection contains both manuscript and illustrative material and includes corrected typescripts and galley proofs, dummies, clippings, some correspondence, illustrations done in a variety of media (some with separations), sketches and studies, proofs, separations and a layout. There is also art work for an article published in Loremagazine, and some miscellaneous art work including designs for record covers, layouts, sketches, and a proof.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of this collection was originally given to Dr. Irvin Kerlan, who in turn donated his collection to the University of Minnesota. During the 1960s-1990s, additional material was added by Phoebe Erickson.
Susan E. Ash added material to the collection in 2015.
A study of cats was donated to the collection in 2019 by Marjorie Hirsch.
One illustration for Black Beauty, inscribed to "Miss [Josette] Frank" donated in 2020 by the Jacobs family.
- Authors, American -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Children's literature -- Illustrations Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Children's literature, American Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Children's stories, American Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Drawings (visual works) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Illustrators -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Scratch art Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- watercolors (paintings) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Phoebe Erickson Papers, 1946-1966
- CLRC Staff
- 2003, 2016
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2016: Collection reprocessed and finding aid updated
- 2019: Item added and finding aid updated
- September 2020: New item added to collection and finding aid updated by Caitlin Marineau
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area
Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library