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Phoebe Erickson Collection

Identifier: CLRC-89

Scope and Contents

The collection contains production material for 23 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.


  • 1946 - 1966


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 worked in a variety of media, and illustrated a number of other authors' work, including several of Thornton Burgess's animal stories for young children, Anna Sewell's classic Black Beauty and Felix Salten's Bambi's Children. Erickson died in 2006.


3.5 Cubic Feet (4 boxes [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 books written or illustrated by Erickson.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by publication title or material type.

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.


Phoebe Erickson Papers, 1946-1966
CLRC Staff
2003, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 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