James Marshall Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection contrains production materials, primarily artwork, for children's books created or illustrated by author and illustrator James Marshall, both published and unpublished. A large portion of the collection is composed of his sketchbooks, while additional material includes original illustrations, process art and studies, color separations, proofs, and related materials.
- Marshall, James, 1942-1992 (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.
James Marshall was born October 10, 1942, in San Antonio, Texas. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and graduated from Southern Connecticut State College in 1967. In 1970 he began working as a free lance author and illustrator, and the following year illustrated his first book for children, Plink, Plink, Plinkby Byrd Baylor.
In 1972 Marshall published the first of his George and Marthabooks, the story of two hippos humorously conveying their experiences and friendship. The story's emphasis on friendship and the witty way it was written for very young children set the tone for many of Marshall's later works. Throughout his prolific career he was frequently praised by critics for the wit and humor evident in his works, their occasional sly sophistication, and his ability to treat subjects near and dear to young children, such as friendship and respect, with style and a lack of condescension to young readers.
Marshall's works are considered simple in artistic style. Most are done in his trademark line drawing, through his stories' use of satire and humor to convey such themes as friendship betweens the dissimilar, and respect and tolerance for those different from oneself. These are hailed by critics as equally likely to appeal to adults as well as children.
The Stupidsseries, written by Harry Allard and illustrated by Marshall, satirize the American nuclear family of the 1950s, while their Miss Nelsonseries tells of the clever schoolteacher and her alter-ego who teach the misbehaving students at the Horace Smedley School a lesson or two. Marshall also retold and illustrated a number of classic fairy tales, giving them a new freshness; his retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bearswas awarded a Caldecott Honor citation in 1989.
Marshall also wrote a number of books under the pseudonym Edward Marshall, including some of his Fox series that related the trials and tribulations of Fox in such places as school, on the stage, and babysitting some horrible children. Marshall died on October 13, 1992, in New York.
Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vols. 6, 51, 75 Children's Literature Review, vol. 21
7.75 Cubic Feet (9 boxes [5 record cartons, 1 hollinger box, 3 flat boxes])
Language of Materials
The collection contains production material, including original illustrations and color separations, for children's books created by author and illustrator James Marshall.
The collection is arranged into two series:
1) Sketchbooks 2) Published and unpublished works
Sketchbooks are arranged and numbered as they were described by the estate, with description listing idenfied titles or characters within them, although additional material may be found within them, as well.
Published and unpublished works are arranged alphabetically by title.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of James Marshall, with additional material donated by his estate.
- Animals -- Juvenile fiction 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
- Color separation (technique) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Drawings (visual works) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Fairy tales Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Foxes -- Juvenile fiction Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Friendship -- Juvenile fiction Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Hippopotamus -- Juvenile fiction Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Humorous stories Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Illustration of books -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Illustrators -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Sketches Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- watercolors (paintings) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- James Marshall Collection
- Jim Eyer and John Barneson
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- October 2018: Collection reprocessed 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