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Tomie dePaola Papers

Identifier: CLRC-19

Scope and Contents

Collection contains production material for over 160 books written and/or illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Collection includes drafts, proofs, notes and research material, illustrations done in a variety of media (many with separations), studies and sketches in a variety of media, photographs, dummies, and related materials. The collection also contains a substantial amount of correspondence to and from dePaola, including some from children that include art work and photographs, as well as correspondence to and from publishers and editors.


  • Creation: 1947 - 2017


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

Tomie De Paola was born on September 15, 1934, in Meriden, Connecticut. He studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and received his B.F.A. in 1956. He later received an M.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College. Early in his career he worked as a freelance artist, designed, painter, set designer, and teacher. In 1965 he illustrated Soundand Wheels, two informational books for children by Lisa Miller, and in 1966 published his own book, The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin. During his life he wrote or illustrated over 270 books for children, including informational books, realistic picture books, folktales, religious stories, and other works, written by himself or others.

One of his best known works, an adaptation of Strega Nona, received a Caldecott Honor citation in 1976, and his novel 26 Fairmount Avenue was awared a Newbery Honor in 2000. In 1981 he received the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his contribution to childrens' literature.

DePaola died in 2020 in New Hampshire.

Biographical Sources: "Tomie DePaola (1934-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 270. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2014. Biography. Tomie dePaola official website. Accessed February 2023.


68.25 Cubic Feet (64 boxes (8 Paige boxes, 15 Hollinger boxes, 41 oversize flat boxes))

Language of Materials



Tomie dePaola's papers focus on his work as an author and illustrator of children's books. The collection contains production material for over 160 books written and/or illustrated by dePaola, including original artwork, drafts, proofs, and correspondence, and related materials.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by publication title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Tomie dePaola.

Related Materials

Another significant collection of Tomie dePaola's papers is held by the University of Connecticut.

Tomie De Paola papers, 1947-2017
Jim Eyer and John Barneson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • October 2017: collection reprocessed and finding aid updated by K. Dietrick.
  • February 2023: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library