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Leonard Weisgard Collection

Identifier: CLRC-1619

Scope and Contents

The collection includes illustrative materials for 17 of Weisgard children's books, 2 magazines, production materials for the original Kerlan Collection bookplate, miscellaneous illustrations for Christmas cards, a corrected typescript for Pelican Here, Pelican There, and a self-portrait by Abigail Weisgard, drawn for Dr. Kerlan.


  • circa 1940-circa 1960, undated


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

Leonard Joseph Weisgard (b. 1916 in CT) wrote or illustrated more than 180 books for children during his career. He attended the Pratt Institute and the New School for Social Research. He began his career as a department store and magazine artist, but in 1937 he wrote and illustrated Suki, the Siamese Pussy, the first of his children's books. His self-illustrated books appeared under his own name and under the pseudonym Adam Green. In addition, he illustrated many books by other authors, most notably Margaret Wise Brown with whom he created 26 books, beginning with The Noisy Book. The Little Island, written by Brown and illustrated by Weisgard, won the Caldecott Medal in 1947.Weisgard died in 2000.

Biographical Source:

"Leonard (Joseph) Weisgard (1916-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 85. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1996.


5 boxes

Language of Materials



The collection includes illustrative materials for children's books illustrated by Weisgard, as well as other related illustrative materials.


Collection guide arranged alphabetically by book title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Leonard Weisgard began corresponding with Dr. Irwin Kerlan in 1946 as Dr. Kerlan began seeking autographs for his growing collection of children's books. From this introduction, the men and their families developed a personal friendship, and at least one Weisgard child decided to join her father in contributing to the growing Kerlan Collection, presenting Dr. Kerlan with a self-portrait. Weisgard is the designer of the original Kerlan Collection bookplate.

One painting in the collection, a painting of two pelicans (possibly a study of the cover for Pelican Here, Pelican There), was donated by Marcia Owen in 2019.


Leonard Weisgard Papers, circa 1940-circa 1960, undated
Emilie Quast
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • August 2020: Painting donated by Marcia L. Owen added to collection guide.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library