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Joe Lasker Papers

Identifier: CLRC-154

Scope and Contents

The Joe Lasker contribution to the Kerlan Collection includes illustrative production materials for 30 titles, including 2 films. Lasker also contributed written manuscript materials for 8 titles. In addition to production manuscripts, Lasker included dummies in various states with pasteup holograph, typescript, or page proof texts.


  • 1960 - 1983

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

Joseph Leon Lasker was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1919. He began studying at night classes at Cooper Union art school at sixteen, while still in high school, and received two honorable mentions in a mural competition. This led to an opportunity to paint murals at two U.S. post offices. He was drafted in 1941, and after his discharge in 1945, he twice attended Yaddo, an artists’ retreat in Saratga Springs. He won the Prix de Rome fellowship and spent two years in Italy. Returning to New York, he worked as a freelance illustrator, then as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana. In the 1960s he began illustrating children’s books, working first with Miriam Schlein. He later turned to writing his own books for illustration, beginning with Mothers Can Do Anything (1972). Lasker died in 2015.

Biographical Source:

"Joe Lasker (1919-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 83. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1996.


3.11 Cubic Feet (8 boxes (1 hollinger and 7 flat boxes))

Language of Materials



This collection contains both production materials from over 30 titles either illustrated by or written and illustrated by Joe Lasker.


The collection is arranged first by illustrated versus written and illustrated works by Joe Lasker and then alphabetically by title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Joe Lasker.

Joe Lasker Papers, 1960-1983
Kristell Benson (2018)
April 5, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library