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Jill McElmurry Papers

Identifier: CLRC-2297

Scope and Contents

This collection contains original artwork for children's books illustrated by Jill McElmurry, including books in the popular Little Blue Truck series. The collection holds finished illustrations (primarily gouache paintings), sketches, studies, correspondence, reference images, and promotional materials. Also included is a small amount of editorial and commercial art from the 1980s and 1990s, personal sketchbooks and art, as well as unpublished children's book materials.


  • Creation: 1981-2017, 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

Jill McElmurry was born in Los Angeles, CA but grew up in Taos, NM. She belonged to a family of artists. Her grandfather, Mario Larrinaga, was a scenic painter and art director for three major Hollywood studios. As a child, McElmurry accompanied her parents, who were both commercial painters, to local art openings.

McElmurry studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and also at SUNY Purchase. She created commercial art as an editorial illustrator in both the US and Germany for over 20 years. Eventually she started working as a children’s book author and illustrator. She published her first book in 2000, titled Mad About Plaid. McElmurry is best known for her illustrative work on the Little Blue Truck series, written by Alice Schertle.

McElmurry died in 2017.

Biographical Source:

Kantor, Emma. Obituary: Jill McElmurry. Publisher's Weekly. August 8, 2017.


10.95 Cubic Feet (22 boxes and 1 flat portfolio [14 flat boxes, 1 oversize box, 7 hollinger boxes, and 1 portfolio])

Language of Materials



This collection contains original artwork for children's books illustrated by Jill McElmurry, including the Little Blue Truck series.


Collection guide is arranged into two series. Published Books is arranged alphabetically by publication title.

  1. Published Books
  2. Other material

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Eric Webster / Jill McElmurry Estate.


Jill McElmurry Papers, 1981-2017, undated
Kristell Benson
July 25, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • August 2019: New material added and collection guide updated by Caitlin Marineau
  • April 2021: New material added and description updated by Caitlin Marineau
  • May 2022: New material added and description updated by Caitlin Marineau

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library