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Russell Freedman Papers

Identifier: CLRC-848

Scope and Contents

The Russell Freedman papers contain drafts, proofs, research, notes, reviews, and other related materials for nonfiction books written for children, primarily works on historical people and events. In addition, the collection holds some awards, ephemera, and obituary/memorial information.


  • 1960 - 2018


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

Russell Freedman was born in October 1929 in San Francisco, California and attended the University of California Berkeley. After graduating, he did counterintelligence work during the Korean War and worked as a journalist and publicist before publishing his first book Teenagers Who Made History, in 1961, and becoming a full time writer. Many of his early works focused on nature, before he switched to biographies and historical topics. His book Lincoln: a Photobiography was awarded the 1988 Newbery Medal. He was also awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1998, and a National Humanities Medal in 2007. Freedman died in 2018 in New York, where he lived with his husband, filmmaker Evans Chan.

Biographical sources:

Genzlinger, Neil. "Russell Freedman, 88, Writer of History for Young Readers, Dies." Obituary. New York Times, March 29, 2018.

"Russell Freedman (1929-)." Something About the Author. Vol. 305. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2017.


7.85 Cubic Feet (9 boxes [5 record cartons, 3 hollinger boxes, 1 flat box])

8.13 Gigabytes (160 digital files.)

Language of Materials



The Russell Freedman papers hold papers related to nonfiction publications for children, written by Freedman.


The collection is arranged into two series, with items in Publications arranged alphabetically by book title.

  1. Publications
  2. Other material

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Digital files include Microsoft Word documents, image files (.jpg, .tiff, and .png files), PDF files, and .wav audio files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of the collection was donated by Russell Freedman, with later accessions donated after Freedman's death by Evans Chan.


Russell Freedman Papers, 1960-2018
Caitlin Marineau
January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • October 2022: Boxes 8 and 9 added by Carter Thurmond.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library