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Lois Lenski Collection

An inventory of her collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: Aug 1967

Biographical History

Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was an award-winning American author and illustrator of children's books.

Lois Lenski (Mrs. Arthur Covey) was born in Springfield, Ohio, on October 14, 1893. She studied at Ohio State University where she received a B. Sc. degree in education. She also studied at the Westminster School of Art in London where she received an A.S.L. degree.

For over fifty years Lenski pursued her professional career as an illustrator and author of books for children. During that time she illustrated some fifty books for other authors, and wrote and illustrated nearly 100 of her own books. Lenski's writing included picture books and stories for very young children as well as intermediate works for older children and young adults. Although she wrote primarily prose, Lenski also published books of poetry, songs and plays for children. She has received several awards, including the Ohioana Medal (1954), the Newbery Medal (1946), and the Child Study Association Award (1947).

Lenski's work includes Blueberry Corners, The Little Farm, Strawberry Girl, Blue Ridge Billy, Prairie School, Corn-Farm Boy, A Dog Came to School and Little Sioux Girl. [Adapted from]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lois Lenski Collection is divided into nine series.

Holographic notebooks consists of notes written by Lenski as research for a number of her works, along with two notebooks documenting trips from Georgia to Memphis and from Charleston to Tennessee. Although it appears that originally the notebooks were identified by the title of the book for which the notes were taken, the volumes became disorganized at some point and many of them can no longer be identified as belonging to a particular book.

Holographic and typescript manuscripts consists of original and carbon copy manuscripts and typescripts of books, poems, and songs written by Lenski.

The Miscellaneous subject file contains bibliographies, biographic data, book reviews, illustrations, photostats, printed copies of works, and articles by and about Lenski.

Book dummies includes holographic and page proof galleys and blueprint illustrations, with page layout instructions for several of Lenski's books.

Galley sheets, illustrations, jacket proofs, photographs, and miscellaneous works contains any combination of these items for several of Lenski's books.

Published copies of works include copies of books by Lenski and others, copies of children's magazines featuring pieces by Lenski, and miscellaneous magazines containing articles by or about Lenski.

Artwork contains sets of alphabet blocks and two zinc cuts, all designed by Lenski.

Children's letters contains letters written by children to Lenski over the course of her career. This series is divided into several groups by time period and arranged alphabetically by state or country within each group.

The Subject file contains biographical material, articles about Lenski, a photo album, original art, publishers' brochures, and notes.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The collection originally contained a large number of published copies of Ms. Lenski's works. A few remain in the manuscript collection but the bulk have been transferred to the Rare Books department and cataloged; to locate these please refer to the Classic Catalog and search for "Lenski, Lois" as author.

Subject Headings


Lenski, Lois, 1893-1974.


Children's literature.
Illustrated children's books.
Illustration of books -- United States -- 20th century.
Illustrators -- United States.
Women artists -- United States.
Women authors, American.


Appalachian Region -- Juvenile literature.
Great Plains -- Juvenile literature.
Southern states -- Juvenile literature.
West (U.S.) -- Juvenile literature.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Galley proofs.
Illustrations (layout features)
Manuscripts for publication.
Research notes.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lois Lenski Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Lois Lenski, 1967-1968.

Table of Contents

Holographic notebooks

Holographic and typescript manuscripts

Miscellaneous subject file

Book dummies

Galley sheets, illustrations, jacket proofs, photographs and miscellaneous

Published copies of works

Artwork by Lenski

Children's letters

Subject file