Eloise Wilkin papers, 1979-1980  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Wilkin, Eloise Burns
Eloise Wilkin papers
1979-1980 (inclusive)
0.5 linear feet, (1 container)
Collection Number
Coll 213
Eloise Wilkin (1904-1987) was a writer and illustrator of children's book. The collection contains documents relating to the book illustrated by Wilkin, The Visit, and includes correspondence, illustrations, a draft of the manuscript, photographs, a layout of the book, a press release, original artwork, and a bound copy of the book.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Eloise Wilkin was born Eloise Burns on March 30, 1904 in Rochester, New York. Wilkin married and had four children, Sidney, Jeremy, Deborah Wilkin Springett, and Ann Wilkin Murphy. Her career, covering more than fifty years, involved free-lance drawing, doll designing, illustration and writing.

Wilkin won several awards for her writings and illustrations including the Ewald Eisenhardt Memorial Merit Award for excellence in printmaking for her lithograph “Lilybet.” Two books, which she illustrated, The Boy With a Drum (1971) by David L. Harrison and I Hear: Sounds In a Child’s World (1971) by Lucille Ogle and Tina Thoburn, were each named children’s book of the year by the Child Study Association of America. She also received honorable mention in 1940 from the New York Times Book Review for her illustrations for A Good House for a Mouse written by Irmengarde Eberle, 1940, and in 1950 for The Tune is in the Tree written by Maud Hart Lovelace

In addition to her collaborations with numerous other authors, however, Wilkin published several of her own books, including Baby’s Mother Goose, My Goodnight Book, and The Eloise Wilkin Treasury: Favorite Nursery Rhymes, Poems, and Stories. A number of her books were joint efforts with her sister, Esther, who provided the text. Over the years she worked with various major publishing houses, and by 1944 she was under exclusive contract with Golden Press, a division of Western Publishing Company in New York City. Wilkin also collaborated with her daughter Deborah Springett on Eloise Wilkin’s Book of Poems, a collection combining Wilkin’s drawings with verse written by Deborah. Wilkin’s work was exhibited in 1982 at Hartnett Gallery, Rochester, New York.

Eloise Wilkin was also known for designing dolls and dollhouses. In the 1960s she successfully marketed a newborn infant doll called “Baby Dear.” Reportedly, former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev returned home with several of the dolls after a trip to a toy store in New York City.

While studying art at Mechanics Institute (now Rochester Institute of Technology), Wilkin met Joan Esley, best known as an illustrator of several books for adolescents. They formed a lifelong friendship that included collaboration on The Visit. Eloise Wilkin died of cardiac arrest following surgery for cancer, October 4, 1987 in Rochester, New York.

Source: Contemporary Authors Online.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Eloise Wilkin collection contains materials relating entirely to the book illustrated by Wilkin, The Visit. Materials include chronologically arranged correspondence, a typed revised draft of the manuscript, photographs, a layout of the book, a press release, original artwork, and a bound copy of the book.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or from collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eloise Wilkin Papers, Coll 213, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Incoming correspondence

Series II:  Manuscript, layout, published bookReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 2
Typed draft with revisions, pages 1-11
1 3
Layout for The Visit
1 4
Published book: Esley, Joan. The Visit. Chicago: Rand McNally
1 5
Book review, The Visit

Series III:  PhotographsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 6
Photographs for illustrations
1 7
Photographs for illustrations

Series IV:  IllustrationsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 8
The Visit (flowers and leaves, p. 32)
1 9
The Visit (bird on branch, p. 2)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Children's literature, American--Illustrations
  • Illustrated children's books--United States--Specimens
  • Women authors, American--20th century
  • Women illustrators--United States.
  • Personal Names :
  • Esley, Joan
  • Esley, Joan--Correspondence
  • Wilkin, Eloise Burns--Correspondence
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Book illustrations
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Photographs