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Virginia Lee Burton papers, ca. 1937-1962

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Burton, Virginia, 1909-1968
Title
Virginia Lee Burton papers
Dates
ca. 1937-1962 (inclusive)
Quantity
2.5 linear feet, (5 containers)
Collection Number
Ax 839
Summary
Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was an illustrator and author of children's books. The collection includes sketches and finished illustrations for the books Calico the Wonder Horse; Or the Saga of Stewy Slinker, CHOO CHOO, The Story of the Little Engine Who Ran Away (both by Burton), The Emperor's New Clothes (written by Hans Christian Anderson) and others. This collection of sketches and illustrations demonstrate the detail and care that Virginia Lee Burton put into her work.
Repository
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
97403-1299
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
spcarref@uoregon.edu
Access Restrictions
Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.
Languages
English

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) wrote and illustrated many timeless and well-loved children's books, including The Little House, which was awarded the Caldecott medal in1943.

She was born in Newton Centre, Massachusetts on August 30, 1909, and later studied art and ballet in California. Her drawings have appeared in the Boston Transcript, where she was a member of the staff for two year. She married George Demetrios, who had been her sculpture teacher, and they had two children. For many years they lived in Folly County, Gloucester, Massachusetts. She died in 1968.

The Virginia Lee Burton Papers are an important addition to the University of Oregon's Children's Collection because it demonstrates the stages of work that go into illustrating, from initial sketch to finished book. The numerous preparatory sketches, the reworking of illustrations that had not proven personally satisfactory to Ms. Burton, and the demands for quality reproduction of the artwork indicate her meticulous attention to detail.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Virginia Lee Burton Papers contain sketchbooks, preliminary sketches and final illustrations for the books for both first and second editions of Calico, the Wonder Horse, or the Saga of Stewy Slinker (written by Burton) and The Fast Sooner Hound (written by Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy). Also included are final illustrations for the books CHOO CHOO, The Story of the Little Engine Who Ran Away, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (both written by Burton) and The Emperor's New Clothes (written by Hans Christian Anderson). Finally, the proofs for the book Life Story are included.

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 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], Virginia Lee Burton Papers, Ax 839, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Calico the Wonder Horse; Or The Saga of Stewy Slinker, 1st editionReturn to Top

Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Container(s) Description
Box
1
Sketch book, Rough Sketches 5" x 7 1/2", pen and ink
1
Sketch book, Defined Sketches 5" x 7 1/2", pen and ink
1
Sketch book, Mock-up with text, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", pen and ink, red cover
1
Preliminary sketches, (4): 2 @ 7" x 3 1/2"; 2 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" for pages 4, 5, 8
1
Final jacket illustration, 18" x 6 1/4"
1
Final title page illustration, 8 1/2" x 5 1/4"
1
Final illustrations, pen and ink: 24 @ 7" x 3 1/2"; 68 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2, for pages 1- 58
1
Printed captions, 1 envelope

Calico the Wonder Horse; Or The Saga of Stewy Slinker, 2nd editionReturn to Top

Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Container(s) Description
Box
1
Sketches
2 @ 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".2 @ 8" x 5 1/4".6 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" for pages 1, 8, 14, 18, 28, 55, 58, and end papers.Final jacket, cover, end paper, and title page illustrations, scratch board, 6 x 8 1/2".Final illustrations, 64 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"; 26 @ 6" x 8 1/2".Proofs, 3 per sheet, 2 copies.

CHOO CHOO, the Story of a Little Engine Who Ran AwayReturn to Top

Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Container(s) Description
Box
2
Final Illustrations, black china-marker, 32 @ 9' x 12'; 5 @ 18" x 12"

The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian AndersonReturn to Top

Illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Container(s) Description
Box
2
Final cover illustration, 11" x 9", black and white, scratchboard
2
Final jacket, endpapers, title page, and dedication page (7 1/4" x 9 1/2") illustrations in watercolor; 14 1/2" x 9 1/4" except where noted
2
Final illustrations; watercolor; 14 1/2" x 9 1/4"; pages 1-44
2
Page proofs; many small, loose illustration proofs and directions to printers, 1 envelope.

The Fast Sooner Hound. Written by Arna Bontemps and Jack ConroyReturn to Top

Illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Container(s) Description
Box
2
Sketchbook; brown paper bound; 6 1/2" x 8 1/2", rough sketches; pen or pencil.
2
Sketchbook; beige spiral; 8" x 10"; watercolor, rough to finished sketches
2
Rough sketches; 2 @ 8 1/2" x 11" (pencil); 2 @ 8" x 10 1/2" (1 pen, 1 pencil)
2
Rough sketches; (27), loose; watercolor; various sizes; pages 2-5, 7-9, 14-18, 21, 23-28
2
Final jacket illustration; watercolor; 19 1/2" x 8 1/2"
2
Final cover illustration; black ink; 9 1/2" x 9"
2
Final endpapers illustration; watercolor; 8 1/2" x 19"
2
Final title page illustration; Matted; watercolor; 9 1/2" x 4 1/2"
2
Final illustrations; (26), various sizes; watercolor; pages 1-29, with 5 and 7 missing

Mike Mulligan and His Steam ShovelReturn to Top

Written and Illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton

Container(s) Description
Box
3
End papers illustrations, pen and ink; 34" x 15"
3
Title page illustration, blue pencil, 13" x 20"
3
Illustrations; pen and ink; matted size 34" x 15"; pages 2-42 with pages 1, 16 and 17 missing
3
Unused illustration; matted; 15" x 20"
3
Tear sheets (3), for pages 15-20

Life StoryReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box
Oversize
Proofs