Cornelius DeWitt papers , 1925-1970

Overview of the Collection

De Witt, C. H. (Cornelius Hugh), 1905-1995
Cornelius DeWitt papers
1925-1970 (inclusive)
34.75 linear feet, (22 boxes and 4 folders)
Collection Number
Ax 347
The papers of Cornelius DeWitt, German-born children's book illustrator, include original artwork for children's book illustrations, as well as artwork for proposed publications. Also included are correspondence files and production notes for his work.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Cornelius Hugh DeWitt (also spelled De Witt) was born in Cassel, Germany on June 6, 1905. He spent his childhood and young adulthood in Europe, where he traveled extensively. Before emigrating to the United States in 1928, he studied bookkeeping, spent one year in the Army, and worked in the advertising profession in Paris to support his study of art at the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and Alliance Française.

DeWitt created several murals, including four for the New York World's Fair in 1939. While working for the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, he became acquainted with Lucille Ogle, and soon launched a successful children's book illustration career with Ogle and Golden Books. His illustrations are featured in such publications as the Regions of America series (Harper, ca. 1940-48), The Little Golden ABC (Simon and Schuster, 1951), The Golden Geography (Simon and Schuster, 1952), The Golden History of the World (Simon and Schuster, 1955), and The Human Body (Golden Press, 1959). He illustrated the first edition of The Golden Encyclopedia (written by Dorothy A. Bennett, 1946) and was a contributing artist for the later sixteen-volume Golden Book Encyclopedia (edited by Bertha Morris Parker, 1959).

DeWitt died on February 27, 1995.

[Source: Viguers, Ruth Hill, Marcia Dalphin, and Bertha Mahony Miller, eds. Illustrators of Children's Books: 1946-1956. Boston: Horn Book, 1958.]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Cornelius DeWitt papers includes original artwork for children's book illustrations, as well as artwork for proposed publications. These artworks are represented by preliminary pencil drawings, ink and watercolor drawings, cut-paper collages, and proofs. Proofs for several of the Regions of America publications represent comparative illustration material demonstrating various stages of the illustration process, including initial watercolor drawings, hand-proofed lithographs, final press-printed lithographs, and color separations.

In addition to artwork, the collection contains professional correspondence related to publications, research material, dummies, commercial art, exercises, and travel drawings.

The collection also includes materials donated by the family of Charles B. Harding. DeWitt illustrated and wrote a volume on the yacht Jeroboam of Martha's Vineyard, which belonged to the Harding family (The Log of the Jeroboam, ca. 1946-48). Two bound volumes of The Log of the Jeroboam and three additional watercolor drawings gifted to the Harding family by DeWitt are also included in the collection.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Children's literature
  • Children's literature, American
  • Children's literature--Illustrations
  • Drawing
  • Drawing, American--20th century
  • Illustrated children's books

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Drawings
  • Dummies (printed matter)
  • Ink drawings
  • Watercolors

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Ogle, Lucille (crp)