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Lois Lenski Children and Young Adult Literature Collection [1930-1974]: Home

Descriptive Summary


The Lois Lenski Children and Young Adult Literature Collection 

Date Span: 


Acquisition Number: 



Lois Lenski


Lois Lenski; Marie L. Rum; Jeanette Wojtowicz

Date of Acquisition:

1960-2012; bulk 1960-1974


31 boxes; 33 linear ft.




Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State 


Unknown, ca. 1976

Information on Use


The Lois Lenski Children and Young Adult Literature Collection is open for research. 

Reproduction of Materials: 

See Archivist for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials. 

Even though all reasonable and customary best practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and 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 under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the SUNY Buffalo State assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: 

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, The Lois Lenski Children and Young Adult Literature Collection, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:

In 1957, the well-known author-illustrator, Lois Lenski (1893-1974), presented a collection of her books, original illustrations, and manuscripts, as well as extensive files of research materials to the E. H. Butler Library of SUNY Buffalo State College. Lois Lenski was the author and illustrator of over 200 children’s books and winner of the coveted Newbery and Caldecutt award in children’s literature. She was best known for her hands on research in compiling her works.  Periodic generous gifts from Miss Lenski have considerably enlarged the initial collection, and it is considered one of the most complete collections in the country.

The collection contains not only the originals manuscripts, both longhand and typescript, of several of her books, but also, in many instances, includes her notes, original sketches, and correspondence showing the inception of ideas. It is extremely valuable as resource materials for in-depth studies of how a recognized author created the books which have won her the top awards in the field of children’s literature. By examining the notebooks and correspondence, students can become aware of Lenski’s methods of research in obtaining the materials she needed when writing her books. Lenski’s approach to the environmental background of her regional stories, as illustrated in her correspondence with children and concerned adults, is a technique unique to Lenski, and one which should be of special value to individuals interested in the writing of regional realistic fiction. Numerous boxes and folders contain copies of her books, photos, manuscripts, notes, drawings, awards, and work of students whom inspired Lois Lenski to write and publish.

Scope and Contents:

Books; photos; manuscripts; notes; drawings; and awards.