Scope and Contents note
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.
- Wilkin, Eloise, 1904-1987 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access note
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.
Conditions Governing Use note
Property rights reside with Special Collections and 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 and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
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.
0.5 linear feet (1 container)
Language of Materials
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.
Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. CorrespondenceSeries II. Manuscript, layout, published bookSeries III. PhotographsSeries IV. IllustrationsSeries V. Oversize Illustrations
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Gift of Eloise Wilkin in 1981.
Processing Information note
Collection processed by Aggie Agapito.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Book illustrations Subject Source: TGM II, Genre and physical characteristic terms
- Children and Youth Subject Source: Archiveswest
- Children's literature, American -- Illustrations Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Esley, Joan
- Illustrated children's books -- United States -- Specimens Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Literature Subject Source: Archiveswest
- Manuscripts for publication Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Wilkin, Eloise, 1904-1987
- Women Subject Source: Archiveswest
- Women authors, American -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women illustrators -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the Eloise Wilkin Papers
- Complete Description
- Finding aid prepared by Aggie Agapito, Manuscripts Processor
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.