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Betsy Bowen Papers

Summary Information
Title: Betsy Bowen Papers
Dates: 1991-2008
Creator: Bowen, Betsy
Extent: 1 cubic foot
Location: Materials are housed in the Andersen Library caverns. Please allow 30 minutes for retrieval.
Language: English
Collection Number: CLRC-1068
The collection consists of production materials for six books illustrated by Betsy Bowen.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Betsy Bowen contributed the collection in 1994, 1999, and 2008.


Materials are arranged alphabetically by published title and chronologically within each title.

Biographical Sketch

Betsy Bowen is an illustrator, woodcut artist and award-winning author of nine books. Her popular woodcut prints and books appear in galleries throughout Minnesota and the country. "Antler, Bear, Kazoo - A North Woods Album of Songs" was inspired by her first three books: "Antler, Bear, Canoe;" "Gathering;" and "Tracks in the Wild," published by Houghton-Mifflin. Reviewers have described her distinctive woodcuts as bold, rich and handsome. The mother of three sons, she has lived with her family on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota for more than thirty years.

Biographical source:, 2008, 2008

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of production materials for six titles. It includes holographs, typescripts, and original art such as watercolors and woodcuts.

Subject Terms
Indexing Terms
  • The collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Bowen, Betsy
  • Tales --Somalia --Juvenile literature
  • Counting --Juvenile literature
  • Natural history --Minnesota --Juvenile literature
  • Trolls --Folklore
  • Ojibwa Indians --Folklore
  • Alphabet books
Collection Contents
 Location  Title
Box MF 1864, MC 1624
Antler, Bear, Canoe: a Northwoods Alphabet Year, published by Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991  Box MF 1864, MC 1624
Note  MF 1864 contains: 1 photocopy holograph (10 p.); photocopied correspondence (52 p.)
MC 1624 contains: 7 watercolor and ink block print illustrations
Box MC 1613
Dhegdheer: a Scary Somali Folktale, text by Marian A. Hassan, published by St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Humanities Commission, 2007  Box MC 1613
Note  Contains: 1 ink, pencil, tempera dummy with text and photocopy paste-ups (32 p.)
Gathering: a Northwoods Counting Book, published by Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1995  Box MC 1613
Note  Contains: 9 watercolor and ink block print illustrations; 1 watercolor test for front panel; 1 tracing paper with notes; 17 black and color ink printed woodcut illustraions with text
Box MF 2255, MC 1613
Shingebiss: an Ojibwe Legend, published by Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1997  Box MF 2255, MC 1613
Note  MF 2255 contains: 1 corrected typescript (16 p.); front matter (6 p.); correspondence (10 p.); notes (16 p.)
MC 1613 contains: photocopied studies (16 p.); ink and pencil studies (4 p.); photocopied text pages with ink outline (2 p.); 1 ink, crayon, and pencil study; 1 ink, pencil, and tempera layout; 1 ink, pencil, and watercolor dummy with text paste-up (17 p.); 1 ink, pencil, and tempera dummy with Post-it notes and text paste-up (20 p.); 1 print and watercolor study; 1 woodcut print cover study; 1 black and white ink woodcut study with paste-up; 1 black and color woodcut study with picture paste-up; 1 piece for carbon paper; woodcut of car in purple and pink ink (2 p.); ink and tempera studies (2 p.); posterboard with text illustrations (3 p.); 27 black and color ink woodcut print illustrations some with text paste-up
Box MC 807
Tracks in the Wild, published by Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993  Box MC 807
Note  Contains: watercolor illustrations (31 p.); 1 matted jacket illustration; 1 title page illustration with overlay; 1 jacket study; 3 pencil studies; 1 text sample with 'A'; 1 'B' paste-up on board; 1 woodblock
Box MF 2778, MC 1545, and MC 1624
Troll with No Heart in His Body and Other Tales of Trolls from Norway, published by Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1999  Box MF 2778, MC 1545, and MC 1624
Note  MF 1864 contains: 1 typescript (69 p.); front matter (11 p.); photocopied correspondence (52 p.); photocopied illustrations (25 p.); correspondence (42 p.); layout notes (9 p.); clippings (47 p.); research material (98 p.); photographs (8 p.)
MC 1545 contains: 1 photocopied dummy (108 p.); 1 dummy (59 p.); layout (25 p.); studies (30 p.); 1 printed postcard; 1 printed business card; 3 wood blocks
MC 1624 contains: 61 colored block prints with type; layout (8 p.); 1 full color postcard of book jacket; 1 business card; 3 wood blocks