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Ezra Jack Keats Papers

Summary Information
Title: Ezra Jack Keats papers
Dates: 1962-2015
Creator: Keats, Ezra Jack
Extent: 2 linear feet (1 box)
Language: Collection materials in English
Collection Number: CLRC-149
This collection consists of production material for seven published titles as well as an audiotape and interview pamphlet.

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

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Gift of Keats, Ezra Jack and Monson, Dianne L.

Access Restrictions:

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.


Please contact staff regarding copyright status of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Processing Information:

This collection was processed with financial assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Preferred Citation:

Ezra Jack Keats papers, Children's Literature Research Collection, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.


Materials are arranged alphabetically by title.

Biographical Sketch of Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats was born March 11, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the Art Students League and studied painting with the noted artist and children's book illustrator Jean Charlot. He worked as a muralist for the W.P.A. during the Depression, and later as an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1954 he illustrated his first book for children, Jubilant for Sure, by Elizabeth C. Lansing. During his career Keats illustrated books for many different authors and in 1960 he illustrated and co-wrote with Pat Cherr the bilingual book, My Dog is Lost!, or, Me Perro Se Ha Perdido. In 1962 he wrote and illustrated The Snowy Day, which was widely praised by critics for his unique style of blending painting and collage in vivid colors, as well as for depicting African American children in natural surroundings. The book won the Caldecott Medal in 1963. Critics have lauded Keats' works both for his texts and his illustrations, calling his stories universal, classless, and timeless, and his illustrations notable for innovative use of collage. Keats died on May 6, 1983 in New York City.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Author vols. 14, 34, 57; Children's Literature Review, vol. 35; Twentieth Century Children's Writers, 3rd ed. pp.510-11

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of production material for seven published titles as well as an audiotape and interview pamphlet.

Related Material

Ann McGovern Papers

Subject Terms
  • This 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.
  • Keats, Ezra Jack
  • Olds, Helen Diehl, 1895-
  • Tooze, Ruth
  • McGovern, Ann
  • Swimming -- Juvenile fiction
  • Birthdays -- Juvenile fiction
  • Remarriage -- Fiction
  • Fathers -- Fiction
  • Cambodia -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile literature
  • Manners and customs
  • Infants -- Juvenile fiction
  • Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction
  • Sibling rivalry -- Juvenile fiction
  • Families -- Juvenile fiction
  • Chairs -- Juvenile fiction
  • African Americans -- Juvenile fiction
  • City and town life -- Juvenile fiction
  • Play -- Juvenile fiction
  • Snow -- Juvenile fiction
  • Snowballs -- Juvenile fiction
  • Adventure and adventurers
  • Children's stories
  • Imagination in children -- Juvenile fiction
  • Zoos -- Juvenile fiction
  • Animals -- Juvenile fiction
  • Child collectors -- Juvenile fiction
  • Picture books
Collection Contents
 Location  Title
Audiotape undated  
Box 1
Untitled reel-to-reel audiotape undated  Box 1
Note  1 item
1/4" x 3"
Interview undated  
Box 1
Autographed pamphlet titled A Conversation with Ezra Jack Keats undated  Box 1
Note  1 item
Jim Can Swim 1963  
Note  Helen Diehl Olds
Box 1
F&G 1963  Box 1
Note  1 item
A Letter to Amy 1968  
Box 1
Illustration proofs undated  Box 1
Note  16 items
Louie's Search 1980  
Box 1
F&G 1980  Box 1
Note  1 item
Our Rice Village in Cambodia 1963  
Note  Ruth Tooze
Box 1
Pencil illustration with color separation 1963  Box 1
Note  2 items
Peter's Chair 1967  
Box 1
Correspondence from Dianne L. Monson 2015  Box 1
Note  1 item
Paper samples for collages undated  Box 1
Note  11 items
Illustration proof undated  Box 1
Note  1 item
Copy of Peter's Chair 1967  Box 1
Note  1 item
The Snowy Day 1962  
Box 1
Uncut page proof 1962  Box 1
Note  1 item
Zoo, Where Are You? 1964  
Note  Ann McGovern
Box 1
Collage and tempera illustrations undated  Box 1
Note  2 items