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Joseph Low Papers

Summary Information
Title: Joseph Low Papers
Dates: 1944-1973
Creator: Low, Joseph
Extent: .1 linear feet--manuscript material 1 cubic ft.--illustrative material
Location: See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations
Language: English
Collection Number: CLRC-1997
Joseph Low's papers focus on his work as an author and illustrator of children's books, with an emphasis on the latter. The collection contains production material for nine titles, including one adult title, Heads. Production materials include manuscript material, and illustrative material including studies, illustrations done in a variety of media, separations, dummies, and proofs. Joseph Low signed one piece of artwork for Dr. Irvin Kerlan.

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

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for researchers with no restrictions. Registration with the collection is required.


This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.


Adam's Book of Odd Creatures, 1962

Big Cheese, The, 1958

Cat and the Mouse and Other Spanish Tales, The, 1966

Fox, and a Sick Lion, A, 1944

Heads, 1960

Land of the Taffeta Dawn, The, 1973

Mother Goose Riddle Rhymes, 1953

Telephones, 1967

Your Bones Are Alive, 1972

Biographical Sketch

Joseph Low was born August 11, 1911, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. He studied at the University of Illinois, the Arts Students League in New York City, and with George Grosz. Joseph Low began his career in 1933 by typesetting and printing his own work, and became well-known for his prints. He illustrated his first book for children, The Rainbow Dictionary by Wendell William Wright and Helene Laird, in 1947. Throught his long and prolific career he illustrated dozens of books, fiction and non-fiction, for many different authors and on a variety of subjects, including folktales and poetry. He also wrote and illustrated many books, beginning with Mother Goose Riddle Rhymes co-written with his wife, Lois Low, in 1953. The book was praised by critics as the perfect book for a rainy day, with its pictures beautifully drawn. Low's books have also been lauded for their humor and fancifulness. Critics have called his pictures engaging and spritied. He received various awards for his work, including a Caldecott Honor citation for Mice Twice in 1981. Biographical Source: Something About the Author, Vol. 14

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection contains production material, with an emphasis on illustrative material, for nine titles. Materials include manuscript material for 1 title, including a holograph, corrected typescripts, a carbon typescript, and a sheet of calligraphy. Illustrative material includes studies and illustrations done in a variety of media, mostly in ink or pencil, separations, dummies, and proofs. Joseph Low signed one piece of artwork for Dr. Irvin Kerlan.

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.
  • Low, Joseph
Collection Contents
 Location  Title
Adam's Book of Odd Creatures 1962 
Note  New York: Atheneum, 1962
Box MF573 folder 1
holograph (6 p.)  Box MF573 folder 1
typescript, corrected (9 p.)  Box MF573 folder 1
typescript, corrected (10 p.)  Box MF573 folder 1
typescript, carbon (5 p.)  Box MF573 folder 1
calligraphy (1 p.)  Box MF573 folder 1
Box MC1056
ink study, preliminary drawing, signed by artist for Irvin Kerlan, July 9, 1962 (1 p.)  Box MC1056
Big Cheese, The 1958 
Note  New York: W.R. Scott, 1958
Box MC1236
pencil and illustration proof illustration with 2 separations for jacket (1 p.)  Box MC1236
pencil illustrations with 1 separation (25 p.)  Box MC1236
pencil jacket study with 2 separations (1 p.)  Box MC1236
sheet illustration proof (1 p.)  Box MC1236
Cat and the Mouse and Other Spanish Tales, The 1966 
Note  New York: Pantheon Books, 1966
Box MC1051
proof dummy (76 p.)  Box MC1051
Fox, and a Sick Lion, A 1944 
Note Bloomington, Indiana : Corydon Press, 1944
Box MC1064
colored wood cut (1 p.)  Box MC1064
Heads 1960 
Note Newtown, Conn. : Eden Hill Press, 1960
Box MC1051
lino cut (1 p.)  Box MC1051
linoleum block (1 p.)  Box MC1051
Land of the Taffeta Dawn, The 1973 
Note New York : Dutton, 1973
Box MC1086
ink jacket illustration with text proof (1 p.)  Box MC1086
ink illustrations with text proof (17 p.)  Box MC1086
carbon copy layout (1 p.)  Box MC1086
watercolor, oil, pastel and ink dummy (28 p.)  Box MC1086
Mother Goose Riddle Rhymes 1953 
Note New York : Harcourt, Brace, 1953
Box MC1086
sheet proof (1 p.)  Box MC1086
Telephones 1967 
Note  New York: Coward-McCann, 1967
Box MC1236
separations, 25 ink and ink wash illustrations with text proof paste-ups (45 p.)  Box MC1236
Your Bones Are Alive 1972 
Note  New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Co, 1972
Box MC1073
ink jacket illustration with text proof (1 p.)  Box MC1073
ink illustrations on 30 sheets (72 p.)  Box MC1073
correspondence from publisher (1 p.)  Box MC1073