Guide to the Will Nickless Papers

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Nickless, Will
Title: Will Nickless papers
Dates: 1916-1964 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (1 container)
Collection Number: Ax 863
Summary: Will B. Nickless (1902-1979) was greatly known for his illustrations of characters from English classics. The collection includes various sketches, watercolor paintings, ink drawings, Christmas cards, and one letter.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Will Nickless (1902-1979) is a self-made man with a great variety of talents and interests. He began illustrating when he was fourteen and has pursued a career as a professional illustrator as well as printer and writer. Mr. Nickless follows a traditional style and seems to have been involved mostly with portrayals of characters from English Classics. He did the illustrations for the works of H. Rider Haggard, and through the Kathleen Boland Studio; he has illustrated various educational works for early grades. While Mr. Nickless cannot be classified as innovative, his work does reflect a certain wit and humor that makes it quite appealing.

Content Description

The collection includes various sketches, watercolor paintings, ink drawings, Christmas cards, and one letter. The original sketches in the collection are complete with working notes from Nickless.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & 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 & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other 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 for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Will Nickless Papers, Ax 863, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series: Pencil on Onionskin Sketches

Series: Watercolor and Ink

Series: Ink Drawings

Series: Christmas Cards

Series: Illustrated Publications

Series: Correspondence

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by Carolyn Minette, July 1979.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Pencil on Onionskin Sketches
1 1 Panorama of characters from Vanity Fair
1 1 Bank interior with variety of characters doing business
1 1 Columbus' landing in New World
1 1 The Rajah of Sumutra
1 1 Pizzarro's caotyre of Atahallpa
1 1 Panorama of characters from Pride and Prejudice
1 1 Runner, from The Story of Athletics
1 1 Gulliver with the Emperor of Lilliput
1 1 Panorama of some characters from the novels of Charles Dickens
1 1 Panorama of characters from Dickens in Paddington Station
1 1 Sir Rodger de Coverley's Christmas Party
1 1 Characters from the School for Scandal
1 1 Cartier and Gaspe
1 1 The Vicar of Wakefield
1 1 Characters from Pilgrims Progress
1 1 Balboa viewing the Pacific
1 1 More characters from Dickens
1 1 Panorama of characters from The Ballad of Robin Hood
1 1 Columbus pleading with his mutinous crew
1 1 Contemporary children in school

^ Return to Top

Watercolor and Ink
1 2 Ships from Boy's Treasury of Sea Stories
1 2 Rapids of the Moon
1 2 Hide and Seek
1 2 Book jacket for Heidi

^ Return to Top

Ink Drawings
1 3 Animal figures in Edwardian regalia socializing before fireplace
1 3 Animal figures in Edwardian attire taking tea on the terrace

^ Return to Top

Christmas Cards
1 4 Scrooge at his ledger
1 4 Scrooge and Bob Crachet
1 4 Sardonic Oriental Santa

^ Return to Top

Illustrated Publications
1 5 Pictorial Education, Quarterly edition 1967

^ Return to Top

1 6 Adamson, George 1958

^ Return to Top


  • Personal Names :
  • Nickless, Will
  • Subject Terms :
  • Children's literature, English--Illustrations
  • English literature--Illustrations
  • Illustration of books--20th century
  • Illustrators
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Book illustrations
    • Sketchbooks

    ^ Return to Top