Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was an illustrator and author of children's books. The collection includes sketches and finished illustrations for the books
Calico the Wonder Horse; Or the Saga of Stewy Slinker,
CHOO CHOO, The Story of the Little Engine Who Ran Away (both by Burton),
The Emperor's New Clothes (written by Hans Christian Anderson) and others. This collection of sketches and illustrations demonstrate the detail and care that Virginia Lee Burton put into her work.
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) wrote and illustrated many timeless and well-loved children's books, including
The Little House, which was awarded the Caldecott medal in1943.
She was born in Newton Centre, Massachusetts on August 30, 1909, and later studied art and ballet in California. Her drawings have appeared in the Boston
Transcript, where she was a member of the staff for two year. She married George Demetrios, who had been her sculpture teacher, and they had two children. For many years they lived in Folly County, Gloucester, Massachusetts. She died in 1968.
The Virginia Lee Burton Papers are an important addition to the University of Oregon's Children's Collection because it demonstrates the stages of work that go into illustrating, from initial sketch to finished book. The numerous preparatory sketches, the reworking of illustrations that had not proven personally satisfactory to Ms. Burton, and the demands for quality reproduction of the artwork indicate her meticulous attention to detail.
The Virginia Lee Burton Papers contain sketchbooks, preliminary sketches and final illustrations for the books for both first and second editions of
Calico, the Wonder Horse, or the Saga of Stewy Slinker (written by Burton) and
The Fast Sooner Hound (written by Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy). Also included are final illustrations for the books
CHOO CHOO, The Story of the Little Engine Who Ran Away, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (both written by Burton) and
The Emperor's New Clothes (written by Hans Christian Anderson). Finally, the proofs for the book
Life Story are included.
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], Virginia Lee Burton Papers, Ax 839, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
Collection is organized into the following series:
Calico The Wonder Horse; Or The Saga of Stewy Slinker (1st edition)
Calico The Wonder Horse; Or The Saga of Stewy Slinker (2nd edition)
CHOO CHOO, the Story of the Little Engine Who Ran Away
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Fast Sooner Hound
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Acquisition Information :
Gift of Virginia Lee Burton in 1978.
Processing Note :
Collection processed by processing staff, April 1978.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Calico the Wonder Horse; Or The Saga of Stewy Slinker, 1st edition
Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.
Sketch book, Rough Sketches 5" x 7 1/2", pen and ink
Sketch book, Defined Sketches 5" x 7 1/2", pen and ink
Sketch book, Mock-up with text, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", pen and ink, red cover
Preliminary sketches, (4): 2 @ 7" x 3 1/2"; 2 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" for pages 4, 5, 8
Final jacket illustration, 18" x 6 1/4"
Final title page illustration, 8 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Final illustrations, pen and ink: 24 @ 7" x 3 1/2"; 68 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2, for pages 1- 58
Calico the Wonder Horse; Or The Saga of Stewy Slinker, 2nd edition
Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.
2 @ 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".2 @ 8" x 5 1/4".6 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" for pages 1, 8, 14, 18, 28, 55, 58, and end papers.Final jacket, cover, end paper, and title page illustrations, scratch board, 6 x 8 1/2".Final illustrations, 64 @ 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"; 26 @ 6" x 8 1/2".Proofs, 3 per sheet, 2 copies.