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Barbara Cooney Papers

Identifier: 1997-0102

Scope and Content

The collection contains preliminary and finished artwork for 23 titles. Materials include dummies, preliminary artwork, sketches, book jackets, finished art, galleys and proofs.


  • Creation: 1953-1999


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Barbara Cooney was born 6 August 1917, in Brooklyn, NY, the daughter of Russell Schenck (a stockbroker) and Mae Evelyn (an artist; maiden name, Bossert) Cooney. She was educated at Smith College (B.A., 1938) and attended the Art Students League (1940). During World War II she served in the Women's Army Corps (1942-1943), achieving the rank of second lieutenant.

A freelance author and illustrator (1938-2000), Cooney's works are also held in the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota, the de Grummond Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, and in museums at Rutgers University, Bowdoin College, and in the public libraries of Gary, Indiana, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She is the recipient of many awards for her work:

New York Herald Tribune's Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Book. Green Wagons, 1943; Too Many Pets, 1952.

American Library Association Notable Book citation. American Folk Songs for Children in Home, School and Nursery School, 1948; Chanticleer and the Fox, 1958; Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose, 1974.

Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association. Chanticleer and the Fox, 1959; Ox-Cart Man, 1980.

Chandler Book Talk Award of Merit, 1964.

Child Study Association of America Children's Books of the Year. Christmas Folk and The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, 1969; Hermes, Lord of Robbers and Book of Princesses, 1971; Down to the Beach, 1973; Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose, 1974; Lexington and Concord, 1775, 1975; The Story of Holly and Ivy, Christmas in the Barn, The Little Fir Tree and Emma, 1986.

School Library Journal's Best Books List Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose, 1974.

New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose, 1974; When the Sky Is Like Lace, 1975; Ox-Cart Man, 1979.

Silver Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi 1975, for outstanding contributions to the field of children's books.

Medal from Smith College 1976, for her body of work.

New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year Ox-Cart Man, 1979.

Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies and Children's Book Council Tortillitas para Mama and Other Nursery Rhymes, 1982; The Story of Holly and Ivy, 1986.

American Book Award for Hardcover Picture Book from the Association of American PublishersMiss Rumphius, 1983.

New York Times Best Book of the Year Miss Rumphius, 1983.

Notable Children's Book, Association for Library Services to Children, American Library AssociationSpirit Child, 1984.Honor list Island Boy, 1989

Ph.D., Fitchburg State College, 1988.

Keene State College Children's Literature Festival Award, 1989.

McCord Children's Literature Citation, 1990.

Lupine Award for Hattie and the Wild Waves, 1990.

Kerlan Award, 1992, for body of work.

Honorary doctorates from the University of Maine at Machais (1994), Westbrook College (1995), and Bowdoin College (1996).

Proclaimed an official state treasure of Maine, 1996.

Cooney died after a long illness on 10 March 2000.


58 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Barbara Cooney (1917-2000) was a freelance author and illustrator of over one hundred children's books.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by book title.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to Archives and Special Collections by the estate of Barbara Cooney in 2001.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to children's literature and associated artwork. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

Barbara Cooney interview 1997-0102/VR1, Miss Rumphus 1997-0102/CD1






Children's Literature Review, Volume 23, Detroit: Gale, 1991. Colby, Jean Poindexter. Writing, Illustrating, and Editing Children's Books. New York: Hastings House, 1967. Field, Elinor W. Horn Book Reflections. Boston:, Horn Book, 1969. Fuller, Muriel, editor. More Junior Authors. Bronx, NY: , H. W. Wilson, 1963, pp. 53-54. Georgiou, Constantine. Children and Their Literature, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall , 1969. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Books Are by People. New York: Citation Press, 1969,pp. 42-43. Hurlimann, Bettina. Picture-Book World. World Publishing, 1969. Klemin, Diana. The Art of Art for Children's Books. New York: C. N. Potter , 1966. Roginski, Jim, compiler. Newbery and Caldecott Medalists and Honor Book Winners. Littleton, CO: LibrariesUnlimited, 1982. Twentieth Century Children's Writers. Fourth edition. Detroit: St. James Press, 1995. Booklist, November 1, 1990, p. 528; February 1, 1994, pp. 980, 984; March 15, 1995, p. 348. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 1990, pp. 81-82; November, 1996, pp. 93-94. Chicago Tribune--Books, November 2, 1958, p. 11. Children's Literature Association Quarterly, winter, 1984-85, pp. 152-53. Horn Book Magazine, August, 1959, pp. 310-14; October, 1960, pp. 386-87; February, 1980, pp.44-45; August, 1980, pp. 378-82, 383-87; November, 1988, pp. 769-70; September, 1992, p. 581; January-February, 1994, pp. 110-11; May, 1994; September-October, 1996, pp. 610-11. Instructor, March, 1985, pp. 94-96. Junior Bookshelf, December, 1980, pp. 283-84; December, 1989, p. 262. Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1988, p. 1467; October 15, 1995, p. 1488. Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 20, 1988, p. 8. New York Times Book Review, November 2, 1958, p. 2; December 4, 1968, p. 40; November 11,1979, p. 51; April 25, 1982, p. 42; November 14, 1982, p. 43; December 4, 1988, p. 40; January 6, 1991, p. 26; December 8, 1996, p. 78. Publishers Weekly, March 23, 1959; July 9, 1982, p. 49; July 29, 1988, p. 138; June 29, 1990, p.68; March, 1991, pp. 194-95; April 12, 1991, p. 57; September 18, 1995, p. 103; October 14, 1996, pp. 31-32. School Library Journal, October, 1988, pp. 116-17; October, 1995, p. 36; September, 1996, pp.195-96. Washington Post Book World, May 9, 1982, p. 16; November 6, 1988, p. 14. Portland Press Herald, March 14, 2000, p.1A.
Barbara Cooney Papers
Under Revision
Archives & Special Collections staff
2002 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US