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Esphyr Slobodkina Papers

Identifier: 1997-0050

Scope and Content

The collection consist of materials related to artist and children's book author and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina. Materials in the collection include notes, administrative records, correspondence, realia, news clippings, manuscripts, legal records, fliers, sketches, galley proofs, financial records, maps, and photographs. Included in the collection are materials realted to many of her published books, including titles such as, The Sophisticates, Caps for Sale, Trial and Errors, The Little Dingy, The Fame, the Breeze and the Shadow, The Little Farmer, and The Little Fireman.

Other subjects in the collection include administrative records of Slobodkina's Inc., documents for residence designs, exhibition records, publishing records, patent correspondence, materials belonging to her father, visa application documents, business contracts and agreements, notes for her biographer, and documents related to the sale of her home at 20 W. Terrace Rd, Great Neck, NY.


  • Creation: undated, 1899-1995


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

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.


Esphyr Slobodkina was born in Chelyabinsk, Siberia on September 22, 1908. In 1917, in the midst of the Russian Revolution, Slobodkina and her family migrated to Harbin, Manchuria, where she grew up studying art and architecture. In 1929 she moved once again with her family, this time to the United States, and began studying at the National Academy of Design. While attending the Academy Slobodkina was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group, which aimed to educate the public about abstract art, and served as a forum for abstract artists to share their ideas.

Slobodkina began to write and illustrate children's books in the 1930s, as a way to supplement her wages during the Great Depression, eventually publishing 24 works. In addition to her children's books, Slobodkina painted throughout her life creating abstract works of art. Her art, and her literary works, have been featured in exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many others, and many of her works reside in museum collections across the United States. Esphyr Slobodkina died in 2002, at the age of 93.


50.55 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Esphyr Slobodkina was an artist, illustrator, and children's book author. Materials in the collection are comprised of illustrations, manuscripts, and other documents related to the publication of her works. There are also various materials related to her personal life.


Series I: Inventory (undated, -1995)

Acquisition Information

The records were donated to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in 1995 by Esphyr Slobodkina.

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.

Esphyr Slobodkina Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2014 March
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