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Aliki Brandenberg Papers

Identifier: DG0110

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, a book catalog cover Aliki designed, and material related to the publication of ten books. The correspondence consists of four letters from Aliki to the de Grummond Collection and four Christmas cards she designed. The book titles are in alphabetical order, with material for each title arranged in the probable order in which it was created. Titles that are well represented in the collection indicate the manner in which Aliki worked, first drawing research sketches and a thumbnail dummy and proceeding to color separations. This collection is representative of the books Aliki has written and illustrated, including scientific, biographical, and picture books, as well as titles by other authors that she illustrated.

Corn Is Maize: The Gift of the Indians (1976) is a description of how corn was discovered by the Indians, how it was used, and how it has become an important food in the world today. For this title, materials include research and thumbnail sketches, a dummy, a galley, paste-ups and color separations. Fossils Tell of Long Ago (1972) is the story of how fossils are formed and what they tell us about the past. For this title there are sketches, thumbnail and full-size dummies, illustrations with text paste-ups, color separations, dust jacket material, and an unbound copy. For George and the Cherry Tree (1964), the story of young George Washington and his father's cherry tree, the collection has two acrylic illustrations with text paste-ups.

For Is It Blue As A Butterfly? (1965), the story of a little girl trying to guess what present her father has brought her, the collection holds a dummy and color separations. The Lazy Little Zulu (1962) is a story about Chaka, the village witch doctor, and Chaka's sick mother. The collection includes paste-ups and color separations with text paste-ups for this title. My Visit to the Dinosaurs (1969), is the story of a young boy's visit to a natural history museum and what he learns about dinosaurs. It was the first of several books by Aliki about these prehistoric creatures. This title is represented by research and thumbnail sketches, a dummy, an edited typescript, two galleys, watercolor illustrations with paste-ups, color separations with text paste-ups, and an unbound proof. Many of these items Aliki labeled herself.

Oh Lord, I Wish I Was a Buzzard (1968) is the story of a little girl picking cotton in the hot sun who finds relief by fantasizing. For this title, there are sketches, a dummy, color separations, and an unbound copy. One Day It Rained Cats and Dogs (1965) cleverly makes familiar sayings seem ridiculous. For this title, the collection has a proof, paste-up, and color separations with text paste-ups. For What Can I Buy? (1962), the story of a little boy trying to decide what to purchase with his money, the collection holds color separations with text paste-ups. Wild and Woolly Mammoths (1977) tells about the giant extinct land mammal. For this title, there are thumbnail sketches, a dummy, paste-ups, color separations with text paste-ups, and jacket material.


  • 1962-1986
  • Majority of material found within [1962-1977]

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." 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.

Biographical / Historical

Aliki Liacouras Brandenberg was born in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey on September 3, 1929. Growing up and attending school in Philadelphia and suburban Yeadon, Pennsylvania, she drew constantly and attended art classes on Saturdays. In 1951 she graduated from Philadelphia Museum College of Art. She worked in the display department at J. C. Penney Co. in New York for a year and then as a free-lance artist and art teacher in Philadelphia. In 1956 she spent several months traveling, painting, and sketching in Europe--including exploring Greece, her parents' native land. In 1957, she married Franz Brandenberg, whom she had met during her time abroad, and they settled in Switzerland where he worked as an author and she worked as a free-lance artist. Her first book, The Story of William Tell (1960), was inspired by a visit to the area in Switzerland where Tell had lived.

In 1960 the Brandenbergs moved to New York City. Aliki continued to write and illustrate children's books, both fiction and nonfiction. She says the fiction is "true and a part of her," and she takes her stories from her own children and neighbors. An example of this kind of book is At Mary Bloom's (1976), which was inspired by her daughter's visit to a neighbor. Her nonfiction books are a result of her fascination with a particular subject or person and require a great deal of research. The Story of Johnny Appleseed (1963), George and the Cherry Tree (1964), and The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin (1977) are among the biographies she has written. She also writes informative books about scientific or historical topics, such as Corn Is Maize: The Gift of the Indians (1976) and Digging Up Dinosaurs (1981). Three Gold Pieces: A Greek Folk Tale (1967) and Diogenes: The Story of the Greek Philosopher (1969) are books inspired by her Greek heritage. Aliki also illustrated over fifty books for other writers including several for her husband. Her artistic style differs with the type of book she is illustrating; some books need a modern design of simple shapes and bright colors while others need an old-fashioned approach.

Aliki and her family moved to England in 1977 where she continued to write and illustrate. She received the New Jersey Institute of Technology Award for The Listening Walk in 1961 and for Bees and Beelines in 1964, the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award for Three Gold Pieces: A Greek Folk Tale in 1968, and the Children's Book Showcase for At Mary Bloom's in 1977. She also won the New York Academy of Sciences (younger) Award for Corn Is Maize: The Gift of the Indians in 1977 and the Garden State Children's Book Award (younger nonfiction) for Mummies Made In Egypt in 1982.


Children's Literature Awards and Winners: A Directory of Prizes, Authors, and Illustrators, 2nd ed., p. 223.

Illustrators of Children's Books: 1957-1966, p. 72.

Something About the Author, vol. 35, pp. 49-55.


2.40 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials received from Aliki Brandenberg between 1966 and 1986.
Aliki Brandenberg Papers
In Progress
Suzanne (Suzy) Elkins
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001