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Judith Gwyn Brown Papers

Identifier: DG0122

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, materials related to twelve books illustrated by Judith Gwyn Brown, complete illustrations for a magazine story, and unidentified illustrations. Book-related materials have been arranged alphabetically by title, and within each title according to the probable order in which they were created.

The correspondence consists of photocopies of three letters sent to the de Grummond Collection in 1981. These letters concern Brown's loan of materials to the Collection.

Brown considers herself primarily an illustrator, though she has written several children's books herself. The bulk of the collection consists of her drawings for twelve books. Butch Elects a Mayor (1969), in which Butch's clumsy attempts to help his Dad win a town election only make things worse, is represented by numerous original color illustrations that are exemplary of Brown's best work. For Daisy (1973), the story of a little girl who gets lost in Mexico City while vacationing there with her parents, the collection holds three illustrations and a crayon sketch for an alternate dust jacket, never published. For The Diary of the Strawbridge Place (1978), about a family of Quakers who help fugitive slaves escape by means of the Underground Railroad, there is a watercolor sketch.

The Grandma in the Apple Tree (1970) is a gentle fantasy about a lonely eight-year-old boy whose wonderful imaginary grandmother takes the place of his real grandmother, who is deceased. For this title the collection holds eleven illustrations, a paste-up of the title page spread, and a color sketch and color separation proofs of the dust jacket. The Happy Voyage (1965) is the only book represented in the collection that was both written and illustrated by Brown. For this title, which tells the story of Danny's voyage across the ocean to visit his aunt, there are numerous illustrations. For I Hate It (1975), an amusing elementary-level book in which children identify things they hate, the collection holds the complete set of paste-ups for the book. Sonia Levitin's Journey to America (1970) is the story of a Jewish family's escape from Nazi Germany in 1938. For this title the collection contains Brown's original illustrations for the frontispiece and the dust jacket as well as a color sketch of the dust jacket. Mister de Luca's Horse (1962), about a horse-loving boy's attempts to buy a junk man's broken-down cart horse, was the first children's book illustrated by Brown. The collection holds ten drawings for this title. The Mystery of the Third Twin (1972) concerns a pair of fraternal twins who, when they move to a new town, discover a mysterious girl who is identical to one of them. For this title the collection includes illustrations and a sketch of the dust jacket. For Ring Around the Moon (1977), a collection of rhymes and songs familiar to Canadian children, there are numerous illustrations. Secret Island (1977) tells how two young boys in post-Civil War New York state expose Confederate spies and raiders along the St. Lawrence River. For this title there are eight charcoal interior illustrations, the illustration for the dust jacket, and a sketch of the dust jacket. Shadow of the Lighthouse (1974) relates a year in the life of Jane Sibylla Jones, a lighthouse keeper's daughter growing up on Long Beach Island in the 1870's. This title is represented in the collection by seven original illustrations and a proof of the dust jacket cover.

The collection also holds Brown's complete set of illustrations for "A Heart is Stolen," a romance novella first published in the premier issue of Barbara Cartland's World of Romance magazine. A printed copy of this magazine is included as well.

Unidentified at present are illustrations for a work entitled "Sister Veronica, Where Are You?" No publication data for this work is available and its authorship is unknown. The illustrations were apparently considered for publication by the Doubleday publishing company, but it is uncertain whether or not the work was ever actually printed. For this unidentified and probably unpublished title the collection contains twelve pen-and-ink drawings and one watercolor illustration, perhaps intended for the dust jacket. Also unidentified are two illustrations which were probably published in the December 1977 issue of Children's Digest.


  • 1962-1981

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; Available for research

Conditions Governing Use

The 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

Judith Gwyn Brown was born in New York City on October 15, 1933. She attended Cooper Union and the Parsons School of Design and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and English from New York University in 1956. Brown learned the technical aspects of book design and offset printing while working for a printer doing paste-ups and book jackets from 1958 to 1960. Since 1959 she has been a free-lance illustrator. Her first book, Marjorie Paradis' Mr. De Luca's Horse, was published in 1962. Since then Brown has illustrated more than forty books and has written and illustrated four of her own, as well as contributed to anthologies, periodicals, and the New York Times. Among the many famous children's authors whose works she has illustrated are Padraic Colum, Margaret Hodges, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Noel Streatfeild, and Andre Norton.

Brown works in pen and ink, charcoal, crayon, watercolor, and oil. She enjoys reading nineteenth-century fiction and poetry and believes this, coupled with an interest in fine arts, helps her to be a better illustrator.


Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, vol. 21, pp. 67-68.

Illustrators of Children's Books: 1957-1966, p. 86.

Illustrators of Children's Books 1967-1976, p. 104.

Something About the Author, vol. 20, pp. 15-18.


2.10 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials obtained by the de Grummond Collection in 1981 and 1986.

Related Materials

The Elizabeth Coatsworth Papers (DG0199) contain manuscript notes for Daisy. The Sonia Levitin Papers (DG0611) contain correspondence, notes, typescripts, and galleys for Journey to America.

Judith Gwyn Brown Papers
In Progress
Ashley E. Koostra
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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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