About This Exhibit


Schenker, 2014

The exhibit started as a capstone project for the Master of Library and Information Science Program Capstone course at St. Catherine University. We hope that this exhibit can serve as a template for comparative folklore studies beyond Little Red Riding Hood.

About the Children's Literature Research Collections:

The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota is one of the world's great children's literature research collections. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts and illustrations, and many related materials. The materials in the Collection are studied by teachers, librarians, students, authors, illustrators, translators, and critics who come from Minnesota, other states, and many foreign countries. In addition to securing and preserving materials and maintaining a research collection for scholarly use, the Kerlan Collection sponsors lectures and programs. It also mounts exhibits locally and loans materials for exhibits nationally and internationally.

The Kerlan Collection was established in the 1940s by University of Minnesota alumnus Dr. Irvin Kerlan (1912-1963). He collected rare books as a hobby and soon turned to children's books. Dr. Kerlan chose what was best and representative of each current year and, when he could afford it, bought children's classics and past Newbery winners. It was not long before he took his collection one step further, pursuing the background material that went into making the books. He wrote letters to authors and illustrators, and they replied by forwarding their original manuscripts, artwork, and selected correspondence with editors and children.

From his collection, Dr. Kerlan organized exhibitions and shipped them to libraries and art galleries in North America, Europe, and the Far East. In 1949, he made arrangements with the University of Minnesota, his alma mater, to provide a permanent home for his collection.

These digital exhibits would not be possible without the support of the Kerlan Friends and president, Mary Schultz. Mary is our cheerleader, copy editor, and fan. When things are darkest before the dawn, she is the one who reminds us that dawn is sure to come. 

Support the Kerlan Collection by becoming a Kerlan Friend and help keep Dr. Kerlan's collection growing and accessible. Join or find out more about the Kerlan Friends here.

Technical Support and Training by Jason Roy, Director of Digital Library Services at the University of Minnesota Libraries. In this capacity, he acquires, prepares, and manages collection-related information in digital format for discovery and long term management. Jason fosters the creation of and access to research and scholarly material in digital form from across the campus community.

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Pictured left to right: Eve Brafford Johnson, Natasha Bruns, Lisa Von Drasek


Lisa Von Drasek

Lisa is the Curator of the Children's Literature Research Collections. The CLRC, an internationally recognized resource in the field of children's literature, contains six core collections, including the Kerlan Collection and several smaller collections. Lisa previously was the Children's Librarian of the Bank Street College of Education. She was the teacher/librarian for pre-k through eighth grade, as well as a teacher of Children's Literature, Storytelling, and Children's Book Publishing 101. Lisa reviews children's books for The New York TimesShelf Awareness, and has blogged at EarlyWord: The Librarian/Publisher Connection. She has served as a juror on The New York Times Best Illustrated, the Newbery Committee, The Ezra Jack Keats Award, Trudi Birger Prize (Jerusalem Book Fair) National Book Awards for Young People's Literature and American Library Association's Notable Children's Books and the 2017 Caldecott Award Committee (Association for Library Service to Children).

Project Managers

Natasha Bruns

Natasha is a recent MLIS graduate from St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a focus on Special Collections and Archives. She is committed to making information accessible to the community for further research and exploration.  Before beginning this project she was a researcher for the General Mills Corporate Archives. She has also contributed to digitization projects at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center and the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI.

Eve Johnson Brafford

Eve recently graduated with her MLIS from St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She focused her degree studies on Special Collections and Archives. In her time as a graduate student she contributed to a number of digitization projects within the Minneapolis History Collection at the James K. Hosmer Special Collections at the Minneapolis Central Library, including the Minneapolis Newspaper Photograph Collection and the Minneapolis Public School Collection.


Laura Lemanski (@QuirkyBookcase)

Laura Lemanski is a PhD candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Laura provided curriculum framework and lesson plans for Little Red Riding Hood. Laura does research in Teacher Education, Secondary Education and Educational Theory. 

Additional Digital Resource Exhibits

Balloons Over Broadway, Melissa Sweet, and the Engineering of a Picture Book This is a STEAM digital resource examining the process of the researching, writing, and illustrating an informational picture book.

Children's Book Art:  Technique and Media This is a digital resource examining the works of over 65 artists' materials and process for the making of illustrations using primary sources held in the Kerlan Collection of the University of Minnesota's Archives and Special Collections.

The Making of Picture Book Illustrations: What is Preseparated Art? Ever wondered why many classic picture books look the way they do? This digital resource examines the process of the creation and printing of picture books through preseperated art.

Rejoice the Legacy! Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney A digital exhibit created to support the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture of the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

About This Exhibit