About This Exhibit

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.

Support the Kerlan Collection by becoming a donor and help keep Dr. Kerlan's collection growing. 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.

Additional Digital Resource Exhibits:


Lisa von Drasek 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 Times, Shelf 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

Mary H. Schultz has worked with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students and their families in North Dakota, Connecticut, Maine, and Minnesota since 1967. Most recently, she has worked as a speech/language therapist and as a classroom and itinerant teacher in the St. Paul Public Schools Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program and as an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota CEHD graduate program teaching Reading and Writing with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Learners. In 2014 she retired and is now volunteering at the< Children's Literature Research Collections. She is president of the Kerlan Friends Board.

JoAnn Mooers Jonas is an alumna of UMN (’73, BS) and an MLIS Librarian with a Children's Librarian specialization. She has worked at The New York Public Library-Central Children's Room, and as the director of the Early Childhood Resource and Information Center (ECRIC) for NYPL, Youth Services Librarian/Manager at Carlsbad and Chula Vista Public Libraries, and selector of youth books & materials for San Diego County Library System. She also reviews children's books, writes Teacher and Discussion guides and has served on the Newbery, Caldecott & Wilder Award committees. She is a contributor to EarlyWord: The Librarian/Publisher Connection, as moderator of the monthly Young Readers Author Chat, and is on the Board of the Children's Reading Alliance. She is also a volunteer and Friend of the Kerlan Collection and the Children's Literature Research Collections.


Osceola Pope is from St. Peter, Minnesota. He worked on the Children's Book Art: Techniques and Media online exhibit and completed an internship at the Children's Literature Research Collections while working on his degree from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His art focus is illustrating classic folk tales or older stories for children's books with plans to commit himself to freelance illustration and private art commissions as well as look for book illustration opportunities. His portfolio may be viewed here

Judith McCroary is an illustrator and comic artist from Fayetteville, North Carolina. During her final semester at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she worked on the Children's Book Art: Techniques and Media online exhibit as part of her internship at Children's Literature Research Collections . She focuses on creating children's illustration and design using brilliant colors. Her portfolio may be viewed here.

Natasha Bruns is a recent MLIS graduate with a focus on archives and special collections. She is committed to making information accessible to the community for further research and exploration. She has contributed to digitization projects at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center and the Neville Public Museum. Bruns along with Eve Johnson Brafford began a digital comparative study exhibit of Little Red Riding Hood for the Children's Literature Research Collections in their final semester at St. Catherine University.

Payal Doshi is an aspiring author working on a middle grade fantasy fiction novel set in India. She has a MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from The New School, New York City, and currently volunteers at the Children's Literature Research Collections where she is working on a digital exhibit called 'Pages', which documents the journey of a book's first draft up to its final publication. The exhibit features the work of several noted authors and illustrators. She has also contributed to the display exhibits at the Children's Theatre Company featuring materials from the Kerlan Collection. She is a member of the SCBWI.

Rachel Johnson is a senior at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an intern at the Children's Literature Research Collections, currently working on the Children's Book Art: Techniques and Media digital exhibit. She studies comic art and hopes to go into the archiving field after graduation. Her portfolio may be viewed here.

About This Exhibit