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Leonard S. Marcus papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1489
Scope and Contents

The collection documents the work of Leonard S. Marcus, including the research, writing, and publication of books, articles, and other short works; work as contributing editor and children’s literature reviewer at Parenting magazine; the curation of exhibitions at the New York Public Library and Eric Carle Museum for Picture Book Art; and trusteeship of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The collection also contains Marcus’s personal and professional correspondence and small amounts of photographs, publishing promotional materials, historic book and toy catalogs, posters, and other printed ephemera. Includes audio recordings and notes from Marcus’s interviews with prominent children’s literature authors, illustrators, and publishers, including Maurice Sendak, Judy Blume, and Madeleine L’Engle.

A significant portion of the papers documents Marcus’s research, writing, and publication of Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon (Morrow, 1992), a biography of Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown. Includes papers pertaining to Marcus’s other books, including Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (HarperCollins, 1998); Author Talk (Simon & Schuster, 2000); Storied City: A Children's Book-Walking Tour Guide to New York City (Dutton, 2003); The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy (Candlewick, 2006); Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature (Houghton Mifflin, 2008); Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy (Candlewick, 2009); Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012); and Show Me A Story! Why Picture Books Matter (Candlewick, 2012).

The collection also includes papers concerning Marcus’s shorter works, including articles, reviews, forewords, and talks. Also present are papers concerning Marcus’s work with museums and exhibitions, including The Picture Book Made New: Margaret Wise Brown and Her Illustrators at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (2005) and The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter at the New York Public Library (2013-2014). Clippings, photographs, audiovisual materials, and electronic media related to Marcus's life and work are present throughout.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research. Boxes 70-90 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information. Boxes 69, 91 (digital media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Ownership & Copyright

The Leonard S. Marcus Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Cumberland Rare Books on the Jockey Hollow Fund, 2015; and gift of Leonard S. Marcus (Yale 1972), 2016.


Arranged into two groupings: September 2015 Acquisition and August 2016 Acquisition.

circa 1850-2015
Majority of material found within 1975 - 2015
113.75 Linear Feet (102 boxes)
Related Names
Marcus, Leonard S., 1950-
Language of Materials