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Edgar Parin and Ingri D'Aulaire Papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 874

Scope and Contents

The Edgar Parin and Ingri D'Aulaire Papers document the D'Aulaires' creative process and collaborative work as authors and illustrators of children's books. The papers are comprised of artwork (including drawings and sketches), writings (manuscripts and research papers), correspondence, printed material, motion picture film, art supplies, photographs, and other related papers. The papers provide evidence of the D'Aulaires' creative life and shed light into the production of popular American children's literature during the twentieth-century.

A broad range of the D'Aulaires' professional life is reflected in the papers from their early collaboration on The Magic Rug (1931) to publications produced during the 1970s, such as D'Aulaires' Trolls (1972). In addition the papers are comprised of documents relating to various points in their creative process. Autograph manuscripts and typescripts provide insight into earlier phases of the production process whereas proofs and galleys reveal the involvement of printers and publishers. Copper plates and lithograph stones provide further insight into the production of the D'Aulaires' books. Their artistic life is also reflected in various objects such as art supplies and a documentary film Children of the Northlights.

The papers also include correspondence, photographs, home movies, and personal effects, which are a window into the D'Aulaires' personal lives.


  • circa 1909-1985


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Record Album Storage, Box 3 (commercial record album): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 172-189 (motion picture films and reel-to-reel sound recordings): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 190 (videocassette and DVD): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 230-233 (lithograph stones): Restricted fragile material. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Edgar Parin and Ingri D'Aulaire Papers are 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 Nils Daulaire and Per Ola D'Aulaire on the Jockey Hollow Fund, 2006.

Gift of Nils Daulaire and Per Ola D'Aulaire, 2006-2007.


Organized into four groupings: I. February 2006 Acquisition, 1931-1976. II. March 2006 Acquisition, 1930-1978. III. March 2006 Acquisition, 1930. IV. September 2007 Acquisition, 1909-1985.

Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time.

Researchers should note that material within each acquisition overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other acquisitions. For instance, art work and drawings can be found in most, if not all, of the groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.

Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the library.


62.56 Linear Feet ((187 boxes) + 8 broadsides, 39 rolls and 1 record album storage)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of art work, writings, notes and research papers, correspondence, printed material, motion picture film, art supplies, photographs and other related papers, documenting the D'Aulaires' creative process and collaborative work as authors and illustrators of children's books.

Edgar Parin D'Aulaire (1898-1986) and Ingri D'Aulaire (1904-1980)

Edgar Parin D'Aulaire and Ingri Mortenson D'Aulaire authored and illustrated a number of children's books. Throughout their joint career, which spanned nearly five decades, the D'Aulaires worked as a team on the text and illustrations for numerous children's books. Their published works include: Abraham Lincoln (1939), Foxie (1949), Buffalo Bill (1952), Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths (1962), Norse Gods and Giants (1967), and D'Aulaires' Trolls (1972), among many others.

Ingri Mortenson was born on December 27, 1904 in Kongsberg, Norway to Per and Oline Mortenson. She studied art at the Institute of Arts and Crafts in Oslo, Norway, Hans Hofman School of Art in Munich, Germany, and Academie Scandinave, Academie Gauguin, and Academie Andre L'Hote in Paris, France.

Edgar Parin was born on September 30, 1898 in Munich, Germany, to Gino and Ella Parin. Edgar Parin adopted his mother's maiden name, D'Aulaire, for his professional identity. D'Aulaire attended the Technological Institute of Munich and Hans Hofman School of Art in Munich, Germany before continuing his studies in Paris (including a period as a pupil of Henri Matisse).

Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire met while attending the Hans Hofman School of Art and were married on July 24, 1925. After living and studying in Paris the D'Aulaires immigrated to the United States in 1929 settling in New York and then Connecticut. In 1930 they began collaborating on children's books with their first publication The Magic Rug appearing in 1931. The D'Aulaires drew inspiration from Norwegian folktales and American historical figures for their work. In 1940 the D'Aulaires were awarded a Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association for Abraham Lincoln. Other recognition includes the Catholic Library Association Regina Medal (1970) and a nomination for the National Book Award (1973).

The D'Aulaires had two sons: Per Ola and Nils Maarten.

Ingri D'Aulaire died of cancer on October 24, 1980. Edgar D'Aulaire died on May 1, 1986.

General note

This finding aid describes a collection that has been acquired by the library in discrete segments over time. The narrative sections of the finding aid provide information about the content and context of the collection. The >Collection Contents section provides a general description and in some instances a box or folder listing of the various acquisitions of the collection. The Processing Notes section provides information about the way and extent to which the library has processed this collection. The Arrangement section provides information about how material within this collection is organized and tips on how to locate material across various acquisitions.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

The collection is comprised of material formerly classed as: Uncat MSS 844, Uncat MSS 858, Uncat MS Vault File, and Uncat MSS 985. This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization in 2012. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below, identified by a unique call number and titled according to month and year of acquisition.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Edgar Parin and Ingri D'Aulaire Papers
Under Revision
by Beinecke staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.