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Lucy Fitch Perkins papers


Held at: Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection [Contact Us]1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Lucy Fitch Perkins was born on July 12, 1865 in Maples, Indiana. She studied illustration at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, graduating in 1886. She then taught in Brooklyn, New York at the Pratt Institute from 1887 to 1891. In 1891 she married architect Dwight Heald Perkins, with whom she had two children, Eleanor Ellis in 1893 and Lawrence Bradford in 1907. She spent her early career as a book illustrator and editor. After a friend and publisher encouraged her to write her own books, she published The Dutch Twins (1911), the first of her “Twins of the World” series. The focus of the books was both geographical and historical. The protagonists were always a set of twins, usually a boy and a girl, shown in their country of origin. She was inspired by a trip to Ellis Island and hoped to promote an understanding of immigrants in the United States. She would go on to publish twenty-six books in the series. She died on March 18, 1937 before finishing The Dutch Twins and Little Brother. It was completed by her daughter and published a year later.


American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. 2nd ed., s.v. “Perkins, Lucy Fitch.”

Something About the Author, vol. 72.

"Lucy Fitch Perkins," Wikipedia, accessed December 19, 2011,

This is a small collection of material by and about children's author and illustrator Lucy Fitch Perkins (1865-1937). It contains correspondence, a manuscript draft of The Dutch Twins, and advertising material for "The Twins Series." The correspondence from Lucy Fitch Perkins to Edwin Osgood Grover concerns the writing and publication of The Dutch Twins and provides insight into how the book was formed. The correspondence between Lucy's daughter, Eleanor Ellis Perkins, and Edwin Osgood Grover concerns his memories of Lucy for use in Eleanor's biography of her mother, Eve Among the Puritans: A Biography of Lucy Fitch Perkins. It also contains two advertising booklets for "The Twins Series" and a note from Frances Grover that was added to the correspondence at a later date.

The materials are arranged chronologically.

Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Garrett Boos
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers by appointment. Please contact the Curator for information on access.

Use Restrictions

The right of access to material does not imply the right of publication. Permission for reprinting, reproduction, or extensive quotation from the rare books, manuscripts, prints, or drawings must be obtained through written application, stating the use to be made of the material. The reader bears the responsibility for any possible infringement of copyright laws in the publication of such material. A reproduction fee will be charged if the material is to be reproduced in a commercial publication.

Collection Inventory

Draft of The Dutch Twins, manuscript with illustrations, graphite on paper, circa 1909-1910.
Box 1
Correspondence with Edwin Osgood Grover concerning The Dutch Twins, 1910 January-August.
Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence between Eleanor Ellis Perkins and Edwin Osgood Grover concerning Lucy Fitch Perkins, 1953-1964.
Box 1 Folder 2
Scope and Contents note

Includes two enclosures, an advertising booklet on the "Twins" series (1926 or later) and an advertising booklet featuring biographical information about Perkins (circa 1916), send by Grover to Eleanor Ellis Perkins. The last letter from Edwin Osgood Grover also bears a note added by Frances Grover in 1964.

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