About the Collection

Maurice Sendak

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 10, 1928, Maurice Sendak was a largely self-taught artist who went on to illustrate over 100 books during his 60-year career. Books for which Sendak became singularly identifiable include Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One was Johnny, and Pierre) (1962), Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970), Outside Over There (1981), and many others. He was honored with numerous awards, including the international 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award given by the American Library Association, the 1996 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Sendak was the 1964 Caldecott Medal Winner for Where the Wild Things Are.

He held a second career as a costume and stage designer in the late 1970s, completing work on operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sergei Prokofiev, and Maurice Ravel. Sendak moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1972 with his partner, psychiatrist Dr. Eugene Glynn, who died in 2007. He died in Connecticut on May 8, 2012.

Color final drawing for Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen book. Picture depicts three bakers on the ground awaiting a delivery of milk from the main character, Mickey.
Final artwork of pp. 28-29 for In the Night Kitchen (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), The Maurice Sendak Collection. Archives & Special Collections, UConn Library. © The Maurice Sendak Foundation.

The Maurice Sendak Collection

The Maurice Sendak Collection at the University of Connecticut includes materials of published illustrated books created by Maurice Sendak. From final drawings to color separations, proofs to storyboards, lettering samples to acetate overlays, the collection bears witness to Sendak’s widely imaginative and complex visual intelligence and technical skill as portrayed through the worlds and characters he envisioned. Supported by a generous grant from The Maurice Sendak Foundation, Archives & Special Collections is a proud steward of this prestigious collection.

The collection is arranged chronologically by publication title. The arrangement of material within each series follows the organization scheme originally developed by The Maurice Sendak Foundation. Please review the finding aid for a complete list of all materials in the collection. The collection is available online in the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA)

Archives & Special Collections Mission Statement

The work of Archives & Special Collections is guided by the ideas that archives reveal by enabling people to examine and better understand the past, that archives inspire by being useful for many purposes, and that archives should be open to provide the widest possible access to information.

Archives & Special Collections supports and advances the research, teaching, service, and outreach missions of the University of Connecticut by collecting and preserving original source materials in the social sciences and humanities; by maintaining the historical records of the University; by fostering public awareness of archival issues; and by engaging students and faculty in scholarly and creative achievement.