Special Collections and Archives

Babar collection of John L. Boonshaft

Babar Collection of John L. Boonshaft

Finding Aid

Prepared by David Allamon, 2000, Maggie Castellani, 2001, and Kathleen S. Medicus, 2002
Notes prepared by Ann Hildebrand
189 cubic ft. + large artifacts, 12th floor, Room 1213

Scope and Content

This one-of-a-kind collection, bequeathed to Kent State University in 1992 by John L. Boonshaft of Las Vegas, Nevada, contains books and artifacts relating to Babar, the fictional elephant created by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931 and perpetuated by his son, Laurent, after Jean died in 1937.

Among the books are rare first edition volumes of both men's work in over twenty languages, as well as a full range of the books' numerous variant (in size, story, format, typeface, etc.) editions. The artifacts include original de Brunhoff artwork and hundreds of quality Babar products - china, clothing, toys, furniture, games, music, etc. - dating from 1937 to the present. Also present in the collection are some John L. Boonshaft papers including a listing of the collection for appraisal and documents regarding the 1989 Babar copyright trial, Clifford Ross Company, Ltd. vs. Nelvana Limited.

Patrons should note that the oversized posters are located in the Map Case in the Reading Room in 1212.

Boonshaft died in August, 1997, shortly after which his collection was moved to the Kent State University Libraries, where it is permanently housed and visible in the Babar Room of the Department of Special Collections.

Inventory to books in the Babar Collection of John L. Boonshaft

Inventory to artifacts in the Babar Collection of John L. Boonshaft

Inventory to John L. Boonshaft, Papers