Stan and Jan Berenstain papers
The Stan and Jan Berenstain papers are arranged into seven series, two of which are further divided into subseries. The materials are housed in eight archival document boxes and two oversized flat folders.
- 1949 - 2006
- Majority of material found within 1962 - 1983
- Berenstain, Jan (Illustrator, Person)
Conditions Governing Use
7.5 Linear Feet (8 boxes, 2 oversized folders)
Stanley Berenstain and Janice Grant were both born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They met at the Philadelphia Museum School for Industrial Art (now called the University of the Arts) on their first day of class in 1941. During World War II, Stanley served as a medical illustrator for the United States Army, while Janice worked as both an aircraft riveter and a draft artist for the Army Corps of Engineers. Stanley and Janice wed in 1946 and began their careers together as magazine cartoonists. Their artwork appeared in popular magazines such as Collier’s, McCall’s, and The Saturday Evening Post. They soon added drawing advertisements for major American companies to their repertoire. After the births of their two sons, the Berenstains published a humor book on parenting, called The Berenstains’ Baby Book. They went on to use family humor as the basis for dozens of other satirical advice books, as well as for their magazine cartoon feature It’s All in the Family.
The Berenstain Bears first appeared in 1962’s The Big Honey Hunt, under the editorship of Theodor Geisel. At that time, Geisel advised the Berenstains to shorten their byline to the now-familiar “Stan and Jan Berenstain.” (Geisel also coined the term “The Berenstain Bears.”) Over the next four decades, the duo authored more than two hundred Berenstain Bears books, often based on real-life experiences of Berenstain family members. Other platforms for the Berenstain Bears have included animated television series, video games, plush toys, and other merchandise. In the 1980s, Mike Berenstain joined his parents in drawing the series.
In 2002, the Berenstains released their joint memoir, entitled Down a Sunny Dirt Road. Stan passed away in November 2005, and Jan died in February 2012. The Berenstains’ legacy lives on through their popular stories, distinctive illustrations, and memorable characters.
System of Arrangement
Series I: It’s All in the Family, 1958-1987
Subseries A: Sketches
Subseries B: Storyboards
Subseries C: Published cartoon features
Subseries D: Merchandise
Series II: The Berenstain Bears, 1977-2006
Subseries A: Sketches
Subseries B: Storyboards and scripts
Subseries C: Proofs
Subseries D: Advertisements
Subseries E: Merchandise
Series III: Advertisements, 1949-1960s
Series IV: Other illustrations/publications, 1949-1971
Series V: Manuscripts, c. 1960s-1970s
Series VI: Correspondence, 1965-1995
Series VII: Publicity, c. 1950s-1964
- Berenstain Bears (Fictitious characters)
- Berenstain Bears (Fictitious characters) -- Juvenile literature.
- Caricatures and cartoons -- Juvenile fiction.
- Cartoons and comics
- Families -- Juvenile fiction.
- Good Housekeeping magazine
- Hallmark Cards, Inc
- It's all in the family (comic strip)
- McCall's magazine
- Parenting -- Humor.
- Random House, Inc
- Finding Aid to the Stan and Jan Berenstain Papers, 1949-2006
- Julia Novakovic
- 19 August 2013
- Description rules
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA