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Pauline Baynes papers

Identifier: Brit-Mss-Baynes

Scope and Contents

The Pauline Baynes papers contain art, correspondence, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, notebooks, and other materials of British illustrator Pauline Diana Baynes (1922–2008). The original art includes sketches, pen and ink drawings, and paintings, some with translucent overlays indicating the placement of text or other aspects of book design. A few artworks by other illustrators are present in the collection. Some proofs of books illustrated by Baynes and sample dust jackets are also included. Personal and professional correspondence contains details about the planning and publication of many of Baynes' commissions. Sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and notebooks document Baynes' creative process.

Because Baynes sold or gave away most of her best-known original art -- illustrations for first editions of C.S. Lewis and several minor works by J.R.R. Tolkien -- these are not well-represented in her papers.


  • 1944-2008

Conditions Governing Access

The Pauline Baynes papers are open for research. Researchers are encouraged to contact Special Collections staff prior to a visit.

Conditions Governing Use

In consultation with Special Collections staff, reproductions may be made upon request. Material in this collection may be subject to copyright.

Baynes, Pauline (1922-2008)

Pauline Diana Baynes (1922-2008) was an illustrator who began her career in 1942 with illustrations for the “Perry Colour Books” for children. Over more than sixty years, she made thousands of drawings and paintings illustrating more than 200 publications. She is best known for her illustrations of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and minor works by J.R.R. Tolkien. Baynes was most often hired to illustrate stories with an element of fantasy, such as Andersen’s fairy tales and the Arabian Nights, and books with religious themes. She also contributed to history and geography books, nature books, and cookbooks. Baynes was especially known for the attention to historical accuracy which she brought to books such as A Dictionary of Chivalry by Grant Uden (1968), which won her the Kate Greenaway Medal, and A Companion to World Mythology by Richard Barber (1979).


unknown Linear Feet (70 boxes)

Language of Materials



Organized into four series: I. Art, II. Art by others, III. Correspondence, and IV. Notebooks, Scrapbooks, and Sketchbooks.

Physical Location

L2 Storage

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed by Pauline Baynes to the Williams College Oxford Programme with the wish that it be placed in the care of the Chapin Library. A few additional illustrations by Baynes have been added by purchase.

Separated Materials

Approximately 2,000 volumes comprising Baynes’s working reference library, as well as published works illustrated by Baynes, are cataloged separately with call numbers beginning "Baynes."
Pauline Baynes papers
Anne Peale
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Chapin Library Repository

26 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown Massachusetts 01267