'The Borrowers' series

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1840 DS/02
  • Dates of Creation
      c 1952-1971
  • Physical Description
      12 files

Scope and Content

Material relating to 'The Borrowers' series by Mary Norton, including a draft typescript of the first book in the series, 'The Borrowers'; original artwork by Diana Stanley for the other four books in the series, 'The Borrowers Afield', 'The Borrowers Afloat', 'The Borrowers Aloft' and 'Poor Stainless'; and a small file of letters from Mary Norton to Diana Stanley.


The majority of the artwork in this series consists of pencil drawings. Although many of the drawings are detailed and apparently finished, none of the pencil drawings in the series are the final illustrations used for publication, as Stanley's published illustrations for the 'Borrowers' series were all executed in pen. For the purposes of printing, those finished pencil drawings which were selected for publication were traced and then redrawn in pen, often with slight alterations made to the drawings. In addition, illustrations which appear to be finished pieces often bear annotations in Stanley's hand noting certain things she wanted to change about the illustrations and indicating that they are not the final versions of the illustrations. It is generally very difficult, therefore, to establish which pencil drawings are the final versions reproduced for the book, and which are preparatory or alternative versions of illustrations. Owing to the difficulty in establishing which drawings are finished pieces and which are preparatory, artwork for each title has been arranged into files based on the simple division of either drawings and sketches, which also include supplementary notes by Stanley where such notes have survived, or tracings. In the case of two titles - 'The Borrowers Afield' and 'The Borrowers Aloft' - additional files of cover artwork and coloured illustrations are also included. Within each file, illustrations are arranged as far as possible in the order in which they appear in the book.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Pencil, typescripts