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Joseph Wolf drawings

Call Number: MS Q18


This collection consists of drawings attributed to Joseph Wolf (1820-1899), which came to the University of Kansas as part of the bequest by Ralph Nicholson Ellis, Jr (1908-1945) of his library of natural-history books and manuscripts. Some are quick sketches capturing the outlines and positions of animals, while others are more detailed pencil studies. Both would have served as reference material for the artist who painted animals and provided zoological illustrations for numerous books, including the ornithological books published in London by John Gould during the mid-19th century.


  • Creation: approximately 1848-1899


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Joseph Wolf (1820-1899)

Joseph Wolf trained in Germany and Belgium as a lithographer and artist before moving in 1848 to London, England where he had a successful career as a painter and illustrator of zoological subjects. His careful observations of captive animals, such as those recorded in these drawings, lay behind the realism of his depictions.


5 Linear Feet (approximately 5 linear feet (3 oversize boxes))

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS Q18

Physical Location

MS Qa47

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequest, Ralph Nicholson Ellis Jr., 1945.

Separated Materials

John Gould Ornithological Collection, Gould and various call numbers within Ellis Aves, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Processing Information

Materials pulled from volume formerly located at Ellis F130. Materials were removed from volume and rehoused with other Wolf drawings by conservation staff at Spencer Research Library in 2020-2022.

Guide to the Joseph Wolf Collection
Joseph Wolf drawings
Finding aid prepared by alh, April 21,1982. Finding aid encoded by eje, 2023. Finding aid revised by ksc, 2019; eje, 2023; mwh, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Joseph Wolf drawings, MS Q18, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States