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Sketches, Typescripts and Correspondence, mid 20th century

Identifier: Coll-2029/2/4

Scope and Contents

This folder contains handwritten and typed drafts of stories, some of which include edits. There are also drafts of poetry and pencil and ink drawings corresponding to Alison Tod's stories. Some of these drawings are signed and contain her address. The drawings include what was known as a "golliwog", a character created in 1895 by Florence Kate Upton that was popular until the 1960s-70s but was later perceived as a racist caricature.


  • Creation: mid 20th century


Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.

Biographical / Historical

Based on her childhood minstrel doll, American author Florence Kate Upton created the golliwog as a character in her book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. The features include wild hair, dark skin, large, white-rimmed eyes, and clown lips. It was usually depicted as male, dressed in bow tie, jacket, and trousers. Upton did not copyright the image and it subsequently entered public domain allowing other authors and illustrators to use the character in their own stories. Through this, the personality of the golliwog changed subtly throughout the early twentieth century. While Upton's golliwog was silly and gallant - albeit unsightly – they became unkind and mean-spirited. In the racial conflicts of the 1960s, protesters cited the golliwog as insensitive, which began its slow descent in popularity as a children’s book character.


1 file

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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