Contribute Artwork

You are invited to participate in the International Collection of Child Art at Milner Library, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.

The International Collection of Child Art’s origins and history are intertwined with the history of Illinois State University, the state’s first public university, whose founding premise is rooted in education and diversity.  As part of a doctoral research intensive institution, Milner Library supports the University’s mission of promoting high academic standards by championing resources, such as the ICCA, that promote an intellectually engaging environment to support learning and scholarship. 

Milner Library is an established research center where students and scholars from various disciplines study the visual expressions of children and adolescents.  Presently the collection has over 8,600 examples of children's artwork from numerous parts of the world and we continually increase this resource. Government agencies, public and private schools, as well as individuals are encouraged to contribute original drawings, paintings, and prints to the International Collection of Child Art. We are looking for examples from groups that represent a cross-section of children in your country. Additional information about the resources, traveling exhibits, and history of the collection is available on this web site.

Please contact the Director of the ICCA to confirm specific arrangements for the contribution of artwork.

Basic information needed for each piece of artwork

For research purposes, we must have the following information on each piece of artwork. Items 1 through 4 are used for cross-indexing each piece. Additional information is asked for on the Artwork Information Sheet.

  1. Country or culture
  2. Age (2 to 17)
  3. Gender
  4. Title of the work
  5. Name of the child
  6. Name of the school
  7. A statement by the young artist about his/her artwork (it is not always possible to get this statement, but it is extremely valuable for research purposes)
  8. Who taught the lesson in which the artwork was produced

NOTE: Please use the Artwork Information Sheet, which is to be attached to the back of each contributed artwork.

How to arrange to collect and send the artwork

  • A letter or e-mail should be sent to the director of the collection giving information about the material and approximate weight
  • The director will reply recommending the best method of shipping the artwork and information relative to covering the shipping costs
  • The work should be two-dimensional only, and should not be matted, but should be mailed in a strong cardboard box

Suggested topics for collecting the artwork

As you know, themes are crucial to collecting artwork which is personal to children who come from a great variety of backgrounds and environments, not to mention a range of ages and as a result, a variety of maturity levels. We hope to elicit information in the artwork which is from the child's personal experiences. The following sample topics bring out much individual interpretation of local, personal, and cultural information in the artwork.

  • Getting Ready for School
  • I Help My Family
  • When I Grow Up
  • Games I Like to Play
  • My Favorite Toy
  • My Favorite Holiday
  • If I Had a cat, or a dog, or a turtle…
  • Going Shopping
  • My Home Town
  • My Favorite Place

Please contact the ICCA Curator with any questions.


Last Updated: 2/4/14