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Prospect Archive of Children's Work


  • featured collection
  • featured collection
  • featured collection
  • featured collection
  • featured collection

About (Leo’s) Collection

(Leo’s) original collection in the Archive spans 10 years, 1975-1985, ages 4 years and 11 months to 14 years and 8 months. The full collection contains 1,907 items, which are reproduced on microfiche in the Reference Edition. (Leo) primarily used markers to create narratives in line, with color highlighting or adding to the action. Narratives are often adventures, voyages, journeys, or paths of discovery, including encounters with the unexpected. Mapping, large space, and distance are characteristic of the settings in which adventures occur, with copious detail and motion as well as extreme variation in the line unifying the work. (Leo) appears to be gathering, recording, and explicating experience. Treatment of scenes implies events preceding and following, as opposed to studies of single moments. Over the 10 years, (Leo’s) work evinces increasing interest in and capacity for control and precision of line and decrease in ambiguity about space and perspective. Cartooning begins to appear in year 5, linear perspective in year 6, humorous treatment of previously serious subjects in years 7 and 8, with more character study, less narrative, and increased range of mediums and of color and form in years 8 and 9. (Leo’s) early written stories are transcribed from dictation, often as captions for the adventure drawings. As he increasingly writes the stories down himself, he continues adventure stories in a variety of settings, often blending elements from history, folklore, or legend. He also writes descriptions, reports, and opinion essays. Humor permeates much of his writing (including word play, captioned cartoons, exploration of idioms). His later adventure stories are full of action and conflict, with detailed and descriptive language.

Extended Image Selection

This set of 254 color reproductions represents all the color images made of (Leo’s) work for the Reference Edition. The selection results from the work of a participant in the Archive Scholars/Fellows project of 1983-85 or of comparable study in later institutes. The participants—generally educators—each went through each item in the child’s collection, organized and numbered it chronologically, and together with others similarly engaged, used Prospect’s Descriptive Processes to make additional collaborative inquiries into the work and the common and divergent threads between the children. The selection of color images for the Reference Edition was made on the basis of this study, to represent characteristic and exceptional themes, motifs, stylistic tendencies, and choices of media, through the duration of the collection.

Concise Image Selection

This sub-set of 60 images was selected based on study of the 254 color slides. The selection was also somewhat influenced by the quality of reproduction in digital form. Prospect participants have found that 60 images are sufficient, and manageable, for a group of teachers to begin to see how a body of work by a child, created spontaneously and collected over a period of years, reveals persisting patterns of thematic interest and stylistic characteristics and reflects back on how the child thinks and what might support his or her learning. It is Prospect’s hope that this selection will be used by educators for this purpose.

Selected Writings

The selected writings are transcriptions of a child’s writing. They were made by various people working with the file, at different times, generally in preparation for a workshop or institute at which the child’s work was to be studied. Other than the use of pseudonyms and the removal of other identifying elements, no consistent guidelines for handling spelling, punctuation, or other idiosyncrasies were applied.


The catalogues are year-by-year summaries of (Leo’s) original collection, preceded by an overall summary, all prepared by Archive Scholars/Fellows working with the original material.

Narrative Records

The records consist of Prospect School teachers’ weekly notes and semi-annual reports to parents about (Leo), plus, as available, notes of Descriptive Reviews about him and his work (see the Methodology and Resources pages).