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Donna Barr Papers, 1963-2014Add to your cart. | Special Collections & University Archives

Title: Donna Barr Papers, 1963-2014Add to your cart.
ID: MS-0072
Extent: 40.9 Linear Feet
expand icon Historical Note

Donna Barr, an accomplished artist and prolific writer, was born in Everett, Washington in 1952, and began drawing as a child in 1954.  She served in the United States Army from 1970-73, and received a bachelors' degree in German from Ohio State University in 1978.

Barr is best known for her two comic book series Stinz (1984) and The Desert Peach (1986). Stinz tells the story of a society of centaur-like people living in a setting reminiscent of pre-industrial Germany, while The Desert Peach is about Pfirsich Rommel, the fictional and homosexual younger brother of Erwin “The Desert Fox Rommel,” and is set in North Africa during World War II.  Subsequent publications included Hader and the Colonel (1987), Bosom Enemies (1987), and Barr Girls (1990). Her work has been translated into German, Japanese, Italian, and Croatian.  Her most ambitious work is a series of handmade ornate, stitchery-covered bound sketchbooks, called the Black Manuscripts.  In 1997, Barr started her own publishing company.

Barr has been a respected presence in drawn-book publishing throughout her career.  Her drawn books, which cross the boundaries between art and writing, redefine traditional novels, artist's books, graphic novels, and book design and illustration. Her background in 20th-century German culture and language, literature, world mythologies, history, and religion informs her artwork, which is influenced by Japanese woodcuts, European fine arts, Victorian novels, Chinese poets, and Russian mystics.  She works in pencil, ink, watercolor, and silkscreen.

Barr has been recognized throughout her career with numerous awards and honors, including The Xeric Grant 2000; The Bruce Brown Foundation Grant 2004; San Diego Comicon International's  Inkpot,  1996; Seattle's Cartoonists Northwest's  Toonies,  1998; London Comic Creator's Guild's  Best Ongoing Humor Series, 1992; the Washington Press Association's  Communicator of Excellence for Fiction,  1997 and 1998.

Aside from her professional and personal writing, she has been involved in the Northwest community as a member of the Graphic Artists Guild, the National Writers Union, UAW/AFL/CIO, and a consultant for the Media curriculum in the Arts Department at Olympic College, in Bremerton, Washington.  She lectures on her work at conventions and symposiums all over the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is well known to the growing drawn-book audience in Eastern Europe.  She lives in Clallam Bay, Washington with her husband.

Author: Jossie Chavez
expand icon Arrangement

I. Correspondence, 1970-2014

II. Administrative Files, 1982-2014

    1.) Subject Files, 1985-2014

    2.) Consignment Work, 1975-2010

    3.) Awards & Recognition, 1973-2010

    4.) Press Clippings, 1987-2004

III. The Desert Peach, 1919-2003

    1). Manuscripts, 1919-2003

    2). Musical Production, 1943-1992

    3). Announcements, 1988-2000

    4). Illustrations, 1980-1995

    5). Additional Materials, 1941-2001

IV. Stinz, 1982-2003

V. Bosom Enemies, 1987-2001

VI. Hader and the Colonel, 1987-1999

VII. Other Works, 1981-2003

VIII. Audio and Visual Media Materials, ca. 1987-2006

IX. Born Digital Materials, c. 2000-2013

X. Original Artwork (Oversize), 1988-2012

    1). The Desert Peach, 1988-2012

    2). Stinz, 1985-2006

    3). Other Works, 1988-2012

expand icon Forms of Material (links to similar genres)
expand icon Administrative Information
Acquired: 07/12/2005. 2008-021, 2008-046, 2009-012, 2009-018, 2009-046, 2010-002, 2010-003, 2010-037, 2010-039, 2011-055, 2012-012, 2012-031, 2013-005, 2013-018, 2014-003, 2014-011, 2014-020, 2014-026
Restrictions: This collection is open for research. All of the Audio and Visual Media Materials represented in the papers and the Born Digital Materials in Series 9 are restricted. Please contact Robert Ray, Head of Special Collections and University Archives at for more information.
Rights: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Note: Donna Barr
Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Donna Barr Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Finding Aid Revisions: The Donna Barr Papers were reprocessed with additional materials and the finding aid revised in August 2014 by Kim Schwenk.
Collection Material Type: Personal Papers
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