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Welcome back, Winnie-the-Pooh!


Winnie the Pooh
Winnie-the-Pooh is back! 

“Pooh was mine, and probably, clasped in my arms not very different from the countless other bears clasped in the arms of countless other children. From time to time he went to the cleaners, and from time to time ears had
to be sewn on again, lost eyes replaced and paws renewed.”

—The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne aka Christopher Robin

Winnie-the-Pooh is back in The New York Public Library’s Children’s Room, and he brought his friends!

The beloved bear, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Tigger were GON OUT BACKSON BISY BACKSON for the past year as they got meticulously preserved for the next generation. But now they’re back on display against a map of the Hundred Acre Wood, that fuzzy space between make believe and Sussex, England, where author A. A. Milne lived with his family.

All of the toys were first sent “to the cleaners” when they were donated to the Library in 1987.

Winnie the Pooh and Friends
Eeyore, Kanga, Tigger and Piglet are back, too.

But now, thanks to this latest round of treatment, they “resemble their original selves,” according to Evelyn Frangakis, assistant director of preservation for the Library—pretty good considering dear, old Pooh Bear will celebrate his 95th birthday later this month. Both children and adults have been busy making him birthday cards online and in the Children’s Room to celebrate the occasion.

Winnie-the-Pooh got a nip/tuck during his recent trip: Some stuffing and stitches were pushed back in; his paws and snout were covered with a thin, protective mesh; and his butt was steamed and fluffed so it’ll look top-notch hanging out of a HUNNY tree, maybe in nearby Bryant Park.

This is where Piglet chimes in. We’re getting to you, Piglet!

Piglet had his snout adjusted; Kanga had her head straightened; Tigger had his bottom fluffed.

No surprise, Eeyore needed the most work. OH, BOTHER. He is by far the biggest doll and also one of the oldest. A whopping 52 of his patches were removed—some were cleaned, treated, and sewn back on. Others were replaced, and the rest were sent back to the Library for safekeeping.

All of the dolls were vacuumed and put on new mounts so they can sit up and greet their hundreds of thousands of guests each year, many of whom leave happy fingerprints on the glass.

ONew York Times ad for Winnie the Poohne caveat: Alterations made when the dolls were in the care of the Milne family were carefully evaluated and preserved, said Michael Inman, the Library’s caretaker of the Winnie-the-Pooh dolls.

“We take conservatorship of the dolls very, very seriously,” said Inman. “We work to ensure these things survive indefinitely.”

Milne first bought Edward Bear, or Teddy, at Harrods of London and gave him to his son Christopher Robin for his first birthday. As the boy grew, he became known as Billy; the bear, as Winnie. Billy renamed his toy for a bear he met at the London Zoo. The name stuck, and it is now a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a testament to how much Pooh is loved.

Milne, illustrator Ernest H. Shepard, and other FRENDS AND RALETIONS also gave the British boy Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo as presents. (Owl and Rabbit were entirely fictional.) Before long, Milne was writing and Shepard was illustrating the stories that have captured children’s and adult’s imaginations.

Roo, the tiniest toy of all, got lost in an apple orchard early on, but the rest went on a tour of America with publisher E.P. Dutton & Co. in 1947 and were later donated to the Library, where they are as cherished now as they were when Winnie-the-Pooh was first published in 1926.

When the book debuted, the New York Times recommended it as the perfect Christmas gift, hailing it as “a wholly charming little tale” about a bear, who is “constantly having unexpected adventures and going off on exciting trips.”

Going to “the cleaners” is just one of many.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Is it just me or are there

Is it just me or are there quit a few type-o's and such in the article?

Oh, bother ;)

Oh, bother ;)

Pooh & Friends

Didn't you mean to write that Ernest Shepard was doing the illustrating, not Mr. Milne ?? "...Milne, illustrator Ernest H. Shepard, and other FRENDS AND RALETIONS also gave the British boy Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo as presents. (Owl and Rabbit were entirely fictional.) Before long, Milne was writing and Milne was illustrating the stories that have captured children’s and adult’s imaginations."

Thank you!

No, thank you for your sharp eye!

The Pooh Crew

It is wonderful that the gang has been so carefully restored. I was a bit fond of their former ragtag condition, I must admit. Sort of reminded me of my old dolls and all the adventures we had that made them look quite the mess. The condition of the collection may have been a bit disconcerting to children who viewed them, however. I am glad they will last for more generations of children to enjoy. Thank you for doing this for all of us.

Thank you!

It's so great to know our patrons appreciate Pooh. Thank you!

Happy birthday Winnie the Pooh

It's wonderful to know that pooh bear and his friends will be seen by so many for years to come. Weve missed him and I'm glad to hear they're all back "home". I've brought my granddaughter every year to visit them all since she was a baby- it will be great to bring her again. Thank you for taking care of him and his friends. A visit to the library isn't the same without seeing Winnie and his friends.

Welcome back, Winnie the Pooh!

It is always helpful when announcing new conservation treatments to show comparative photographs of restored works (I. e. photographs showing works before and after treatment). We would like very much to comment on this project at ArtWatch UK and would greatly appreciate it if such photographs could be sent to: With many thanks Sincerely Michael Daley

Lovely article

Thanks so much for the whimsical and informative update about the characters return to the library. As a recent transplant to New York I've been looking forward to seeing these old friends, and was especially interested that the family's alterations of the stuffed toys were preserved as much as possible. I look forward to visiting them!

Winnie the Pooh bear

Back in 1981 when I worked for American Airlines I had the privilege of escorting the original Pooh Bear to Chicago. It was going to the Chicago Public Library Cultural Center to be on display for the "Bear Hug Book Festival. We flew together on an American Airline flight from LGA to Chicago.

Winnie the Pooh

I am a descendant of A.A. Milne family and appreciate so much the care that the New York library takes to care for Pooh and his friends. Thank you so much!!

Winnie the Pooh

As Pooh was English and lived in England, is there any chance of him popping over for a short stay in England? Just a few weeks? That wouldn't be too much trouble would it? Make a lot of children happy. And me. Yes I know we've still got the Elgin Marbles but that's different. Love Glenn Ford

Oh MY! My friend and I an

Oh MY! My friend and I an finishing our Winnie the Pooh pilgrimage in April to see our friends after going to the real Hundred Akre Wood in England and would have been VERY DISAPPOINTED if Pooh and his friends were not there. I am SO glad I checked. Thank you!!

Winnie The Pooh - Where are You

I am visiting NY next week with my ten year old daughter, basically to see wtp. Please could you confirm he and his friends are within the New York Library as this will be our first port of call.

WTP is currently on display!

WTP is currently on display!

What a pleasant surprise

After seeing the trailer for Goodbye Christopher Robin, I was really surprised to find out that all the original Pooh toys have been kept in the NYPL! I haven't been there in a long time, but living in the city now with a family of my own, I'll be very happy to visit you guys and of course Pooh and company. Thanks for taking good care of some of the most important characters in literature.

Seeing these old friends in

Seeing these old friends in the flesh was a highlight on a trip to NYC a few years ago. However, my old mum was most distressed to hear that they had been taken by the Americans and, while it's good to know they're being well looked after, I too am concerned that they're being held against their will.

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