Loading Library Hours...

Collections of Children’s Literature

SSHEL Home > S-Collection Home  > Research Children’s Literature > Collections of Children’s Literature

Online Resources

  • Baldwin Library of Historic Children’s Literature The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries contains more than 93,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the early 1700s through the 1990s. Its holdings of more than 800 early American imprints is the second largest such collection in the United States. The product of Ruth Baldwin’s 40-year collection development efforts, this vast assemblage of literature printed primarily for children offers an equally vast territory of topics for the researcher to explore: education and upbringing, family and gender roles, civic values, racial, religious, and moral attitudes, literary style and format, and the arts of illustration and book design.
  • The Center for Children’s Books The Center for Children’s Books is committed to promoting quality literature for youth in the school and public library, in the classroom, and at home. Located in the School of Information Sciences (The iSchool at Illinois) building, the Center for Children’s Books is an invaluable resource for locating children’s literature materials on the University of Illinois campus. The Center maintains a non-circulating collection of more than 14,000 trade books for children and more than 1,000 professional and reference works that provide history and criticism of children’s literature. Most of the books in the Center’s Collection have been reviewed in their affiliate publication, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.
  • Children’s Collection in the Library at the University of Reading The collection currently comprises over 6,000 volumes, including runs of periodicals, embracing children’s literature primarily up to 1940. It is predominantly English and nineteenth century, and includes an estimated 900 pre-1851 titles. There are good collections of Mrs. Hofland and Mrs. Sherwood, G.A. Henty, unbroken runs of Aunt Judy’s magazine and the Monthly packet. School stories and editions of Robinson Crusoe are areas of strength.
  • Children’s Literature Collections—the State Library of Victoria (Australia) One of their two collections of Australian children’s literature has strengths in its comprehensive collection of early Australian and contemporary imprints in the subjects of fiction, picture books, folktales, myths and legends and anthologies of poetry. The other collection consists predominantly of early to mid 20th century Australian children’s books, pamphlets, music, songs, games and ephemera. Together the two collections provide an historical perspective to the social trends in publishing for children. A short history is included on the webpage.
  • Children’s Literature in the National Art Library This collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London contains more than 6,500 books dating from the sixteenth century to the present day. The collection is designed to show the development of children’s book production and illustration.
  • Children’s Literature Research Collections The Children’s Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota, includes the Kerlan Collection which contains over 100,000 children’s books, color proofs, artwork and manuscripts. Included in the vast CLRC holdings are Oziana and other Baum related materials as well as popular culture collections.
  • Clarke Historical Library The Lucile Clarke Memorial Children’s Library, located inside the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University, holds a large number of children’s materials including books by and about Native Americans, historical schoolbooks, and a large collection of Arthur Rackham books. This library also has a growing collection of well-regarded international children’s books with a specific focus on nominees for the Hans Christian Andersen award. The Clarke also offers a travel grant for researchers interested in visiting the international children’s collection.
  • Cotsen Children’s Library The Cotsen Children’s Library is a historical collection of 23,000 illustrated children’s materials at Princeton University. Included are early editions of Perrault’s fairy tales, Newbery family imprints, moveable and novelty books, children’s songbooks, Soviet Constructivist picture books, and a rich array of other printed books dating from the 16th to 20th centuries.
  • de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection The strengths of the University of Southern Mississippi’s leading research collection for children’s literature include historical and contemporary works by British and American authors and illustrators. The collection also contains many original manuscripts and illustrations.
  • The Osborne Collection—Toronto Public Library The Osborne Collection encompasses the development of English Children’s literature, including: a fourteenth-century manuscript of Aesop’s fables, fifteenth-century traditional tales, sixteenth-century school texts and courtesy books, godly Puritan works, eighteenth-century chapbooks, moral tales and rational recreations, Victorian classics of fantasy, adventure and school stories, up to 1910 – the end of the Edwardian era.
  • Prange Digital Children’s Book Collection The Gordon W. Prange Children’s Book Collection at the University of Maryland consists of 8,000 picture books, story books, and comic books produced in Japan from 1945-1949. These unique books document life in postwar Japan and are a rich source of cultural and social history. Currently 200 books have been digitized and more will be added to the online digital collection. Only cover images and basic bibliographic information is available in both English and Japanese.

Print Resources

Titles listed below are located in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL), the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Main Stacks, and/or the Oak Street Facility. Search for the title of the book in the Library Catalog to find the location of an item. Addresses and more information about each collection can be found in the individual catalogs.

016.741642 G82b
Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. Kate Greenaway. London. 1990.
Lists the majority of the Museum’s holdings of materials relating to Kate Greenaway. The catalog is divided into 5 categories: (1) Books containing illustrations by Kate Greenaway; (2) Cards featuring Kate Greenaway; (3) Original drawings; (4) Greenaway imitations; and (5) Related materials. Entries are arranged by author/editor or title where no author is apparent. No index.

MFICHE 011.62 B537e
The Birmingham Central Library. Early Children’s Literature: The Birmingham Central Library Collection to 1830. Haslemere. 1995.
Includes early juvenile fiction, fairy tales, chapbooks, periodicals, and non-fiction works. Items in this collection date from 1530 to 1830, and represent 1,200 volumes by over 740 authors. A guide to the collection is available in the School Collection reference area (MFICHE011.62B537eguide).

026.11 C7523c
The Carolyn Sherwin Bailey Historical Collection of Children’s Books : A Catalogue. New Haven. 1966.
Describes the collection of more than 2,000 volumes of early English and American children’s books, primarily from 1657 to 1930, that are housed in the Southern Connecticut State College Library. The catalogue is divided into three major sections — Chap-books, Deportment and Manners, and History and Customs — and is then arranged alphabetically according to author and work.

011.62 UN32c
Catalogue of the Collection of Children’s Books, 1617-1939, in the Library of the University of Reading. Reading, UK. 1988.
Collection contains more than 6,000 volumes specifically for children published before 1939. The catalogue is divided into 24 sections, including genres, periodicals, and miscellanies. Includes an author/title index.

026.11 H313
A Catalogue of the Spencer Collection of Early Children’s Books and Chapbooks. Preston. 1967.
The Spencer collection contains more than 200 children’s books and 400 chapbooks, including several first editions. The table of contents divides the collection by genre, subject matter, or type of material. Includes title and author indexes.

S.011.7 Un3e
Early American Textbooks, 1775-1900. Washington, D.C. 1985.
Subject guide to a representative selection of the Early American Textbook Collection. Books for supplementary readings are listed with the textbooks.

Q.011.62 B193i
Index to the Baldwin Library of Books in English Before 1900, Primarily for Children. Boston. 1981.
This 3-volume index lists approximately 40,000 books, half English and half American, dating from the mid-seventeenth century to 1900. Strengths include early chapbooks, long runs of children’s tracts, “toy” books, and many different editions of children’s classics. Also contains extensive runs of magazines and annuals for children and young adults.

808.899282 J631f
Johnson, Elizabeth L. For Your Amusement and Instruction. Bloomington, Ind. 1987.
The Elisabeth Ball collection consists of approximately 8,500 books and related juvenile materials such as hornbooks, paper dolls, games, and some 1200 manuscripts. Also includes works in other languages, such as French, German, Dutch, and Spanish. The catalogue is divided by subjects and types of materials. Includes title and author indexes.

S.028.8088 Sp312 1995
Jones, Dolores Blythe. Special Collections in Children’s Literature: An International Directory. 1995.
Provides information on special collections of children’s literature, 300 of which are located in the United States and 119 in forty other countries. A subject index lists collections with strengths in specific foreign languages and language groups.

S.741 G828vd
Kate Greenaway: A Catalogue of the Kate Greenaway Collection. Detroit. 1977.
Descriptions of works contained in the Kate Greenaway collection. Divided into four major categories (books; magazines and annuals; calendars, cards, etc., original Kate Greenaway materials). Numerous illustrations.

S.016.8 K457k
Kerlan Collection: Manuscripts and Illustrations. Minneapolis, Minn. 1985.
Catalog of the manuscript and illustration collection at the University of Minnesota arranged by main entry, and also by subject, title, author, and editor entries.

016.80989282 M692f
Mitchell, David. From Pilgrim’s Progress to Pinocchio: a Selection of Books Before 1900 from the Historical Collection of Children’s Literature at the University of Albany. Albany, N.Y. 1987.

Lists 65 exhibition titles from the collection’s 5,000 volumes that date from the early 19th century through the mid-twentieth century. Subject matter ranges from early religious tracts to primers and ABC books. Special emphasis was placed on inexpensive girls’ and boys’ series books and the large number of holdings in this area make the collection unique. Some entries include brief discussions of the author or title.

Q.S.305.23 Op3t
Opie, Iona. The Treasures of Childhood. New York. 1989.
A social history of childhood through an analysis of children’s books, toys, and games. Large, colored photographs of children’s artifacts and literature (from the Opie collection) make up a major portion of the book. Additional writings by Iona and Peter Opie are listed. Further readings and an index are also included.

S.028.52074 OP3
Opie, Peter and Iona. The Opie Collection of Children’s Literature: A Guide to the Microfiche Collection. Ann Arbor, Michigan: U.M.I., 1990.
This three-volume guide to the Opie Collection of Children’s Literature on microfiche covers pre-1850 fiction. The guide is indexed by fiche number, author, title, and Opie number. The microfiche collection is available at Illinois State University and can be obtained through interlibrary loan.

026.11 T687o
The Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books. Toronto. 1958.
A select listing of 3,000 titles from the Osborne collection of early English children’s books published prior to 1910. Titles are divided by subject, genre, and types of material. Includes a chronological list of editions (1566-1799), a list of illustrators and engravers, and a general author/title/series index. Volume Two, published in 1975, revises the original catalogue while adding approximately 1,600 new titles.

S.011.62 P918d 1988
Prentice, Jeffrey. Dromkeen: A Journey into Children’s Literature. New York. 1988.
Traces the history of Australian children’s literature from the 1890’s to 1985 through the Dromkeen collection of historical books, illustrations, memorabilia, and records. Also discusses activities and programs sponsored by the Dromkeen institution. Includes a title/author index with limited subject access.

820.9 R188m
Rathbone, Niky. Mirth Without Mischief. Birmingham, England. 1982.
Provides an overview of the Parker collection of early children’s books and games housed at the Birmingham Reference Library in England. The collection of nearly 7,000 books and 100 games dates from 1538 to the 1980’s and includes educational materials as well as early adventure stories, fairy tales, and school stories. A special emphasis was placed on illustrated books to trace the history of book illustration and illustrative methods. No index.

026.11 R73l
Roginski, J. Little Truths Better Than Great Fables: a Collection of Old and Rare Books for Children in the Fort Worth Public Library. Fort Worth, Texas. 1976.
This catalogue is an alphabetic arrangement of titles in the Fort Worth Public Library’s collection. All entries include full bibliographic information and some include direct quotations from the prefaces and/or introductions of the original work. Includes some illustrations and author-illustrator, publisher-printer, and series indexes.

Q.016.8208 Sh52m
Shercliff, W.H. Morality to Adventure: Manchester Polytechnic’s Collection of Children’s Books 1840-1939. Manchester, England. 1988.
Lists children’s books from 1840-1939 from the Manchester Polytechnic collection in England. Full coverage of most popular mid-late 19th century authors (including many first editions and successive editions) make this collection unique. The collection also includes examples of some of the most heavily used textbooks of the time. The catalogue is divided into 21 sections by genre, type of material, or year of publication. Individual entries are alphabetical by author and include bibliographic information and a descriptive annotation (physical not critical). Includes a general index and an index of illustrators, engravers, and local publishers.

011.62 C28
Sinclair, Susan. Catalogue of Children’s Books from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Collection and the Personal Libraries of John Lowell and Isabella Stewart Gardner. Boston. 1988.
Highlights selections from the museum’s exhibition “From Babes in the Wood to Doctor Dolittle.” The exhibition traces the major trends in children’s literature in England and America from the early 18th to the early 20th centuries. Also includes fiction from France, nursery rhymes from China, and fairy tales from Japan. Includes author index.