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Digital Collections of Children’s Literature

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

  • African Storybook
    An initiative of Saide, a non-profit organization, the African Storybook website has thousands of openly licensed free picture storybooks in the languages of Africa available to be read online or downloaded and printed. It also has tools for the translation, adaptation, and creation of picture storybooks for children aged two to ten. Free apps for mobile devices are available (from Google Play and the App Store).  The apps provide access to the storybooks and African Storybook Maker so people can create storybooks from their phone or tablet.
  • Children’s Books Online: the Rosetta Project
    The Rosetta Project, sponsored by Children’s Books Online, is a digital collection of illustrated antique children’s books that were published in the 19th and early 20th century. The site offers versions of its collection translated into multiple world languages. (Note: all the images on the S-Collection pages are taken from books in the Rosetta Project’s collection.)
  • Children’s Literature and Culture
    An online collection of digitized items produced for, about, and (in some cases) written by children and youth between the years 1810 and 1920 — a time period considered the “golden age” of children’s literature in the history of juvenile culture. Resources span a range of published and unpublished chapbooks, picture books, educational books, games, and more. There are many ways to search including thematic categorization, viewing all items via a list view, basic and advanced searching functions, and recommendations from the Editorial Board (more information and examples on searching can be find in Introduction > Search Tools). Each document offers the option to view pages as a small thumbnail or by downloading as a PDF. Users can also add documents to an easily accessible customized archive.
  • International Children’s Digital Library
    The ICDL is a free collection of digitized children’s books from around the world, written in over 50 languages. Founded in 2003 by researchers from the University of Maryland, this site shares the mission of the ICDL Foundation to “promote tolerance and respect for diverse cultures by providing access to the best children’s literature from around the world.” In 2021 ICDL stopped adding new books to the collection, but 4,000+ books remain available to access through lists organized by: title, language, color, shape, format, genre, character, or true vs. make-believe.
  • Internet Archive Children’s Library
    Provides access to books that are appropriate for children ages 3-13. The digital collection includes over 400 titles from the University of Florida’s “Literature for Children” Collection, all of the books from the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL), and books from other libraries. Supports keyword searching and browsing by title and by author. The digitized books are in various formats such as PDF and TXT, and some formats may require the installation of free software. Registered users can post comments and book reviews.
  • Literature for Children
    Literature for Children is a digital collection of children’s literature published largely in the United States and Great Britain from before 1850 to beyond 1950. At the core of this Collection are books from the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, at the University of Florida. Books from Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida join volumes from the Baldwin Library to complete the Collection.