- Children’s Historical Literature Collection
This site from the University Library Digital Collections of the University of Washington features scanned PDFs of representative pages from historical children’s literature. These high quality images were chosen to showcase the history of children’s literature as an educational and recreational pursuit in both European and American books from the 18th to the 20th century.
- The Victorian Web: Children’s Literature
This site features a collection of short scholarly essays on children’s literature from the Victorian period. Articles are written by scholars in the field and the works and authors discussed are British.
- Wardrobes and Rabbit Holes: A Dark History of Children’s Literature from the Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University
A digital version of an exhibition on dark themes in historical writings for children held at the Carl A. Kroch Library at Cornell University.
- World of the Child: Two Hundred Years of Children’s Books
A companion website to a past exhibition at the University of Delaware, this site features a brief history of children’s literature, digitized images from the exhibition (which are part of the special collections department at the University of Delaware), and a short bibliography.
S. 810.99282 AV37B
Avery, Gillian. Behold the Child: American Children and their Books, 1621-1922. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
An account of children’s literature in America from colonial times to the early 20th century. Compares American and English children’s books, discusses the influence of old world literature, and traces the emergence of uniquely American themes and styles in children’s books.
Bader, Barbara. American Picturebooks from Noah’s Ark to the Beast Within. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976.
Examples of picture book illustrations are used to present a comprehensive look at 20th children’s literature. Artists, editors, authors, printers, printing techniques, and the psychology of picture books are among the topics discussed. The volume also contains notes and an index.
026 D226c 1999
Darton, F.J. Harvey. Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life. 3rd ed. London: British Library, 1999.
A classical history book of children’s literature in England from early times to the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, chronicling books, authors, publishers, and social and commercial history.
S. 820.8 F925 2008
Demers, Patricia. From Instruction to Delight: An Anthology of Children’s Literature to 1850. 3rd ed. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press, 2008.
An anthology of poetry and prose read by and to children from the Middle Ages to the mid-nineteenth century, including familiar as well as little-known examples from each period.
S. 820.9 C1441
Grenby, M. O. and Andrea Immel. Eds. The Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Some of the most innovative and spell-binding literature has been written for young people, but only recently has academic study embraced its range and complexity. This book offers a state of the subject survey of English language children’s literature from the seventeenth century to the present. With discussions ranging from eighteenth century moral tales to modern fantasies by J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman, it illuminates acknowledged classics and many more neglected works. Some chapters analyze key themes and major genres, including humor, poetry, school stories, and picture books. Others explore the sociological dimensions of children’s literature and the impact of publishing practices.
Lees, Stella and Pam Macintyre. The Oxford Companion to Australian Children’s Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1993.
In encyclopedia format, this work cover the predominant topics, titles, characters, authors, and illustrators of the last 150 years of Australian children’s literature. A bibliography and a list of award winning titles are also included.
Lerer, Seth. Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History, from Aesop to Harry Potter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Lener examines the development of literature for children from classical antiquity to the present. The book looks at the social functions of children’s literature in multiple historic eras and regions by examining the worldviews created by different types of literature at different times. Included are selections from representative works of children’s literature and extensive in-text references to additional exemplars from each period. Reproductions of a papyrus, wood-block prints, photographs, and other book illustrations are also included.
Lilly Library. Children’s Books Published by William Darton and His Sons. Bloomington, Indiana: Lilly Library, Indiana University, 1992.
This is a catalog of the Lilly Library’s 1992 exhibition of books published by William Darton and his sons between 1787 and the late 1830’s. Many of the books reflect the causes of abolition, prison reform, and universal literacy, which Darton and his sons championed.
S. 809.89282 Os8h
O’Sullivan, Emer. Historical Dictionary of Children’s Literature. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2010.
This dictionary relates the history of children’s literature through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, a bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on authors, books, and genres.
Q. S.809.8928203 Ox22
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
This alphabetically arranged compendium of children’s literature includes noteworthy characters, titles, authors, and illustrators.
Quayle, Eric. Early Children’s Books: A Collector’s Guide. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles, 1983.
Quayle has traced the development of children’s literature from the earliest days to the turn of the 20th century. He includes a number of illustrations, a selected bibliography, and a title/author index.
Whalley, Joyce Irene. Cobwebs to Catch Flies: Illustrated Books for the Nursery and Schoolroom, 1700-1900. London: Elek Books Limited, 1974.
Whalley’s “picture book about pictures” traces two centuries of the development of children’s illustrations. Various chapters are devoted to alphabet books, religious instruction, grammar, street cries and occupations, among others. In addition to an index, Whalley has included a list of the plates, a list of publishers, and a list of internationally known children’s literature collections.