The small collection of children’s literature ranges from 1834 to the 1970s, including alphabets, picture books, nursery rhymes, ‘Ripping stories for girls’, ’Champion book for boys’, ‘Lassie come-home', Mr Browns’... “plain writing copy book” and non-fiction.
The earliest volume is a classic in French, published in Paris, Fables by de J. La Fontaine precedees d'ine notice sur sa vie Tome I, although not intended for children when it was originally published in 1668. Fables and fairy stories were amongst the earliest books published for children in the 18th century and combined entertainment with instruction.
London publisher John Newbery (1713-1767) is called the ‘father’ of children’s literature although he published other genres.
We also have The Girls Own Paper (1898-1899), The Schoolgirl (1934-1937) and The Eagle (1950-1966, incomplete). The Girls Own Paper catered for girls and young women and was published from 1880 until 1956. The Schoolgirl was a weekly story paper and ran in two series between 1922 and 1940. The Eagle was a children’s comic published from 1950-1969 then again 1982-1994, the brainchild of an Anglican vicar from Lancashire and the official home of Dan Dare, pilot of the future.
You can access this collection by searching on the Special Collections catalogue. Please contact the Special Collections Librarian for more information and to discuss your research requirements.
Image: Cruikshank, G. (1836) A comic alphabet designed, etched & published by George Cruikshank. London: George Cruikshank. (Ref: B/3/45)