Selected Special Collections
Children's Book Collection
Children's books, eighteenth century to present
The Rare Book and Special Collections Division houses approximately eighteen thousand children's books dating from the early eighteenth century to the present. Particularly strong in American juvenile fiction, the collection contains numerous works by Jacob Abbot (creator of the "Rollo" series), William Taylor Adams ("Oliver Optic"), Louisa May Alcott, Mrs. G. R. Alden ("Pansy"), Horatio Alger, Jr., Rebecca Sophia Clark, Charles A. Fosdick ("Harry Castlemon"), Samuel Griswold Goodrich, Harriet Mulford Stone Lothrop (the Five Little Peppers series), and Susan Warner. Outstanding contemporary children's books, acquired largely through copyright deposit, are selected for the collection each year and preserved with dust jackets and unmarked title pages. Examples illustrating popular reading tastes are also chosen. Among the modern writers represented by first editions are Ludwig Bemelmans, James Daughterty, Meindert DeJong, William Pene Du Bois, Rachel Field, Robert McCloskey, E. B. White, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Earlier children's books include instructional texts, early nineteenth-century paperbound books, and rare American publications presented to the Library in 1941 by Frank J. Hogan of Washington, D. C--among them a copy of Goodrich's The Tales of Peter Parley About America (Boston: 1827), two late eighteenth-century copies of Cock Robin's Death and Funeral, and ten New England Primers, six of them printed before 1800.
Children's books are also found in other special collections in the division such as the Batchelder, Hersholt, and Kipling collections.
Digitized Items from the Children's Book Collection
Also see the Children's Literature Center
Selections of Children's Literature from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division